Festive steam train special for Lincoln Christmas Market.

The Union of South Africa will be steaming to Lincoln Christmas Market on Saturday. Photo: Bob Green EMN-140512-123251001
The Union of South Africa will be steaming to Lincoln Christmas Market on Saturday. Photo: Bob Green EMN-140512-123251001

The age of steam will be returning to Sleaford on Saturday when the A4 class ‘Pacific’ steam locomotive No. 60009 “Union of South Africa” will be hauling a special train to take shoppers to the Lincoln Christmas Market.

After picking up passengers in London, Potter’s Bar, Stevenage and Peterborough, it will be passing through Sleaford along the avoiding line to the east of the town, crossing Boston Road railway bridge and under the A17 bypass at around 12.19-12.23pm.

The service is being run by The Railway Touring Company of King’s Lynn and the train is from the same class as the famous record-breaking Mallard.

If any train enthusiasts are planning to take photos as it passes through, why not send in an image to the Sleaford Standard - we would love to have it as our Picture of the Week.

The day out begins when the train steams out of London King’s Cross Station at around 9.08am and head north down the East Coast Main Line. This route was the former stamping ground of the A4 class ‘Pacifics’ in the days of steam.

Leaving Peterborough it heads to Spalding and on to Sleaford before reaching Lincoln. The market is spread across the Cathedral quarter of Lincoln, within the courtyard of the 12th Century castle and along the medieval cobbled streets of the city. There are around 350 stalls selling everything from crafts and books to locally produced cheeses, meats and festive foods.

The “Union of South Africa” will return from Lincoln by way of Newark and the East Coast Main Line. After a stiff climb up through Grantham to Stoke Tunnel it will descend Stoke Bank, where “Union of South Africa’s” classmate “Mallard” achieved 126 miles per hour which still stands as the world record for steam. It will continue to King’s Cross Station.

Father Christmas and his Elves will be visiting the train during the day and handing out presents to all children on board.