Second overhaul for ‘Cromwell’
NRM agrees to another major overhaul of end-of-steam ‘Britannia’ as it prepares to haul last tour.
Steam Railway readers’ appeal ‘Britannia’ No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell is to be overhauled for a further stint of service. Under a new agreement with the National Railway Museum, the 5305 Locomotive Association will retain custodianship of the National Collection Riddles ‘Pacific’, and will carry out another overhaul for main line operation after the engine’s current boiler certificate expires. Oliver Cromwell’s ‘ten-year’ ticket is due to run out in March and it will be immediately withdrawn if a short-term boiler certificate, for preserved line use only, is not granted. The overhaul is due to be carried out during 2019 and will largely concentrate on the boiler, as the locomotive’s bottom end has received considerable attention during its ten-year running stint, in particular the fitting of new tyres. The boiler will require a replacement copper tubeplate, but the task will be simplified thanks to the existence of a steel former. After a farewell run over its former stamping ground of the Great Eastern main line from Liverpool Street to Norwich and back, for Steam Dreams Rail Co. on February 22 (which was to become a memorial train for the late Richard Hardy), No. 70013’s final main line tour was to be the Railway Touring Company’s ‘Yorkshireman’, from Ealing Broadway to York via the Midland Main Line on March 3. Next, the ‘Brit’ is booked to appear at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway’s Spring Gala on March 9-11 (see story below), after which it will return to the GCR, pending a decision on its shortterm future. “It’s been a privilege to look after ‘Cromwell’ since 2004,” said the locomotive’s custodian group Chairman Tom Tighe. “The most rewarding thing has been seeing people crowd around the engine at the end of a main line tour – and we can’t wait to get back out and do it all over again.”
Oliver Cromwell passes over the Worcester to Birmingham canal at Lowesmoor, Worcester, returning from Henwick having turned at Worcester Tunnel Junction on February 10. The ‘Britannia’ had hauled the ‘Cotswold Venturer’ from Paddington.