On Thursday, 16th December 1999, over 150 passengers waited excitedly at Waterloo station for their train to arrive. At 11am that day, the first ever Steam Dreams trip departed for Salisbury, hauled by BR Class 5MT 4-6-0 73096. At that time, the journey to Salisbury took just under two hours and fares started from £39!
Twenty years later, on Tuesday, 17 December 2019, The Steam Dreams Rail Co. will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary with a trip down memory lane as they take passengers from London to Salisbury Christmas Market and on to a magnificent carol service in the stunning Sherborne Abbey.
This nostalgic trip will be hauled by B1 Mayflower, which has become a familiar sight at Waterloo this summer, sporting an original Cathedrals Express headboard used on the company’s earlier trips. There will be lots of anniversary treats in store including a commemorative gift and souvenir gift for all passengers. A ceremonial cake cutting is also planned on arrival at the platform in Salisbury with Steam Dreams founder Marcus Robertson and current owner, David Buck.
David Buck, Chairman of Steam Dreams commented: “This is a very special time for Steam Dreams. Over the past 20 years a lot of progress has been made within the steam charter industry from the routes we can access, the level of comfort and dining options offered to passengers, to a more varied choice of locomotives.” He added: “We at Steam Dreams pride ourselves on our customer service and experience and see this landmark anniversary as a testament to our achievements as a small business and the loyalty of our customers. We hope as many passengers as possible will join us in celebrating this momentous occasion!”
The special anniversary train will no doubt be of interest for many, with a number of the original faces who travelled on the first trip, including those who were so integral in planning the first trip from London to Salisbury, travelling on board.
Steam Dreams would love to hear from anyone who travelled on the first train 20 years ago. If that’s you, please do get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Booking Office on 01483 209888.