New loan agreement for steam locomotive 70013 Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell passes 'The Mound' near Oakworth on a 30742 Charter
Credit: RailAdvent

The National Railway Museum and the Great Central Railway in Loughborough have agreed on a two-year overhaul loan agreement.

The agreement will run from 12 July 2019 until 31 December 2021 and will see the locomotive based at Loughborough with the Great Central Railway named as custodians.

Great Central Railway will submit a plan to overhaul the engine and once agreed and completed, a second loan agreement will be confirmed to cover the operation of the locomotive.

It is believed work will take place at the Great Central Railway using inhouse engineering resources.

No significant mechanical or cosmetic changes are planned as part of the overhaul and the precise terms of the operational loan agreement are yet to be confirmed.

Oliver Cromwell last ran at Great Central Railway on 31 December 2018 after 10 years of operation at the railway under a joint loan agreement with the volunteer 5305 Locomotive Association. Although custodianship of the locomotive will transfer to Great Central Railway, the 5305 Locomotive Association will be heavily involved in the planned overhaul.

What did the officials say?

Head Curator and Assistant Director at the National Railway Museum, Andrew McLean, said:

“This loan agreement is in keeping with the aims of the Science Museum Group’s Operational Rail Vehicle Strategy, which reaffirms our commitment to running historically significant engines at heritage railways and on the main line.

Oliver Cromwell has enjoyed a very successful period of operation, it is popular, well maintained and occupies a unique position in UK railway history for hauling the last steam-powered passenger train on British Railways in 1968. I am excited about the prospect of seeing it back in steam.”

Managing Director of the Great Central Railway, Michael Gough, said:

“We are very proud that 70013 will be staying at the Great Central and look forward to the day when it will, once again, grace our “metals”. The GCR has a tremendous pedigree of locomotive restoration and maintenance, including Oliver Cromwell and we are delighted that the NRM has recognised this in their selection of the locomotive’s home for the next few years.”

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