Steam locomotive 70000 Britannia at stable at West Somerset Railway this summer
This summer the West Somerset Railway (WSR) will provide parking facilities for steam locomotive No. 70000 Brittany and a support trainer on behalf of Locomotive Services Ltd Crewe (LSL).
Britannia will be used to carry the Taunton to Kingswear sections of Saphos Trains’ charter trains, the ‘English Riviera Express’. It will be parked overnight at Bishops Lydeard on the West Somerset Railway and will be tied up at Taunton for journeys through Somerset and Devon.
The WSR will provide driver-driver services for the section between Bishops Lydeard and Norton Fitzwarren Junction where the WSR joins the Great Western main line. At the start of each trip, the locomotive will be started on the triangle at Norton Fitzwarren. The partnership between LSL, Saphos Trains and the WSR will continue until September 13.
The BR Standard Pacific 4-6-2 No. 70000 Britannia was built at Crewe Works in 1951. It was the first British Railways standard locomotive to be built and the first of 55 Britannia class locomotives.
Tony Bush, Managing Director of LSL, said: “We are very grateful to WSR for their hospitality during our operations in the West Country in 2022, and we look forward to building a lasting relationship with the team there.”
Jon Jones-Pratt, President of WSR, said, “We are extremely pleased to see such a valuable relationship and business come to fruition, and are confident that we can provide this strategic operational advantage to the national network for rail operating companies. looking to harness both steam and diesel to the West Country.
“Our team is delighted to support this LSL program, which will no doubt be of great help to the Crewe-based operation. This innovation is part of our ongoing business recovery and development plan, and for us, it is another milestone to celebrate.
“I am grateful to everyone who has been involved in this project, and to the directors of LSL who have shown their confidence in the West Somerset Railway as an operation to invest in and secure this operating contract. “