A RARE locomotive which was due to delight engine enthusiasts on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway has been forced to cancel due to piston trouble.

The 60009 Union of South Africa, an iconic A4 Pacific designed by Nigel Gresley, was due to open the railway's 2019 season this weekend, but despite the charity's best efforts the replacement parts the engine needs cannot be sourced in time.

Instead the services it was scheduled to pull on the 18-mile stretch between Grosmont and Pickering will be served by the 34092 City of Wells, a Bulleid Light Pacific, on loan from East Lancashire Railway.

Chris Price, general manager at NYMR, said: “Working within the heritage preservation world, situations such as this bring home how fragile these historic locomotives are and the challenges associated with maintaining old equipment.

"Of course we are disappointed by this but we are also confident that having 34092 City of Wells travelling across the moors will be a fantastic sight to see."

All seat allocations still apply with passengers being offered free tea and coffee onboard as a thank you for their understanding.