BR standard class 7 70000 Britannia


BR standard class 7 70000 Britannia

Infobox Locomotive
name="Britannia"
powertype=Steam
gauge=RailGauge|sg
railroad=British Railways
railroadclass=standard class 7
roadnumber=70000
builder=British Railways Crewe works
builddate=2 January 1951
numinclass=55
officialname="Britannia"
retiredate=1966
currentowner=Jeremy Hoskins under restoration at The Railway Age, Crewe| return to steam expected to be 2008

British Railways (BR) standard class 7 (also known as Britannia class), number 70000 "Britannia" is a preserved steam locomotive. "Britannia" was built at Crewe and was completed on 2 January 1951.

"Britannia" was the first standard express locomotive to be built after the formation of British Railways in 1948 and the first of 55 locomotives of the Britannia class. The locomotive was named at a ceremony at Marylebone station by the then Minister for Transport Alfred Barnes on 30 January 1951.

For many years, "Britannia" had her cab roof painted white. This was to commemorate her pulling the funeral train of King George VI from Norfolk to London following his death in February 1952 at Sandringham House, Norfolk.

"Britannia" was retired in 1966, after 15 years of service. Initially destined for the National Railway Museum because of her cultural significance, "Britannia" was eventually bought by the Britannia Locomotive Company Limited.

"Britannia" made her return to the main line on 27 July 1991, successfully working enthusiast trips until 1997, particularly on the Nene Valley Railway, Peterborough. It was here that the locomotive was featured in an episode of London's Burning. Due to the high cost of refurbishment, the locomotive was sold to Pete Waterman in 2000.

Currently, "Britannia" is being restored at LNWR Heritage, Crewe. At the time of writing (updated 14th March 2008) the newly refurbished cab has been test fitted, the new smoke box almost ready for fitting and the boiler is the subject of major work, currently having replacement steel sides, new crown stays, new front section barrel section, new steel and copper tubeplate, repairs and patches to door plate and major work to copper firebox. The other survivor of the class, 70013 "Oliver Cromwell", is also under restoration with a view to having it up and running in 2008. The restoration of 70000 however, it being in much worse condition than originally anticipated, will take a considerable amount longer.

External links

* [http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/irs/irshome/features/readings/archive/royal.htm Railways and Royalty]
* [http://fraserker.com/britannia/ Nigel Fraser Ker's Britannia photo collection]


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