Steam Special – West Cumbrian Coast Line – 9th Feb and 8th March 2008 – British Railways (BR) standard class 8 – number 71000, Duke of Gloucester

On saturday 9th Feb 2008 the ‘Cumbrian Coast Express’ travelled from Leeds, via Preston and Barrow-in-Furness up the West Cumbrian coast, stopping for water at Workington, then continuing to Carlisle.

71000, Duke of Gloucester at Preston Station.Photo by Richard Worrall

A similar journey was made, starting from Liverpool, on saturday 8th March 2008.
The Railway Touring Company of Kings Lynn ran the train from Leeds to Carlisle and back, using the restored BR standard class 8 Duke of Gloucester, no 71000. On the outward journey it ran along the Furness Line and the Cumbrian Coast line, with crowds of people along the line photographing and filming the steam express engine.

Approaching Furness Abbey, Barrow-in-Furness. Photo by Shep Woolley

The return trip was down the West Coast Main Line over Shap.
71000 was a unique variant of the Britannia class British Railways passenger express locomotives. Errors during building prevented her from achieving design performance. These errors in the firebox and blast tube were corrected during initial conservation, revealing the most powerful steam locomotive ever to run on UK railways, a short head in front of its close ancestor the LMS Princess Coronation Class.

Approaching Flimby. Photo by Jan Fialkowski

Photographers were encouraged to send us their photos from along the route :
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