‘Cromwell’ to bow out at Keighley & Worth Valley gala

Steam Railway appeal engine ‘Britannia’ No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell will bow out of service at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway’s ‘Spring Gala’ in March.

 Confirmed for the Keighley & Worth Valley 'Spring Gala' on March 9-11, 'Brit' No. 70013  Oliver Cromwell  passes Woodthorpe on the Great Central Railway on August 12 2017. PAUL BIGGS

Confirmed for the Keighley & Worth Valley 'Spring Gala' on March 9-11, 'Brit' No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell passes Woodthorpe on the Great Central Railway on August 12 2017. PAUL BIGGS

Subject to final contracts and agreements, the National Collection ‘7MT’ – whose boiler certificate expires that month – will appear at the three-day March 9-11 event, kick-starting the Keighley-Oxenhope line’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

No. 70013 comes courtesy of the National Railway Museum and the 5305 Locomotive Association, and is expected to make its final main line trip arriving into Keighley, before being transported by road back to its base at the Great Central Railway after the event.

KWVR Events Organiser Kieran Pilsworth says: “It's fitting that, when the KWVR opened 50 years ago, No. 70013 was still working specials for BR and had yet to do its famous ‘1T57’ railtour. In our 50th year we're delighted to be able to welcome Oliver Cromwell to our line."

The two-cylinder Riddles-designed ‘Pacific’ joins previously announced visiting Somerset & Dorset ‘7F’ No. 53808 – courtesy of the West Somerset Railway – and Ian Riley’s ‘Black Five’ No. 44871. Both the ‘Black Five’ and Oliver Cromwell famously took part in the ‘Fifteen Guinea Special’ on August 11 1968, the last steam-hauled passenger service on British Rail.

The ’68 veterans will join KWVR residents BR ‘4MT’ No. 75078, Midland ‘4F’ No. 43924 – which was rescued from Barry the month after the end of BR steam and was the first engine to leave the scrapyard – USATC ‘S160’ No. 5820 and Taff Vale Railway ‘O2’ No. 85.

Also expected to be in steam are the Bahamas Locomotive Society’s LNWR ‘Coal Tank’ No. 1054 and Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T Works No. 1704 Nunlow, the latter making its final gala appearance before withdrawal for overhaul.

For more information, visit: http://kwvr.co.uk/event/2018-spring-gala/2018-03-09/