Oliver Cromwell, a 4-6-2 Configuration Steam Locomotive

Picture of Oliver Cromwell, a steam locomotive from the olden days
Oliver Cromwell


Built: 1951 at Crewe Works

Description: Britannia class (BR standard class 7)

Duties: Initially allocated to Norwich depot and employed on London to Norwich expresses.

Significant Events: In 1966, 70013 became the last BR-owned steam locomotive to undergo routine heavy overhaul, being out-shopped after a special ceremony in February 1967. Was selected to operate the last steam passenger train prior to the abolition of steam traction on British Railways lines, and in the summer of 1968 hauled several specials, including the Manchester to Carlisle leg of the Fifteen Guinea Special between Liverpool and Carlisle.
A "blowback" of the locomotive fire while running on the East Coast Main Line injured 3 members of the train crew. The incident occurred on 27 May 2012, as the train was travelling through Wood Green tunnel in north London. The locomotive fire blew back into the cab as the locomotive entered the tunnel and continued to do so until the driver was able to bring the situation under control by use of the blower (a device fitted to steam locomotives which draws the hot gas from the fire towards the chimney). The train was stopped at New Barnet to allow two of the staff to be taken by ambulance to hospital. They were released after treatment later that day. The driver's injuries were minor and he was able to continue with the train.

Retirement: Oliver Cromwell became part of the National Railway Museum's National Collection immediately after the end of the Fifteen Guinea Special. Moved to its old shed at Norwich and then to Diss, then transported by road to Bressingham Steam & Gardens. At Bressingham, provided footplate rides until the 1980s, before retiring into the museum exhibition. In 2004, it was announced that Oliver Cromwell would be restored to main-line standard in preparation for the 40th anniversary of the end of steam. The locomotive was overhauled at the Great Central Railway (GCR) to mainline standards. In 2008 she hauled her first revenue-earning passenger services since being restored on the GCR's eight-mile route. The locomotive made an appearance at the National Railway Museum's "1968 and All That" event celebrating 40 years since the end of steam.


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