Before the infamous ban imposed in 1968 on steam locomotives operating over the main line network by British Railways, a small number of wealthy businessmen and enthusiast groups had already acquired former main line locomotives for their own use.
They were known as ‘the most exclusive club’ following a TV documentary of the time, but now they were banned from using their machines on the main line.They campaigned against the ban and eventually, a one-off special ran as an experiment in 1971, with great acclaim and success, so much so that the ban was lifted and from 1972 – 40 years ago – steam gradually returned to the main line and is as popular today as ever.
The Most Exclusive Club is a 132-page special publication featuring:
The last days of British Railways’ steam
Pre-steam ban specials and the early pioneers
Previously unpublished BR documents and letters
All of the locomotives on the 1972-approved list and many others
Contributions from Michael Draper, Pat Whitehouse, David Ward, David Shepherd and other leading players of the day.