CROWDS flocked to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and along the route of the Settle to Carlisle railway to see 45596 ‘Bahamas’ haul its first mainline tour since August 1994.

More than 250 people paid between £79 and £265 for a chance to ride behind a famous steam locomotive on a historic run up to Carlisle and back.

Crowds gathered on the platform at Oxenhope and Keighley stations to see of Bahamas, the first mainline tour starting at Oxenhope on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway since Flying Scotsman did the same route in March 2017.

The trip was delayed by the effects of Storm Erik on Saturday morning when a branch was blown onto the overhead wires at Utley near Keighley station.

5596 Bahamas, an ex London, Midland and Scottish (LMS) Jubilee class locomotive was built in Glasgow in 1934 by the North British Locomotive Company and was designed by William Stanier.

Bahamas was renumbered 45596 when it became the property of British Rail in 1948, following the creation of British Rail. Bahamas is a unique Jubilee Class engine due to its double chimney that was fitted in 1961 along with a new exhaust system designed to improve performance. Another Jubilee class engine, 45722 ‘Defence’ was also fitted with a double chimney in the 1950s, but this engine was cut up in Crewe in 1962.

Bahamas was withdrawn from service in July 1966 and was in line to be scrapped but in 1967 The Bahamas Locomotive Society was created and saved it from the cutters torch following donations and after having repairs done, it returned to the mainline in 1971 following the lifting of the ban of steam locomotives on the mainline.

In 1990, the society relocated from Dinting in South Yorkshire to Ingrow on the KWVR where it was often seen between 1994 and 1997 when it was removed from service for a major overhaul.

Work commenced on the overhaul in 2013 following donations made through the ‘Steam’s last blast’ fundraising campaign and a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of over £770,000.

Bahamas will be in steam and hauling passenger services during Keighley and Worth Valley’s Spring Steam Gala on March 8-10.