Man, 33, becomes youngest steam train driver to qualify in 50 years

Jim Clarke took the controls of the Belmond British Pullman for his journey

Jim Clarke Becomes Youngest Steam Train Driver in Almost 50 Years

A 33-year-old man has become the youngest steam train driver to qualify on a mainline service in almost half a century.

Jim Clarke made his first journey as a qualified steam train driver on Saturday by taking the controls of the iconic Belmond British Pullman from London Victoria to Guildford.

ITV News reports that he is the youngest person to achieve the qualification since 1968.

Dozens of passengers were on board the Belmond British Pullman as Clarke made his first trip.

Youngest steam engine driver in half a century

Before qualifying, Mr Clarke told the BBC: "A good few years of work has gone into it.

"Before, you have to be passed out as a fireman, work your time, be put forward for driving, go through the training and then hopefully today pass the driver's exam."

His father said: "We are very proud of him. It's something he's always wanted to do."

Speaking about his love of steam trains, Mr Clarke Senior said: "You feel part of the machine and it's the sheer physical effort of what you put in to get the power out of the loco.

"It's quite satisfying if you've had a good run."

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