BR Standard Class 7 70000 Britannia

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70000 Britannia in April 2012

BR Standard Class 7 No 70000 Britannia was resident on the SVR between 1971 and 1989.

70000 Britannia was the first of the R.A. Riddles designed British Railways standard locomotives to be built, emerging from the Crewe workshops in January 1951. During BR service 70000 was chosen to haul the funeral train of King George VI from King's Lynn to London following his death in February 1952. Britannia was withdrawn from service by BR in May 1966, after 15 years of service.

Initially 70000 was stored as a candidate for the National Railway Museum’s National Collection. However, due to her prototype design and construction differences, the NRM selected 70013 Oliver Cromwell, instead. Britannia was eventually bought by Britannia Locomotive Company Ltd.

Britannia arrived at the SVR in April 1971 for restoration to be completed. This was achieved in May 1978, 12 years, after the locomotive had last steamed. 70000 was renamed ‘Britannia’ at a ceremony on 20 May 1978 by Mr R A Riddles, the locomotive’s designer. However the locomotive saw minimal use on the SVR before departing onto the main line, as its weight of 94 tons and axle load of 20 tons 5cwt made it too heavy for the line at the time - in particular it was not allowed over Victoria Bridge with a full boiler[1].

Britannia left the SVR in spring 1989. After a period of ownership by Pete Waterman, the locomotive was bought by Jeremy Hosking and was transferred to the Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust [2]. As of February 2015 it is operated on the main line by Icons of Steam[3]. Britannia returned as a guest locomotive for the 2015 Autumn Steam Gala.


SVR News

  1. The Severn Valley Railway, John Marshall (1989), p181.
  2. Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust web page Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  3. Icons of Steam Retrieved 25 February 2015.

See also