Working Steam Locomotives in Preservation. 70000 Britannia

 

No 70000 Britannia

Built at Crewe in January 1951, Britannia was the first locomotive to be built by British Railways, following nationalisation on Jan 1st 1948. Designed by R A Riddles this BR Standard Class 7 Pacific was designed for fast mixed traffic and was initially allocated to the Eastern Region at Stratford Depot. Its duties involved regular runs from Liverpool Street to Norwich including the Parkstone Quay boat trains attaining constant speeds of 90 mph. In February 1952 it had its cab roof painted white when it hauled King George Sixth funeral train from Norfolk to London. In March 1963 Britannia was transferred to the London Midland Scottish Division working between Manchester, Carlisle, Glasgow & Perth. After 15 years of service the loco was withdrawn in May 1966.

After being purchased by the Britannia Locomotive Company, she was returned to steam on the Severn Valley Railway in 1980, but due to its axle weight of 20 Tons, it was too heavy for their line, and was transferred to the Nene Valley in 1981. After a few years of running, it was fully overhauled at Carnforth and returned to main line running in 1991. Due to boiler specifications not being met, it was withdrawn six and a half years later. After passing through the ownership of Pete Waterman, & Jeremy Hoskins she was eventually bought by the present owners of  The Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust.

Painted in its prototype colour of  Black BR Livery, and without its nameplates, the loco was eventually returned to main line operation in 2011.

After its running in period, the Pacific was repainted in BR Brunswick Green, and on January 24th 2012, with a temporary white cab roof, it hauled the Royal Train with Prince Charles who re-dedicated the engine at Wakefield Kirkgate.

A total of 55 Britannia class Locomotives were built and the only other one to survive is 70013 Oliver Cromwell.

One Response to “Working Steam Locomotives in Preservation. 70000 Britannia”

  1. Colin Martin Says:

    A date I shall always remember is Monday 11th February 1952. As a Cambridge fireman, I had been on duty at 5 o’ clock in the morning, and finished work about 1 o’clock lunch time. I knew where to stand and a lot of other people knew as well. Just by the ‘Cattle Market’ railings at the south end of Cambridge Station. There was a 20 mph speed restriction in those days so we had a good view. Every one stood very quietly, the men taking their hats and caps off. I knew the men on the engine as they were a Cambridge crew. It was a memorable moment in history for me.

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