Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Oliver Cromwell 70013 Steam Locomotive, Dover Priory Rail Station, Kent, UK

The BR Class 7MT 4-6-2 no 70013 Oliver Cromwell Steam Locomotive venting steam on arrival at Platform 1 of the Victorian Dover Priory Railway Station, England:

BR Class 7MT 4-6-2 at Dover Priory Railway Station on The Spitfire and The Hop Picker tour (Shepherd & Neame). Britannia Class 1951-1968, restored 2008. Last Officially Repaired Steam Locomotive from Crewe Works.
(Click this Oliver Cromwell Steam Locomotive text link to see the largest size)

The photo was taken from the Folkestone Road road-bridge at 6.16 pm on Sunday, September the 3rd, 2011, after making a small detour from a cycle ride around town (1).

The 70013 Oliver Cromwell is a British Railways standard class 7 (also known as the Britannia class) preserved steam locomotive. The locomotive is notable as one of the four steam locomotives which worked the last steam railtour on British Railways (BR) in 1968 before the introduction of a steam ban (2).

Earlier this year:

The BR Britannia Class 7MT 4-6-2 no 70000 Britannia Steam Locomotive (3) and the 12-coach "Cathedrals Express" passed through Dover Priory Train Station at 5.47 pm on Thursday 7 April 2011.

The LNER A1 Class 4-6-2 no 60163 Tornado Steam Locomotive called at at 5.47 pm on Saturday, June the 18th, 2011.

The Spitfire and The Hop Picker tour (Shepherd & Neame) (4)

After a pre-event transfer from Southall WCRC (West Coast Railway Company) to Kensington Olympia with headcode 5Z81, the scheduled itinerary for the Oliver Cromwell was as follows:

Headcode 1Z82: Kensington Olympia (London), Long Hedge Jc (junction), Herne Hill, Bromley, South, Swanley, Sole Street, Rochester, Gillingham, Sittingbourne, Faversham

Headcode 1Z83: Faversham, Canterbury East, Shepherds Well, Dover Priory

Headcode 1Z84: Dover Priory (Diesel), Shepherds Well, Canterbury East, Faversham

Headcode 1Z85: Faversham, Canterbury East, Dover Priory, Folkestone Central, Ashford, Headcorn, Paddock Wood (water), Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Swanley, Bromley South, Herne Hill, Longhedge Jc (junction), Kensington Olympia The post-event transfer from Kensington Olympia to Southall WCRC had headcode 5Z84.

A headcode is a train reporting number used by railway staff in Great Britain to identify a particular train service. For example, the The Spitfire and The Hop Picker began as 1 (Express) Z (Special) 82 (ID number).

The Oliver Cromwell (2)

One of 55 of the "Britannia" class, Oliver Cromwell was built at Crewe Works, being completed on 30 May 1951. 70013 was initially allocated to Norwich depot (BR shed code 32A) on the Eastern Region of British Railways and employed on London to Norwich expresses. Some of the Norwich diagrams (the day's operating schedule for a locomotive) required two return trips a day to London totalling 460 miles. The introduction of the Britannia Pacifics revolutionised express services in East Anglia.

From 1958, diesel-electric locomotives began to replace steam locomotives. 70013 remained at Norwich until the w/e (week-ending) 16 September 1961 when transferred to March Motive Power Depot (shed code 31B), having covered 698,000 miles in just over ten years, an excellent figure. Norwich Depot, under the shedmaster Bill Harvey, was renowned for the fine mechanical condition of its locomotives.

In December 1963, 70013 was transferred to the London Midland Region at Carlisle Kingmoor Depot (shed code 12A) for freight, parcels and occasional passenger work – most regular express services were by now diesel-hauled. The north-west of England became the steam locomotive's last area of operation on BR. On 3 October 1966, 70013 entered Crewe Works and became the last BR-owned steam locomotive to undergo routine heavy overhaul, being out-shopped after a special ceremony in February 1967.

70013 was selected to operate the last steam passenger train prior to the abolition of steam traction on British Railways lines, and in the summer of 1968 Oliver Cromwell hauled several specials, culminating in the Fifteen Guinea Special which ran between Liverpool and Carlisle on 11 August that year and which 70013 hauled on the Manchester to Carlisle leg of the trip.

Preservation (2)

Oliver Cromwell became part of the National Railway Museum's National Collection immediately after the end of the Fifteen Guinea Specialv (70000 _Britannia, later preserved privately, had previously been earmarked for this move). Despite a steam ban after the 11 August 1968, 70013 moved under its own steam on 12 August to its old shed at Norwich and then, on 13 August, to Diss whence she was transported by road to Bressingham Steam and Gardens. At Bressingham, 70013 was in service to provide footplate rides until the 1980s, before retiring into the museum exhibition.

In 2004, it was announced that Oliver Cromwell would be restored to main-line standard in preparation for the 40th anniversary of the end of steam, with significant financial assistance from the readers of Steam Railway magazine. The locomotive was overhauled at the Great Central Railway (GCR) with a view to hauling trains both on the Great Central and specials on the main line.

On the weekend of the 3 May – 4 May 2008, the locomotive hauled its first revenue-earning passenger services since being restored on the GCR's eight-mile route. The locomotive made an appearance at the National Railway Museum's 1968 and All That event celebrating 40 years since the end of steam.

Its first mainline passenger charter since 1968 was on August 10, 2008 when the locomotive took part in a re-run of the Fifteen Guinea Special. It then went on to operate on the Scarborough Spa Express later in the month.

