IT'S Saturday — so it must be another strike-affected day for rail travellers from South Cumbria on Northern.

Industrial action is set to be repeated next Saturday in an on-going dispute over the future of guards on trains.

Last Saturday there was a fleet of buses drafted in for the Lancaster to Barrow route but there was a train running from Carnforth — the Brief Encounter charter for 500 passengers by the Carnforth Station Visitor Centre.

It marked the 50th anniversary of the end of steam on the mainline in August 1968.

However, a licence has just been issued by the Office of Rail and Road for Vintage Trains to run a scheduled express service on the main rail network, using the restored steam locomotive Clun Castle.

It will start in the Birmingham area but with hopes to expand.

A public share issued had already raised £850,000 for the project and the aim is to reach £3m.

The services are aimed at families and tourists, rather than daily commuter, and ticket prices are expected to start from £20.

First services will be from Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham's Snow Hill.

It is hoped to expand the idea round the country, from places such as York, Chester, Bristol and London.

Barrow played a key role in giving the Flying Scotsman a new lease of life as a working steam locomotive when it arrived at Vickers in December 1977 under its own power. 

It was in town to have a new boiler fitted at Barrow shipyard. 

The 140-ton train had to be lifted off the tracks at the Vickers engineering works using a giant 250-ton crane near the boiler shop. 

To mark the work done at Barrow, an oval plaque was produced to be fixed to the locomotive which said: "Refurbished by Vickers Barrow Engineering Works 1978." 

The Evening Mail on December 12 in 1977 noted: "She is the first steam locomotive to be handled by the firm for over half a century but the engineering skills required of Flying Scotsman are basic to the boilermaking trades. 

"The old boiler is to be replaced by an unused one from a sister locomotive now scrapped and other boiler repairs will be carried out. 

"Now located at Steamtown Carnforth, Flying Scotsman was one of a whole class of locomotives which worked LNER and later British Railways Eastern Region expresses."