The aftermath of the disastrous crash at Harrow & Wealdstone in 1952 left a gap in the ranks of ‘Pacific’ type steam locomotives operated by the London Midland Region of British Railways. ‘Duke of Gloucester’ was designed by Robert A. Riddles who took the opportunity to design a new locomotive based on his earlier Standard ‘Britannia’ Class 7 4-6-2.
The prototype BR Standard Class 8 locomotive was fitted with British Caprotti valve gear and equipped with three cylinders. Designed at Derby and built at Crewe the locomotive entered traffic in 1954.
Withdrawn in 1962 the locomotive was eventually purchased for preservation in 1974 and underwent 12 years of restoration. In November 1986 the locomotive was officially re-commissioned and returned to the main line in 1990.
During this time the design and construction issues that had dogged the locomotive when in BR ownership were rectified, resulting in a vastly improved performance. After a second overhaul, completed in 2004, No. 71000 returned to the main line. The locomotive is now currently on display at the Crewe Heritage Centre awaiting its third overhaul.
Our Hornby engineers have developed a unique sound decoder that not only provides superior DCC control but also dedicated sounds associated with the locomotives that have been installed with this new sound decoder – TTS Twin Track Sound. The TTS Sound Manual for this locomotive can be downloaded here