There was huge disappointment for train enthusiasts in central Bedfordshire over the summer months when the long-awaited visit of a much-loved steam locomotive was postponed.
In August, the famous Cathedrals Express was due to make a stop at Arlesey station as it ventured up north to York. The service was set to be even more special as it would be pulled by the B1 Locomotive, 61306 Mayflower. The steam engine is a huge favourite with enthusiasts and was seen as a major coup for the small town.
However, those hopes were dashed when Network Rail imposed a ban on steam engines due to the hot, dry weather conditions seen throughout the UK. It meant the Mayflower was replaced by a vintage diesel engine, a major blow for steam enthusiasts wanting to see one of the nation's most loved locomotives grace the tracks once again.
All is not lost however, as Biggleswade Today reports that Arlesey will be graced by the Mayflower's presence this year. On March 12th, The Cathedrals Express will once again snake its way up from London King's Cross to the small Bedfordshire town ready to pick up daytrippers en route to York.
This time though it will be pulled by the Mayflower. The event will mark the first time the steam engine has return to the railways in 20 years.
Speaking to the news provider, Marcus Robertson, chairman of operating company Steam Dreams', said: "We are delighted to be making a second attempt to bring steam to Arlesey for the very first time since the station opened in 1988.
“It seems particularly fitting that Mayflower will be at the head of the train as its return to the mainline this year is another cause for celebration."
Tickets for the event start at £99 per person and include a wide range of extras for the trip to York and back.