August 1968 was the month of the last steam services. Preston was involved in these services. Also in August 2018 Alstom officially closed the Strand Road West Works were trams, trains and motors had been built for over a 100 years.
Below is an extract from our website, read the whole page on the link below.
‘In 1968 two trains left Preston on the last standard steam hauled services in the UK. The Lancashire Evening Post of 2nd August 2008 has an article about a book called ‘Steam – The Last Finale’ by Alan Castle. The article relates to the 8.50pm Preston to Blackpool hauled by 45212, and the 9.25pm Preston to Liverpool Exchange hauled by 45318. The latter gaining 80mph across the flat terrain of West Lancashire. Drivers of both trains came from Lostock Hall shed – Bob Barker and fireman Roy Duckworth on 45212 and Ernie Heyes and fireman Tony Smith on 45318. The following day August 4th plenty of special steam hauled trains were run on farewell trips.
The following weekend on August 11th 1968 45110 ran from Liverpool to Manchester and was then replaced by 70013 Oliver Cromwell from Manchester to Carlisle via Bolton, Blackburn and the Settle to Carlisle route. This was the last BR passenger train called the ‘fifteen guinea special’. The return journey was double headed by 44781 and 44871, with 45110 hauling from Manchester back to Liverpool according to Wikipedia. 70013 is said to have returned to its base in Norwich under its own steam.’
A second piece of history this month is the closure of the Alstom factory on Strand Road which was formerly English Electric Traction, Strand Road West Works, Dick Kerrs, where diesel locomotives including the Deltic Prototype were built. It also has a history of building diesel shunters, trams and electric motors.