Unique BR ‘8P’ No. 71000 Duke of Gloucester has joined the Vintage Trains stable, after the BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust signed a ten-year agreement with the Tyseley-based organisation.
The agreement means that, once its overhaul has been completed, ‘The Duke’ will be based and maintained at Tyseley for the duration of its ten-year boiler ticket. In addition, Vintage Trains will become the Riddles-designed ‘Pacific’s’ primary railtour promotor and operator during its ticket, once VT has formed its own Train Operating Company.
Duke of Gloucester will also make appearances at Tyseley Locomotive Works open days, as well as at main line-connected preserved railways’ enthusiast galas.
VT spokesman, Ben Mason, said: “We are very proud that the BR Class 8 SLT has chosen Tyseley Locomotive Works and Vintage Trains to be the home for ‘The Duke’ for the next ten years.
“We look forward to seeing the locomotive hauling passenger charters on our regular routes, including ‘The Welsh Marches’, ‘The Cotswold Express’ and our ‘Cumbrian Expresses’. ‘The Duke’ will add another dimension and variety to Tyseley’s expanding family of locomotives.
“The BR Class 8 SLT volunteers and supporting staff bring a level of professionalism that will blend well and enhance both organisations’ teams. We look forward to a long and happy partnership.”
Trevor Tuckley, BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust Chairman of Trustees, said: “We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Vintage Trains. We believe that there are synergies between the trust and Vintage Trains that can be used to the benefit of both organisations.”
Read more about ‘The Duke’s’ new partnership with Vintage Trains in the latest edition of Steam Railway, on sale March 30.
For more information and to buy shares in Vintage Trains’ Community Benefit Society, visit: www.vintagetrains.co.uk/offerinfo.aspx