Going Loco!     The Great Central Railway, Past and Present
by John Neave

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Past and Present - BR Standard Pacifics 4-6-2 8P, 7P6F

71000 "Duke of Gloucester" was the last new design of Pacific steam loco in the UK. Built in 1954, to replace the Princess Royal engine destroyed in the Harrow disaster, this 3 cylinder modern loco performed well on the old LMS, and I saw the engine frequently hauling the "Mid-day Scot". However due to its uniqueness it had a short life, being stored for disposal in 1962. 71000 was reserved for National preservation, but a change of heart saw only the cylinders and valve gear removed for museum display, and the remainder was sent to Barry scrapyard.

71000 Rothley
71000 backs onto its train at Rothley (13) on 12th April 1984

70028 "Royal Star" at Colwick 27th July 1965

The cannibalised hulk of 71000 was taken to Loughborough in 1974, and one of the most amazing projects was started to rebuild the loco to Main Line standards. There was little money and many parts had to be made from scratch, but eventually in 1986 the aim was achieved with 71000 in steam again.


The earlier 2 cylinder Standard Pacific "Britannia" locos saw work on the GCR in the early 60's. They were probably considered too good for the GCR as after short periods of running these locos were transferred elsewhere.

In another short spell in late 1965 the "Britannias" interrupted the Black 5 domination of the line. The larger tender versions were used as there were limited watering facilities on the line by this time.


70052 "Firth of Tay" at Nott'm in October 1965

BR Standard 2-10-0 9F

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