‘NEEDY MISTRESS’ BRITANNIA IS BACK
It may have been described as a “needy mistress” by Locomotive Services’ Managing Director Tony Bush, but Britannia is now back in action. As you read this, the Riddles ‘7MT’ should have just hauled its first tour in about three years – December 2’s ‘Welsh Borders Explorer’. A second tour with No. 70000, the ‘Pennine Moors Explorer’ taking in Copy Pit, closes Saphos Trains’ first season on December 8. Both of those trains start from Crewe, within sight of ‘home base’ at the Cheshire town’s former diesel depot.
That follows a spell in Crewe’s paint shop for a going over in the BR green, this time with the later crest; trials on a Shrewsbury and Chester circuit on October 23; and a running-in and public trip to the Severn Valley before that.
The rebuilt ‘Brit’ is now described by Tony as “very strong” – and adds useful extra ‘Top Link’ power alongside Royal Scot and Braunton. With all that’s been done, it’s hoped the Standard 4-6-2 will now be able to work through to summer 2020, when boiler work will become due.
Britannia, fresh out of the paint shop at Crewe, on November 19.