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I would guess it is there for reliability back up, so that a breakdown doesn't tie up or shut down a mainline. That is often done when moving steamers over mainlines here as well! _________________ Are we having fun yet?
Daniels explanation is probably right. Whenever i have seen steam on the mainline there has always been a diesel at the rear.
previously i had always assumed this was to move the carriages between venues without the need to put additional wear on the locomotive. i came to this conclusion from watching trains being assembled before runs from Cleethorpes, where the carriages always passed my farm the day before behind a diesel locomotive whilst the locomotives travelled to Cleethorpes via a different line.
At the end of the run the train would be hauled back to Cleethorpes with a diesel. but i was probably wrong Daniels explanation seems more likely.
Interestingly although the day was supposed to be about the line from the past to the future with the Scotsman through to the Azuma nobody seemed to notice that the diesel at the rear of the Scotsman was a Deltic which was the iconic diesel that bridged the gap between steam and the introduction of the Inter City 125's on the East Cost Main
so we really had 5 generations on show instead of the 4 it was supposed to be. _________________ “Nullius in verba”
I have no idea about the the English rolling stock, but here, depending on the carriages, it can also be to provide train heating, or continuous braking - the systems aren't always compatible with what was standard or steam locomotives (i.e. steam heating ...)
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