Veteran traction: Freightliner Class 86/6s Nos 86609 and 86638 work round the reverse curves at Baddesley Bridge, Atherstone, at the head of the 11.13 4M87 Felixstowe North - Trafford Park working on 26 April 2017. Graham Nuttall

On the face of it, there are few reasons to be cheerful. King Coal, the mainstay of the railways since their inception, has been dethroned and all but left the stage. On several days in 2016, none of the UK’s electricity was generated by coal – wind and solar is now more important than the black stuff in summer. There are only four coal-fired power stations left, and by 2023 all will be gone.

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