GRESLEY ‘A4’ No. 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley is to spend the next 10 years as part of the Crewe-based Locomotive Services Ltd (LSL) fleet as part of an agreement between the Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust (SNGLT) and the Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust (RSL>).
The agreement will see No. 60007 step into the void left by classmate No. 4464 Bittern at Crewe once its overhaul is completed at the National Railway Museum later this year. The ‘Streak’ will be operated by LSL and become one of the principle locomotives hauling railtours for Saphos Trains, although this is not an exclusive arrangement. Visits to heritage lines will also be considered, and the streamlined Pacific will spend regular periods running at its long-term home at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
The SNGLT hopes that the arrangement will help guarantee Sir Nigel Gresley’s long-term future as a main line performer, while providing income to fund its next 10-yearly overhaul. The Trust is projecting that at least 50% of the overhaul costs can be met in this way, with the remaining 50% coming through the SNGLT’s own fund-raising activities, hire fees from preserved line visits and its popular Members’ Days.
The current engineering team will remain closely tied to the loco, which is actively investigating a new base where it will be able to develop its youth volunteer activities and apprenticeship opportunities.
“During the last 10-year boiler ticket, it became clear that we needed a different arrangement for main line operation for No. 60007,” said SNGLT chairman Nigel Wilson. Our situation as a single locomotive-owning organisation presented significant difficulties in achieving suitable railtour programmes… some years we didn’t do any tours at all, which was unacceptable for a locomotive line Sir Nigel Gresley.
“I am pleased that productive discussions with the Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust have resulted in a very good agreement for both organisations, allowing a balance of main line running and heritage running.”
RSL> trustee Jeremy Hosking echoed Mr Wilson’s sentiments, adding: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with the Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust. We see this agreement as the start of an exciting and enduring partnership between our organisations, that will see No. 60007 return to regular main line use alongside visits to heritage railways.”
No. 60007’s sister engine Bittern left the LSL facility in Crewe in June of last year to take up residence in the Locomotive Storage Ltd facility in Margate, Kent, where it will form one of the attractions in a new visitor centre adjacent to the Hornby site.