Bahamas steam locomotive set to pass through Thanet today – The Isle Of Thanet News
By John Horton and David Burrin
The ‘Bahamas’ steam locomotive passes through Thanet not once but twice today (July 22).
Railway enthusiasts across the island will be able to witness a unique steam train that passes through Minster, Ramsgate, Dumpton Park, Broadstairs, Margate, Westgate and Birchington en route to Faversham from London Victoria – this may change to travel to the diesel due to extreme heat being a fire hazard.
“The Kentish Belle” will be hauled by “Bahamas” steam locomotive, number 45596, a 4-6-0 Jubilee locomotive, one of 191 which were built between 1934 and 1936, alongside the “Black 5s” 4- 6-0s for the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), both designed by William Stanier.
BAHAMAS was formerly based in Stockport, Manchester, operating passenger services from Manchester Central to London St Pancras along the former ‘Cheshire Lines’ route, and after withdrawal of service at the end of steam operation, 4 of the class have been preserved: –
45593 KOLAPHUR – Withdrawn October 1967
45596 BAHAMAS – Withdrawn July 1966
45960 LEANDER – Withdrawn March 1964
45699 * GALATEA – Withdrawn April 1936
*GALATEA contains many parts of loco 45562 ALBERTA all used on GALATEA
BAHAMAS was stored for many years at Stockport Depot before being transferred to Leeds for repair and the Dinting Railway Museum. She returned to mainline service in 1972 and made extensive mainline trips, another overhaul began in 2013 and BAHAMAS returned to service in 2019. She is the only Jubilee retained to sport a twin funnel .
The train will depart from London Victoria and head towards Ashford, Canterbury West before passing through Thanet towards Faversham, the train will return later in the afternoon to return to London. The Jubilee class has never appeared in the South East in regular service and its appearance is unique to the class as this is therefore the very first visit of such a locomotive to the South East.
The timetables of the train during its passage are as follows:
RAMSGATE arr 12:04 dep 12:07
BROADSTAIRS arr 12:12 dep 12:14
MARGATE (Dish 3) arr 12:18 dep 12:21
The return times are:
MARGATE (Dish 1) arr 16:52 dep 16:58
BROADSTAIRS arr 17:05 dep 17:07
RAMSGATE (Dish 2) arr 17:12 dep 17:14