On the first Saturday in October 1971, GWR King Class No 6000 King George V broke out of Bulmers Railway Centre in Hereford for a trial steam run to Birmingham and broke the official British Rail 1968 ban of steam on the mainline. Today we celebrate the return – on the same day and on the same route with the same locomotive which went on to haul to first official ‘Return to Steam’ celebration run in 1972. The day begins at Tyseley Locomotive Works, we then pass through Birmingham New Street on our journey towards Shrewsbury via Wolverhampton. Taking the avoiding line at Shrewsbury, we head along the Welsh Marches line via Craven Arms to Hereford for a three hour break for city sightseeing.
Our return to Birmingham will follow the original route continuing south, avoiding Newport to join the South Wales mainline, for a sprint through the Severn Tunnel to Swindon and a water stop at Didcot. We continue to Birmingham with a photo stop at Banbury and a climb up Hatton bank.