A HISTORIC Keighley-based steam engine is returning to the national rail network after 25 years.

The Bahamas 45596 locomotive will pull a train on the Settle and Carlisle Railway next month to re-enact its last British Rail journeys in the early 1960s.

The loco – now renamed The Bahamas Renaissance – has not steamed through the Yorkshire Dales for many years.

For the past 25 years the iconic engine has spent most of its time in railway yards and sheds undergoing preservation and conservation.

It is the property of the Bahamas Locomotive Society, based at Ingrow station, and in recent years has undergone extensive renovation thanks to a £996,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The society teamed with the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway (KWVR ) to organise the locomotive’s comeback trip, with a Railtour from Oxenhope to Keighley and on to Carlisle, then returning, on February 9.

Bahamas and its fellow Jubilee engines saw out their final days on the Settle and Carlisle Railway in the early 1960s.

Bahamas was the last steam engine to be modified by British Rail in its attempts to improve its steam fleet, with the fitting of a unique double chimney and blastpipe in 1961.

After that the engine worked on a few heritage railways, and after hauling Santa Steam Specials on the KWVR in 1997, the loco’s boiler certificate expired and it was placed into store at Oxenhope.

In 2013 the society gained the lottery grant and sent the locomotive to Tyseley Locomotive Works for its most extensive overhaul since 1961.

Keith Whitmore, chairman of the Bahamas Locomotive Society, said: “We have waited for 25 years to see Bahamas back on the main line.

“It is so appropriate that we are steaming from the railway where we are based and are travelling between Settle and Carlisle where so many enthusiasts and families loved to see our popular loco perform to perfection.”

The Bahamas Railtour will depart Oxenhope at 8.15am and return at about 8pm. The train will consist of 10 coaches, and passengers can spend more than two hours in Carlisle.

Tickets cost £79 for standard class, and £265 for premier dining which includes breakfast and evening dinner. Visit kwvr.co.uk/bahamas-railtour.