A Lament for the Departure of The Last Officially Repaired Steam Locomotive from Crewe Works (5)

Catenaries and pantographs
May all be well –
Appurtenances of an age
When electricity’s all the rage
And coal can go to Hell;
We’ll try to put the blame on Fate
When current fails to alternate.
But railways held their highest stock
When engines ran on igneous rock

Yes, Britain knew her greatest fame
In Old King Coal’s refulgent reign

Now linear induction fills
The next progressive need,
And diesel – turbines too are planned
To fuel us to the Promised Land
At astronomic speed;
And when at length the L.M.R.
Goes wholly thermo-nuclear
We’ll shed a sad nostalgic tear
For those We Loved in Yesteryear.

Great Britain played her greates role
When locos. ran on best steam coal.


"Noted, on the back of the celebratory leaflet "to be rendered soulfully to the tune of The Chancellor's Song from Iolanthe." The locomotive was 70013, Oliver Cromwell. 2 February 1967."

BR Standard Class 7 Specifications (6)

Power Type: Steam
Designer: Robert Riddles
Builder: BR Crewe Works (built 1840 by Grand Junction Railway)
Build date: January 1951 – September 1954
Total production: 55
Configuration: 4-6-2
UIC classification: 2'C1'h
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Leading wheel diameter: 3 ft 0 in (0.914 m)
Driver diameter: 6 ft 2 in (1.880 m)
Trailing wheel diameter: 3 ft 3½ in (1.003 m)
Length: 68 ft 9 in (20.96 m)
Width: 8 ft 8¾ in (2.66 m)
Height: 13 ft ½ in (3.98 m)
Axle load: 20.50 long tons (20.83 t)
Weight on drivers: 61.50 long tons (62.49 t)
Locomotive weight: 94.00 long tons (95.51 t)
Tender weight: BR1: 49.15 long tons (49.94 t), BR1A: 52.50 long tons (53.34 t), BR1D: 54.50 long tons (55.37 t)
Tender type: BR1 (40), BR1A (5), or BR1D (10)
Fuel type: Coal
Fuel capacity: BR1/BR1A: 7.0 long tons (7.1 t), BR1D: 9.0 long tons (9.1 t)
Water capacity: BR1 4,250 imp gal (19,300 l; 5,100 US gal), BR1A: 5,000 imp gal (23,000 l; 6,000 US gal), BR1D: 4,750 imp gal (21,600 l; 5,700 US gal)
Boiler: BR1
Boiler pressure: 250 psi (1.72 MPa)
Fire grate area: 42 sq ft (3.9 m2)
Heating surface: Tubes and flues: 2,264 sq ft (210.3 m2)
Heating surface: Firebox: 210 sq ft (20 m2)
Superheater area: 718 sq ft (66.7 m2)
Cylinders: Two, outside
Cylinder size: 20 × 28 in (508 × 711 mm)
Tractive effort: 32,150 lbf (143.0 kN)
Factor of adhesion: 4.23
Career: British Railways
Power class: 7MT
Number: 70000–70054
Axle load class: Route availability 8; BR (WR): red
Locale: Eastern Region, London Midland Region, Scottish Region, Southern Region, Western Region
Withdrawn: June 1965 – August 1968
Disposition: Two preserved, remainder scrapped

History of Dover Priory Train Station (7)

The Victorian Dover Priory opened on 22 July 1861 as the temporary terminus of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR). It became a through station on 1 November 1861 with the completion of a tunnel though the Western Heights to gain access to the Western Docks area, where LCDR created Dover Harbour station.

Initially the station was known as Dover Town but was renamed in July 1863 (leading to rival SER to adopt the name for one of its Dover stations). Southern consolidated passenger services at Dover Priory in 1927 and modernised the station in 1932.

The Chatham Main Line into Priory was electrified in 1959 as part of Stage 1 of Kent Coast Electrification, under the BR 1955 Modernisation Plan. The line up to Ramsgate, via Deal was subsequently electrified under stage two of Kent Coast electrification in January 1961. The line from Folkestone into Dover Priory was electrified in June 1961.


(1) One lap of Robsons Yard - Eastern Docks - Prince of Wales Pier - Robsons Yard.
(2) Wikipedia entry for BR standard class 7 70013 Oliver Cromwell
(3) For many years, Britannia had her cab roof painted white. This was to commemorate her pulling the funeral train of King George VI - of "The King's Speech" film fame - from Norfolk to London following his death on the 6th of February 1952 at Sandringham House, Norfolk.
(4) From uksteam.info: The Spitfire and The Hop Picker
(5) Poem from Dow’s dictionary of railway quotations, by Andrew Dow (2006)
(6) Wikipedia entry for BR standard class 7
(7) Wikipedia entry for Dover Priory Railway Station

More detailed information, including links to the sources used, can be found on this photo's original webpage at:

The Oliver Cromwell 70013 Steam Locomotive, Dover Priory Rail Station

Also see:

The Funeral Locomotive of King George VI, Dover Priory Rail Station
Canterbury Tornado 60163 Steam Locomotive, Dover Priory Rail Station
Dover Priory Rail Station, Folkestone Road, from the Western Heights
Night Panorama of Dover Priory Rail Station from the Western Heights

For a partial view of the old Dover Marine Railway Station building (Western Docks) see:

Lord Warden House at Daybreak, St Martin's Battery, Western Heights, Dover

An Urban Dover history photo.

All photos relating to trains and rail transport are indexed under the Dover Priory Rail Station, Railway and Railway Station category labels.

Clickable thumbnails of most railway-related photos from the main Panoramio Images of Dover website are available on this blog on the Urban Page (also linked to below the blog title).

The main site Panoramio photos are each accompanied by a Google Earth satellite map. However, the images are smaller than those on the Images of Dover Blog and the captions are less well formatted.

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

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