Vintage Trains and the BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust have announced a ten-year arrangement which sees 71000 ‘Duke of Gloucester’ join their fleet of locomotives.
The Trust has agreed with Vintage Trains the deal that will see 71000 maintained at Tyseley for the duration of its 10-year ticket. It comes into effect once its current overhaul is complete.
Vintage Trains Limited and its newly formed Train Operating Company will be the primary operator of the locomotive and also the promoter of tours with ‘The Duke’.
The locomotive will be appearing at Tyseley Open Days and on the Shakespeare Expresses.
It is also intended for ‘The Duke’ to also appear at mainline connected heritage railways when not on mainline duties.
What did the officials say?
Ben Mason, Vintage Trains, said:
We are very proud that the BR Class 8 SLT has chosen Tyseley Loco Works and Vintage Trains to be the home for “The Duke” for the next ten years. We look forward to seeing the Loco 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, Chairman of Trustees BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust, 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. We see the aims and objectives of the Community Benefit Society to create and develop a new and unique approach for the future of high quality, steam operated services very much as the way forward in what is a dynamically challenging and changing heritage railway industry. “The Duke”, which is the only unique mainline steam locomotive, will be best showcased and appreciated as a result of this agreement.