Recommissioning Ceremony HRH Duke of Gloucester

11th November 1986

71000 is officially recommissioned by the Trust's Honourary President HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

14th March 1990 - David Wilcock's Leading Article On The Duke's Mainline Test Run

Steam Railway - 14th March 1990

Standard Class 8 Pacific Duke of Gloucester was to lead a new breed of steam traction into the late 20th century but was cast aside after few inconclusive experiments. Now 28 years later, it has finally shown its true potential and on its test run of March 14 proved to be a loco capable of incredibly free steaming. If only BR had been prepared to persevere.

The speedometer needle was showing 49mph and rising as Duke of Gloucester plunged into the darkness of Bradway Tunnel, on the long 1 in 100 climb of Heeley Bank, between Sheffield and Chesterfield.

Fourteen bogies - 507 tons - jostled and swayed behind the tender, but it was almost as though they weren't there. 'The Duke' was making steam just as fast as the two firemen, shovelling alternately could feed the firebox and quicker than the injectors could feed the boiler.

With the water in the gauge glasses dipping ominously towards the bottom nut, both injectors turned full on and the safety valves screaming, there was nothing else driver Ben Taylor could do but ease back the regulator. And at that point, shortly before 1 pm on Wednesday 14th March 1990, a little bit of railway history was rewritten.

Duke of Gloucester, built in 1954 as the forerunner of a 'new generation' of three cylinder 'Pacifics' but discarded in 1962 as an erratic misfit, had proved 28 years on, to be every bit the high performance, pedigree machine that designer Robert Riddles had always intended.

True, one swallow doesn't make a summer, and one should be cautious about drawing too much from a single load trial on a test circuit of just 90 miles - but the pointers were all there. On this, the first opportunity to 'open out' the 8P on a long cut-off since it returned to steam four years ago, the engine displayed a greed for hard work, more power in reserve and a steaming capability the makes a mockery of the old, tainted image of 71000.

Reproduced by kind permission of Steam Railway Magazine.

Right: What a magnificent spectacle! The immaculately turned-out 'Duke', with no fewer than 507 tons hung behind the tender roars out of Derby on its test run on 14th March 1990.

Bishop of Carlisle at Garsdale Settle & Carlisle Railway Trust

May 1991

'The Duke' was the chosen locomotive for the inaugural train of The Settle and Carlisle Railway Trust, which ran on 28th May 1991. There was a ceremony on the platform of Settle station prior to the departure of the train.

Top Left: At Garsdale the Right Reverend Ian Harland, Bishop of Carlisle waves from the driver's seat, which he is occupying while the driver has a cup of tea.

Top Right: Also at Garsdale are shown (from left to right): Lord Inglewood, Heritage Minister, Dennis Vernon, Chairman of the Trust, and Stan Abbot, author of the book - "To Kill a Railway" (about the Settle and Carlisle).

The Oxford Mail

December 1991

The Oxford Mail

National Railway Museum National Railway Museum

April 1992

'The Duke' was the Guest of Honour at the opening of the new Great Hall at The National Railway Museum. It revisited the Museum in 1993 and was on display there for four months, interspersed with main line railtours.

Top Left: 'The Duke' is shown on the turntable in The Great Hall.

Top Right: 'The Duke' is lined up with two other prototypes - that of the High Speed Train (Intercity 125) and the "Deltic"

Granada Telethon 1992 Granada Telethon 1992

Granada Telethon 1992

The Great Engine Pulling Competition

Children in Need Specials Children in Need Specials

The BBC Children In Need Specials

'The Duke' is seen waiting to take the special of 2nd November 1995 from Liverpool Lime Street to Wembley.

Photographs by Keith Jackson

The Great Central Railway Share Issue Ceremony at Marylebone

November 1992

The Great Central Railway Share Issue Ceremony at Marylebone

Euston Station

November 1995

There is a well known painting "Duke on Camden Bank" which portrays the engine hauling a train in the 50's outside Euston. No-one would have dreamed, in 1980, when the painting was done, that such a scene would ever be seen again, nor that it would be re-enacted in spectacular fashion with a sprint up Camden Bank faster than anything achieved before.

Above: 'The Duke' awaits departure from Euston Station - The first steam locomotive to do so for 30 years.

Photograph by John Beesley.

Steam Railway - December 1993

Conquering Hero

A moment in history is captured as the unique three-cylinder BR '8P' 4-6-2 No. 71000 Duke of Gloucester, rebuilt from a Barry Wreck, passes Tebay in the wind and rain of Monday October 2nd at the start of one of the most stirring steam-powered ascents of of Shap ever recorded. The 'Duke' was the undoubted hero of the Days Out organised 'Shap Trials' which took place over the three days of September 30th, October 2 and 3. Had it not been for the terrible Harrow & Wealdstone railway disaster of 1952, Duke of Gloucester might never have been built. It was constructed to replace another unique 'Pacific' - the 'Princess Royal/Duchess' hybrid No. 46202 Princess Anne, itself a rebuild of Stanier's unique 'Turbomotive' which was destroyed in the accident.

Reproduced by kind permission of Roy Avis & Steam Railway Magazine.

150th Anniversary Open Day

August 1996

Once Crewe's most ignominious failure. Now its great pride.

Crewe Men Coax A Royal Performance From "Duke"

The Adtranz Newsletter - Summer 1996

'The Duke' on a recent outing heading the Cumbrian Mountain Express

The Duke of Gloucester has been written into the history book as the most powerful steam locomotive on British tracks - with two Crewe men on the footplate. 'The Duke' had a resounding victory over Stannier's 'Duchess of Hamilton' and Erescey's 'Sir Nigel Greasley' in the Shap Performance Trials on the West Coast Mainline. And proudly on the footplate were Crewe-based driver and fireman Ray Hatton and Pete Dykes.

Keith Collier from Crewe's Erecting Shop plays a major role in the maintenance of 'The Duke'. Crewe works other entrant in the trials 46229 Duchess of Hamilton came a creditable second place. The trials recreated the atmosphere of the 'Great Races to the North' of 50 years ago and were organised to test the designs of three great railway engineers - Greasley, Stannier and Riddles.

A rigorous course covered three peaks - Grey Rigg, Shap and Aysgill on the Settle-Carlisle Line. Each engine had to pull an identical load weighing in at 430 tons and the speed allowed at given mileposts at the start of each climb was 60 mph. On the notorious Shap Fell (1 in 75) 'The Duke' hit the milepost at 60mph and achieved a speed of 51 mph at the summit. The weather was appalling but the performance of the locomotive was stunning with both ascents breaking records for steam power with these loads.

During the run the firebox temperature reached over 3,000 degrees fahrenheit with steam temperature at 760 degrees fahrenheit, burning coal at a rate of 65 lbs per mile. The winning of the Shap Trials represents a highlight to a record year in 1995 when 'The Duke' went over white ball Summit in the West Country in a performance never matched by steam or diesel before.

After the trials 'The Duke' steamed back to East Lancashire Railway in Bury where it is stabled in Ian Riley Engineering Ltd's workshops.

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