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There is no photographic evidence of 86259 ever carrying a headboard between 1966 and 2003 but since its preservation it has carried six different headboards.

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And this was the very first one. The swinging 60s psychedelic style was just right for the inaugural trip - a 1965/66 loco going to Liverpool, home of Lennon and McCartney, who wrote "Daytripper" - get it?

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Here is the train, in Lime Street station, ready to leave on the return journey to Birmingham.

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259 played its part in raising thousands of pounds for the BBC-WM "Kidney Kids" appeal to finance the new renal unit at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

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The 86 hauled the Euston - Crewe part of the Railway Touring Company's "Royal Scot" in October 2008 and October 2009.

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A slight cheat here! The train did not actually move! At the Carnforth Open Weekend in July 2008, the West Coast Railway Company posed 86259 on a rake of ex-Manchester Pullman coaches (now changed from silver to chocolate and cream). The smokebox-style headboard obviously came from the time when steam hauled the Manchester Executive Pullman - but a headboard's a headboard!


86259 posed on a rake of ex-Manchester Pullman coaches, the very same stock it had hauled, albeit in different livery, decades before between Euston and Manchester.

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Just for old times' sake, here, some time in the early 1980s, is 86259 "Peter Pan" in Manchester Piccadilly waiting to take the Pullman to London Euston. That very coach is probably part of the picture above - the loco certainly is!


Strictly speaking the Cumbrian Mountain Express headboard first appeared on EMU 350 259 (Yes - 259!). I was taking them down to Willesden depot having had them beautifully made by Tom Doyle at Sign Depot in Warwick.


Taken at Crewe on Thursday 10th October 2013 with its new headboard.


Taken at Rugby in June 2018, this is the latest version of this headboard, again by Tom Doyle at Sign Depot in Warwick, mimicking the style used on steam engines.