Exciting news – The Duke’s return to Crewe (Press Release)


The Duke pictured above at Crewe in May 1954.  This year is the Duke’s 70th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the rescue from Barry Scrapyard.


The Trust is excited to announce the next phase of the Duke’s future.  We are keen to update everyone with the latest development, including the Trustees’ responsibilities to ensure a secure future for the Duke. This includes making him available to see, hear and ride behind, along with having a business model which takes care of our loco financially.

We have held meetings with a various people, including our friends at Vintage Trains, but having carefully considered all the options we have signed an initial 10-year agreement with the Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust based at Crewe (see the Press Release below). This will see the Duke join the steam fleet based at Crewe and will work mainline tours along with appropriate periods on Heritage Railways. This agreement satisfies our responsibilities.

Following the completion of the current overhaul the Duke will spend a period of running-in on the Severn Valley Railway, which will not be open to the public although obviously you can see him during any visits you may make. He will then move to Crewe for a number of loaded test runs.

This agreement is commercially confidential and therefore the details of it cannot be made public.

Trevor R Tuckley
Chairman of Trustees
Email: chairman@theduke.uk.com


14th February 2024


BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust and Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust Agreement

The BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust and the Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust have signed a ten-year agreement to facilitate the operation of 71000 Duke of Gloucester on the mainline.

 The BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust (BRC8SLT) and Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust (RSL&GT) today announce a new partnership agreement for the operation of 71000 The Duke of Gloucester when its present overhaul is completed in 2024. The agreement will see 71000 based at Crewe for mainline tours, interspersed with periods of operation on heritage railways.  The Locomotive will be operated primarily by Locomotive Services (TOC) Limited (LSTOC) and will haul Saphos Trains’ rail tours.

The agreement is designed to assist in ensuring the mainline future of this iconic and unique locomotive, making him available for tours throughout the UK where he will be able to be seen, heard and ridden behind. The Duke will become a key member of an incredible stable of locomotives based at Crewe, including Royal Scot, Britannia, Blue Peter, Mayflower, Braunton and Sir Nigel Gresley, operating tours across the country and flying the flag for mainline steam.  Upon completion of the current overhaul, 71000 will initially move to the Severn Valley Railway for testing and commissioning before moving to Crewe to start the next chapter in his career.

This exciting agreement is a further example of collaboration between two organisations who share a common goal in the sustainable protection and operation of these iconic reminders of the age of steam in the United Kingdom.


Trevor Tuckley, Chairman of the BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust, custodians of 71000, said:

We are delighted to be part of this stable of very special steam locomotives. The Duke was built in 1954 and was intended to be the first of a class which would see steam continue until the mainlines were converted to electric traction. However, BR decided to introduce Diesels instead. The Duke was then scrapped as the only unfinished prototype. Against the odds, Colin Rhodes decided that this machine should be saved for future generations to see in working order, the final design of British Express Steam Locomotive, and so started the “Impossible Dream”. He returned it to the mainline in the configuration it was scrapped, plus the addition of a Kylchap exhaust. This latest overhaul has carried out the improvements that we believe Riddles, the designer, would have done if he had been allowed the time. This completes the “Impossible Dream”.

I would like to thank Michael Whitehouse and Alastair Meanley for their help and assistance during the Duke’s overhaul at Tyseley.


Jeremy Hosking, Trustee of the Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust and Chairman of Locomotive Services (TOC) Limited, said:

“We are delighted to have been given this wonderful opportunity to work with a like-minded organisation, who clearly share our passion for the protection and careful use of iconic steam locomotives. 71000 is a locomotive with a unique story, offering a vision of what might have been.  It is clearly supported and managed by a professional, dedicated, and enthusiastic team, whose outlook is forward-thinking whilst also pragmatic, values we hold dear at RSL&GT and within the Locomotive Services Group. I very much look forward to seeing “The Duke” heading our restored Mark 1 coaches for everyone to enjoy.”

– ENDS –


Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust

Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust is a charitable trust set up in 2009 to enable ownership and restoration to mainline running condition of the London Midland and Scottish Railway Royal Scot Class Locomotive No 6100 Royal Scot.

The Trust has since expanded and now owns and runs a number of mainline steam locomotives such as Britannia, Blue Peter and King Edward I.  In addition to the locomotive fleet, 2013 saw the Trust acquire London and North-Western Railway Heritage Company Limited (LNWRH), a specialist overhaul and repair organisation dedicated to the refurbishment of heritage railway vehicles. Based at Crewe, in the former Diesel Depot, LNWRH have heavily invested in this site which is now regarded as the leading facility of its type in the United Kingdom.