Working steam locomotives in preservation 70013 Oliver Cromwell

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One of 55 built to the standard class 7 known as Britannia’s, Oliver Cromwell was completed at Crewe in May 1951, and was allocated to the Eastern Region based at Norwich shed No 32A.

Designed by Robert Riddles, and given the No 70013, the 95 ton Pacific Locomotive, is 68 feet 9 inches long, and is fitted with a tender weighing 50 tons having a capacity of 7 tons of coal and 4250 gallons of water.  Most of its early life was spent working the express passenger trains between London & Norwich, covering 460 miles every day.

In September 1961 Cromwell left Norwich for a new home at March Motive Power Depot No 31B. December 1963 saw it move again, this time to London Midland Region based at Carlisle’s Kingmoor  Shed 12A, mainly for freight and parcel duties.

In 1966 the loco was overhauled at Crewe, and then on August 11th 1968, was one of the four locomotives chosen to haul the last British Railways steam hauled Railtour. This was known as the 15 guinea special in view of the price of the tickets.

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Oliver Cromwell pulled the leg between Manchester Victoria and Carlisle.

Following the 15 guinea special 70013 became part of the National Collection at the National Railway Museum in York.

In 2004 it was decided to restore the Pacific to main line running, and so was moved to the Great Central Railway at Loughborough, for the work to be carried out. This was completed to an excellent condition by the staff at the GCR and returned to steam in May 2008.

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Photo by cooldudeandy01 outside the engine shed at Loughborough.

Since returning to main line running, Oliver Cromwell as completed many Railtours,  including the Cathedral Express in 2009.

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And a re-run of the 15 guinea special on August 11th 2013, this time doing a leg starting from Longsight, and again finishing at Carlisle.

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At the time of writing this blog, ( January 2014) 70013 is based at Great Central Railway, and is kept busy running on their Winter Schedule.

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