Bahamas: The Bahamas Renaissance
LMS ‘Jubilee’ Class locomotive no. 45596 ‘Bahamas’, hauling it’s first mainline run since 1994.
LMS ‘Jubilee’ Class locomotive 45596 ‘Bahamas, was the first of the four Jubilees of the class to be preserved. She occupies a special place in railway history as it was the very last steam engine to be modified by BR. British Rail attempted to improve the performance of its steam fleet with the fitting of its unique double chimney and blastpipe in 1961. The Bahamas Locomotive Society (BLS) bought 45596 in 1967.
‘Bahamas’ ran on the main line (1989 – 1994) before retiring to Oxenhope Exhibition Shed in 1997. 45596 moved to Tyseley Locomotive Works in November 2013. This was a result of the BLS’s successful £996k bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for help to give it the most extensive overhaul since 1961. 45596’s first steaming after its latest overhaul was on 27 September and, on its return to Ingrow, No.45596 is about to operate on the main line once again.
The Bahamas Renaissance ran from Oxenhope to Carlisle with a sold out train behind her. Oxenhope is at the end of the Keighley Worth Valley branch line, with the Bahamas Society based at Ingrow. Carlisle sits at the end of the “Settle to Carlisle” line in Cumbria. A long run across the remote and scenic Yorkshire Dales & the North Pennies.
Below crossing the imposing Ribblehead Viaduct, which crosses Batty Moss in the Ribblehead Valley. Ribblehead Viaduct is 440 yards long, and 104 feet above the valley floor at its highest point. The viaduct was built by a workforce of up to 2,300 men. They lived, often with their families, in temporary camps, named Batty Wife Hole, Sebastopol, and Belgravia on adjacent land. More than a hundred workers lost their lives in construction-related accidents, fighting, or from outbreaks of smallpox. According to Church of England records, there are around 200 burials of men, women, and children in the graveyard at Chapel-le-Dale and the church has a memorial to the railway workers.