BR celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway opening with a number of events throughout 1980, including the ‘Rocket 150’ cavalcade at Rainhill in the May that featured replicas of Rainhill Trials locos Novelty, Sans Pareil and Rocket. Also taking part in that event was L&MR loco Lion – not a replica, however, but the original loco of 1837! Lion had been returned to steam – with some modern updates such as air brakes – for the celebrations a mere 143 years after its construction, and on September 14, 1980 (the day before the actual 150th anniversary of the opening) it was given permission to haul passengers on a special working from Eccles to Manchester Liverpool Road (now part of the Science and Industry Museum), its passengers arriving from Liverpool Lime Street in another special hauled by No. 46229 Duchess of Hamilton. Shunter No. 08524 hauled Lion and three replica carriages to Eccles, and the veteran steam loco is pictured heading towards Salford through the cutting now partly covered by the M602 road.
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