About the Duke of Gloucester
The Duke is a much-loved locomotive inspiring all age groups and appealing to both stalwart steam enthusiasts and those who are new to the appeal of steam railways. What all supporters of the Duke have in common is a deep-seated affection for this unique and very special piece of our steam railway heritage.
|Type and origin|
|Builder||BR Crewe Works|
|Build date||April 1954|
The BR Standard Class 8 was a class of 4-6-2 Pacific steam locomotive designed by Robert Riddles for use by British Railways. Only the prototype was constructed, which was named Duke of Gloucester. Constructed at Crewe Works in 1954, the Duke, as it is popularly known, was a replacement for the destroyed Princess Royal Class locomotive number 46202 Princess Anne, which was involved in the Harrow and Wealdstone rail disaster of 1952.
The result was an operational period of only eight years. This unique locomotive was saved from being scrapped at Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales when it was purchased by a group of railway enthusiasts who restored it from scrapyard to as-built condition in 13 years. Since then, modifications have been made to the original design, resulting in one of the most efficient and powerful steam locomotives ever to run in Britain.
The Duke was based on the BR Standard Class 7 Britannia design. It incorporated three sets of modified Caprotti valve gear, relatively new to British locomotive engineering and more efficient than Walschaerts or Stephenson valve gear. The Duke was regarded as a failure by locomotive crews due to its poor steaming characteristics and its heavy fuel consumption. Trials undertaken by British Railways also returned negative feedback, reporting problems with the poor draughting of the locomotive which resulted in difficulty adhering to the timetables.
|Gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1435 mm)|
|Leading wheel diameter||3 ft 0 in (0.914 m)|
|Driver diameter||6 ft 2 in (1.880 m)|
|Trailing wheel diameter||3 ft 3 1⁄2 in (1.003 m)|
|Length||67 ft 8 in (20.62 m)|
|Width||9 ft 0 in (2.74 m)|
|Height||13 ft 0 1⁄2 in (3.98 m)|
|Axle load||22.00 long tons (22.35 t)|
|Weight on drivers||66.00 long tons (67.06 t)|
|Locomotive weight||101.25 long tons (102.87 t)|
|Tender weight||BR1E: 55.50 long tons (56.39 t)|
BR1J: 53.70 long tons (54.56 t)
|Tender type||1954–1958: BR1E|
|Fuel capacity||10 long tons (10 t)|
|Water capacity||BR1E: 4725 imp gal (21480 l; 5674 US gal) |
BR1J: 4325 imp gal (19660 l; 5194 US gal)
|Boiler pressure||250 psi (1.72 MPa)|
|Firegrate area||Heating surface: 48.6 sq ft (4.52 m2)|
Tubes and flues 2264 sq ft (210.3 m2)
|Firebox||226 sq ft (21.0 m2)|
|Superheater area||677 sq ft (62.9 m2)|
|Cylinder size||18 in × 28 in (457 mm × 711 mm)|