Stay of ex­e­cu­tion for ‘Cromwell’

Stay of ex­e­cu­tion for Oliver Cromwell as boiler cer­tifi­cate ex­ten­sion ex­pected to be a for­mal­ity.

Steam Railway (UK) - - Contents - BY NICK BRODRICK

Oliver Cromwell’s boiler cer­tifi­cate will al­most cer­tainly be ex­tended, mean­ing that the 1968 end-of-steam celebrity ‘Pacific’ will run on the ex­act day of the 50th an­niver­sary of the ‘Fif­teen Guinea Spe­cial’. Hav­ing been given a clean bill of health by the boiler in­spec­tor fol­low­ing a cold exam on March 20, No. 70013 was ex­pected to have a nine-month ex­ten­sion to its ‘ten-year’ boiler cer­tifi­cate signed off on March 23 af­ter a fully func­tional steam test, which would keep it in op­er­a­tional con­di­tion un­til the end of 2018. It will be re­stricted to pre­served rail­way op­er­a­tion only, as it re­quires a full re-tube be­fore it can ven­ture back onto the na­tional net­work. As pre­vi­ously re­ported (SR477), its ma­jor over­haul is ex­pected to com­mence in early 2019. It means that rather than a north­bound run over the Set­tle-Carlisle route – as it did on BR’s last stan­dard gauge pas­sen­ger train on Au­gust 11 1968 – ‘Cromwell’ will be in ac­tion at its home, the Great Cen­tral Rail­way, for its own end-of-steam com­mem­o­ra­tions. The GCR trib­ute is to take place on Au­gust 4/5, 11/12 and will also fea­ture at least one LMS ‘8F’ and ‘Black Five’. Two vis­its to other pre­served lines are also in the pipe­line be­fore No. 70013 bows out at the GCR’s ‘Last Hur­rah of the Sea­son’ on Novem­ber 17/18, with the op­tion of con­tin­u­ing to haul trains un­til De­cem­ber 31 if nec­es­sary. The Steam Rail­way mag­a­zine ap­peal ‘Bri­tan­nia’ re­tired from main line char­ters on March 3, af­ter un­hook­ing from the Rail­way Tour­ing Com­pany’s ‘York­shire­man’ at York – a stone’s throw from its par­ent Na­tional Rail­way Mu­seum – hav­ing trav­elled over the Mid­land Main Line from Eal­ing Broad­way. Its in­volve­ment in the farewell train went to the wire as heavy snowfall wreaked havoc with its en­gine and sup­port coach move from Nor­wich (where the lo­co­mo­tive had been pre­vi­ously failed – see sep­a­rate story) be­fore the en­gine’s 5305LA sup­port crew had to bat­tle against sub-zero tem­per­a­tures to keep the lo­co­mo­tive’s in­jec­tors and other pipework from freez­ing. With makeshift bra­ziers de­ployed, and the all-clear re­ceived from Net­work Rail to run the train in spite of a num­ber of can­celled ser­vices, No. 70013 com­pleted its main line stint, that be­gan in 2008, as ad­ver­tised. “We had a crack­ing run up Sharn­brook and through the Ere­wash Val­ley,” 5305LA chair­man Tom Tighe told Steam Rail­way, “and we rolled into York a minute early. It went out in style”. ‘Cromwell’s’ farewell train also ben­e­fit­ted a num­ber of stranded

RON COVER

Oliver Cromwell rolls into York on March 3, just shy of a full ten years since it ran on the main line for the first time in preser­va­tion.

ANDREW DENNISON

Back in the north of Eng­land, Na­tional Col­lec­tion ‘Bri­tan­nia’ No. 70013 pow­ers up the gra­di­ent to­wards In­grow on the first day of the Keigh­ley & Worth Val­ley Rail­way’s gala.

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