Steam train set to return to its roots

VIDEO One of the most famous steam engines of all time will be returning to its East Anglian roots next year to help mark the 40th anniversary of the end of steam in Britain.

ONE of the most famous steam engines of all time will be returning to its East Anglian roots next year to help mark the 40th anniversary of the end of steam in Britain.

The Britannia class pacific locomotive Oliver Cromwell was a familiar sight on the region's lines in the 1950s.

It moved back to East Anglia after hauling the last ever steam service on British Railways in 1968 to become an exhibit at the Bressingham Steam Museum.

However it has always been owned by the National Railway Museum, and in 2004 the decision was taken to restore it to working order in time for the 40th anniversary of the end of steam in 2008.

That restoration work is now nearing completion at the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire, and now plans are being made for a national tour by the locomotive next summer.

It is due to haul special trains between London and Norwich, through Ipswich, as part of the tour - as well as a special train from East Anglia to the National Railway Museum in York.

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Oliver Cromwell will be hauling special trains from London to Norwich on June 11 and 13. Both trains will start in London, and will travel through Ipswich.

The trains are run by Steam Dreams - and further details will be made available on the company's website www.steamdreams.com

Oliver Cromwell is also due to be the centrepiece of a special exhibition at the museum to be held next summer.

That exhibition is expected to be the largest event at the museum since 2004 - and a special train from East Anglia will take visitors to the event on May 24.

The train is being run by Nenta Traintours, and will pick up passengers at Ipswich, and Stowmarket - details can be obtained from the company's website at www.nentatraintours.co.uk

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