Oliver Cromwell

Resource Type: Image | Posted on 14th November 2011 by Liam Physick

This article from the Liverpool Echo describes the Oliver Cromwell, Britain’s last express steam locomotive BR Standard Class 7 (also known as the Britannia Class) No. 70013 embarking on a run from Liverpool Lime Street to Llandudno, as part of the Daily Post and Echo’s North Wales Coast Express - the Princess Elizabeth will be the next locomotive to be chosen for this honour. The North Wales Coast Express is an annual summer steam service, running since 2008: it takes place every Sunday in August and on the August Bank Holiday Monday. The Oliver Cromwell was one of 55 locomotives in the Britannia Class, and was built at Crewe, being completed on 30th May 1951. It was originally allocated to Norwich Depot on the Eastern Region of British Railways, and pulled express trains between London and Norwich, covering the distance in 20 minutes less than any previous locomotive. On 16th September 1961, it was transferred to the March Motive Power Depot in Cambridgeshire, after covering 698,000 miles in just 10 years. In December 1963, it was moved again, this time to the Carlisle Kingmoor Depot on the London Midland Region pulling goods, mail trains and occasional passenger services - by now, diesels had taken over most express services, and the North West of England was now the only part of BR which still used steam locomotives. On 3rd October 1966, it was sent to Crewe Works for an overhaul - the last ever for a steam engine on BR - and left the Works in a special ceremony in February 1967. In the summer of 1968, as steam traction on British Rail came to an end, the Oliver Cromwell hauled a number of special trains, the last of which was the Fifteen Guinea Special from Liverpool to Carlisle on 11th August 1968: the Oliver Cromwell pulled the Manchester to Carlisle leg. This was the last-ever steam-hauled train on British Rail (except on the Vale of Rheidol Railway). The Oliver Cromwell then became part of the National Railway Museum’s National Collection, as it remains, and was transferred to Bressingham Steam and Gardens, where it provided footplate rides until the 1980s, when it was retired to the Museum. Beginning in 2004, it was overhauled on the Great Central Railway, where it pulled its first train post-overhaul on the weekend of 3rd-4th May 2008. In the same year, it appeared at the National Railway Museum’s 1968 and All That exhbition, marking 40 years since the end of steam, and took part in a re-run of the Fifteen Guinea Special. It has gone on several main-line railtours since then, and is maintained annually at Loughborough, where the Great Central Railway is based, before each season of tours

Oliver Cromwell

Tagged under: steam locomotives, tender locomotives, liverpool lime street station, goods, british rail, passengers, freight, heritage railways, mail trains, princess elizabeth

Categorised under: Landmarks, Landscapes & Locomotives

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