Steam trip off until September

A NOSTALGIC trip from London to East Anglia behind steam locomotive Oliver Cromwell has been postponed for a second time.The “Britannia” class locomotive has been fully restored at the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire and has been pulling tourist trains on the ten-mile line for several weeks.

A NOSTALGIC trip from London to East Anglia behind steam locomotive Oliver Cromwell has been postponed for a second time.

The “Britannia” class locomotive has been fully restored at the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire and has been pulling tourist trains on the ten-mile line for several weeks.

However before it can be allowed to run on the main line special electronic equipment has to be installed so modern signals can recognise it is on the track.

There has been a delay in fitting and testing this equipment, which means its trip scheduled for July 24 has had to be delayed.

The trip was originally scheduled for June 11, but had to be postponed because work on the engine was not complete. Now trip organisers Steam Dreams are hoping Oliver Cromwell should make its East Anglian debut at the start of August.

The engine's second run, scheduled to take place on September 20, should not be affected by the delay.

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Graham Bunker from Steam Dreams said: “To say we are disappointed is a bit of an under-statement. We have had to reschedule the trip and are still waiting for confirmation when it will run.

“We have to go for the beginning of September because we are aware that many people who will have booked for the July trip will be on holiday in August.”

Oliver Cromwell's first main-line trip is now scheduled to be the 40th anniversary run commemorating British Rail's farewell to steam trip in August 1968.

The engine was the star of that trip before being handed over to the National Railway Museum and put on display at Bressingham Steam Museum on the Suffolk/Norfolk border for 36 years.

Four years ago the NRM decided to restore the engine to working order in time for the 40th anniversary of its “last run” on BR tracks.

The trip on July 24 was a sell-out, but thousands of photographers had been expected to turn out to picture the engine which began its British Railways career as an East Anglian engine hauling expresses between London and Norwich through Ipswich.

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