Duke’s future is secured

By Cedric Johns

FOLLOWING protracted discussions which have taken years to reach fruition, the future of British Railway’s only example of a three cylinder 8P 4-6-2, No. 71000 Duke of Gloucester, has been secured for a period of at least 50 years.

Currently undergoing heavy overhaul at Tyseley, the 4-6-2 is now in the ownership of the BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust.

The official transfer of ownership from the 71000 (Duke of Gloucester) Steam Locomotive Trust (the comany) was signed off at management meeting at the end of October.

The refurbished tender of No. 71000 Duke of Gloucester with the coal pusher clearly visible. TREVOR TUCKLEY

In a letter addressed to members, trust chairman Trevor Tuckley explained that the move to consolidate ownership of the Duke has been finalised following a series of meetings traced back to events which occurred after the engine failed at Eastleigh when working a Bournemouth-Oxford excursion during the summer of 2012.

As a result of the failure the 4-6-2 languished in the open air in a siding inside Eastleigh Works’ yard until it was finally transported to Crewe in 2013.

At that time the company was in financial difficulties and unable to raise enough money to carry out the necessary overhaul.

Aware of the situation the trust contacted the company asking for help in securing the Duke’s future. This prompted a series of meetings and discussions which were only finally resolved this October.

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