New lease of life for the Cromwell
OLIVER Cromwell is set to come back to life by the end of the decade.But the royal family doesn't need to worry about having their heads cut off, this Oliver Cromwell is 150 tons of steam engine that has spent the last 35 years in retirement on the Suffolk/Norfolk border.
OLIVER Cromwell is set to come back to life by the end of the decade.
But the royal family doesn't need to worry about having their heads cut off, this Oliver Cromwell is 150 tons of steam engine that has spent the last 35 years in retirement on the Suffolk/Norfolk border.
The Britannia class steam locomotive was the last main-line engine to be operated by British Railways in the 1960s.
And after a final railtour in August 1968 it moved to Bressingham Steam Museum.
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However it is not owned by the museum – it is part of the national collection – and now it is to be a centrepiece of the Railfest exhibition in York this summer celebrating 200 years of steam railways.
After the exhibition it is to be taken to the workshops of the Great Central Railway at Loughborough, near Leicester, where it will be restored to run again on the main line.
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The restoration is expected to take up to three years and cost £100,000 – but at the end of it the locomotive is expected to pull high-profile special trains including one to mark the 40th anniversary of its "last" train.
Oliver Cromwell is expected to make return trips to East Anglia – at the head of special trains from Liverpool Street to Norwich through Ipswich or Cambridge.
As part of the deal, the National Railway Museum is to lend large exhibits to Bressingham for temporary stays.
The first at the East Anglian museum will be Green Arrow, a wartime V2 locomotive which has been a popular performer on the main line.
This will be on show this summer, but after then a succession of large exhibits will be on display.
"This will be good for both us and Bressingham. Oliver Cromwell will go back on the main line, and there will be fresh exhibits every year for visitors at Bressingham," said an NRM spokeswoman.
nRailfest at York runs from 29 May to 6 June this year. A special train is running to the event from Ipswich, Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds on June 5.
For details contact: Nenta Traintours, Railtour House, 10 Buxton Road, North Walsham, Norfolk NR28 0ED. Tel/fax: 01692 406152