Following the announcement by Locomotive Services that the new TOC would go live in 2018, with a limited program and introductory offers. A browse through the tours highlighted a possible contender near my milestone birthday. A circular tour of Cheshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire to be steam hauled by one of three possible locos in the pool. Each one I wouldn't mind.
Invitation to my parents and wife accepted, tickets duly booked for first class. Upon arrival at our pickup point Crewe and home to our tour operator we awaited the arrival of our train. Scheduled to be 46100, it was a pleasant surprise to find 34052 (34046) hauling the stock. Climbing aboard to a superb MK11, with complimentary Tea / Coffee / Buscuits and Muffins. The whole trip was a success, on time and very enjoyable. The only grip I had was the buffet was advertising wine but none in stock.... If you have it listed on the menu it really should be available.