‘Duke’ will return in 2020 – but only if £100,000 shortfall can be met

A FINANICIAL shortfall of more than £100,000 could delay the return to service of unique BR ‘8P’ Pacific No. 71000 Duke of Gloucester.

This follows a series of unforeseen but necessary repairs were highlighted at Tyseley Locomotive Works (TLW).

The BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust had been working to a forecast cost of £620,000 to complete the contract overhaul at Tyseley, which had included the purchase of £30,000-worth of shares in the Vintage Trains (VT) Community Benefit Society. 

BR ‘8P’ No. 71000 Duke of Gloucester passes Watersmeet, West Somerset Railway, with the 18.00 Bishops Lydeard-Minehead train on March 27, 2010. The BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust needs £104,500 to complete the Pacific’s overhaul. DON BISHOP

This move was part of a wider agreement between the trust and VT, which will see the ‘Duke’ become part of the Tyseley fleet for the duration of its next 10-year ticket, with VT being its primary operator and promoter. 

However, since then it has been found that eight of the loco’s driving axle bearings require replacement owing to excessive wear; four on the crank axle and two each on the other two. 

Read more in the April 2019 issue of The RM – on sale now!

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