East Anglian steam trip put back to August after Easter postponement

Mayflower is set to pull a special train from East Anglia to Lincoln in August. Picture: Alison Bala

Mayflower is set to pull a special train from East Anglia to Lincoln in August. Picture: Alison Balaam/iWitness - Credit: citizenside.com

A rail trip through East Anglia hauled by one of the best-known steam locomotives in Britain has been rescheduled for August after organisers had to cancel its journey on Easter Saturday.

The former LNER locomotive Mayflower will be at the head of the train from Stratford in east London through Colchester and Ipswich heading to the cathedral city of Lincoln.

It had been due to run on Saturday week and was a complete sell-out, picking up passengers in Essex and Suffolk. It will now be run on Saturday, August 29 – the start of the Bank Holiday weekend.

Mayflower is owned by Ipswich-born millionaire David Buck who also owns the Steam Dreams Rail Company which is organising the trip.

He said: “We are pleased to have been able to reschedule our popular spring programme to later in the summer, when we hope everyone will be able to travel safely.

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“We are grateful to our Train Operating Company for responding so quickly and to our passengers for their patience and understanding.”

Steam Dreams is also due to bring Mayflower to Harwich and Felixstowe on June 7 as part of the celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim Fathers’ voyage to New England. At present this trip is still in their programme – although the company is monitoring the situation and is aware things may have to change.

All those booked on the Lincoln trip should have had a letter from the company explaining the change in date.

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They are being offered a straight change to the new train with a loyalty bonus which will vary according to which class of ticket they had bought.

If they are unable to make the August date, they will be offered a voucher for another trip together with a loyalty bonus.

Or there is an option for a refund. The company is asking people not to do this unless it is impossible for them to make another date – and hopes the loyalty bonus will encourage them to rebook.

Mayflower is one of only two LNER B1 locomotives left – they were designed in the early 1940s as a workhorse engine and worked throughout the company’s network – including its routes in East Anglia which is where Mr Buck first saw them as a young trainspotter in Ipswich.

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