Peterborough is hosting a gigantic piece of rail history with the visit from Sir Nigel Gresley – the East Coast Pacific saved from the scrap man by volunteers in 1965.
“It back here because we asked for it,” said Rail World volunteer Brian Pearce.
“It has a lot of East Coast main line memories for many of us.”
Sir Nigel Gresley arrived on Wednesday and is visiting the Nene Valley Railway for two weeks from after a £1,000,000 overhaul by volunteers.
Nigel said restoration of engines such as the Sir Nigel Gresley have revived skills that might otherwise have been lost.
He said it is remarkable to recall that once steam was abolished by British Rail, they cut up some 20,000 steam engines.
“At one point in the 1969s, over 20 per cent of British Rail’s income came from scrap.”
Sir Nigel Gresley was the 100th Gresley Pacific built by the Great Northern Railway / London and North Eastern Railway.
Built at Doncaster as works N°1863, the locomotive entered service in 1937 following a naming ceremony at Marylebone station on 26th November.
The locomotive was mainly based at London King’s Cross, with a spell at Grantham during World War II, and was briefly re-numbered as N°7 before becoming N°60007 when the LNER was merged into British Railways.
On 3rd June 1956, Sir Nigel Gresley had the honour of hauling the Royal Train from King’s Cross to York with H.M. the Queen on board.
The ‘Stephenson Locomotive Society Special’ of the 23rd of May 1959 was the first train in the UK with a booked or advertised schedule of over 100 m.p.h. and during that trip, N°60007 set the official post-war speed record for steam traction of 112 mph.
Find out more about what’s on at Nene Valley by clicking this link
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