The Pennine ridge - `England's backbone' - has provided a dramatic backdrop to the steam locomotive for nearly 180 years. Armies of navvies, commanded by engineers such as George Stephenson, Charles Vignoles and Joseph Locke, battled against nature to drive the first lines from Lancashire to Yorkshire: Summit, Standedge and the Woodhead Tunnels are lasting monuments to their grit and determination.
All this came to an end in 1968 when the last regular steam-hauled passenger service, `The Fifteen Guinea Special', pulled into Manchester Victoria at seven o'clock on 11 August. But this was not the end of steam across the Pennines, as bands of enthusiasts rallied to save steam. The lifting of British Rail's steam ban in 1971 has meant that, once again, the Pennines reverberate to the sound of steam working hard across rugged northern terrain.
This book follows preserved lines and steam specials and revisits iconic locations in the history of steam across the Pennines.
Anthony Dawson has a lifetime's interest in railways; he is a graduate both of the University of Bradford (B.Sc hons, archaeology) and the University of Leeds (M.Res, history). Anthony is a member of staff at the Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester, where he puts his enthusiasm for early railways into practice as a Railway Volunteer on the replica `Planet' locomotive.