Published 12th March 2012
YORK - During February the NRM’s Great Hall featured a fascinating – and powerful - display of the beginning and end of BR ‘Standard’ locomotive designs. Museum resident, 9F No. 92220 Evening Star (built in 1960 and the last BR ‘Standard’) was joined on the adjacent road off the turntable by BR’s first ‘standard’, 1951-built No. 70000 Britannia.
The latter came into the museum for the spell on display alongside Evening Star after working a January 24 Royal Train operation. It undertook this trip back in green livery (it had run in black for a period) which had been applied at the Gresty Road Crewe DRS depot
The two engines are the first and last of 999 Standard steam locos built by British Railways from 1950-1960, and the pairing was possibly the first time the two have met in preservation.
No. 70000 was built at Crewe Works and released to traffic in January 1951. It is a Class 7 Standard, the first of 55 of its type. It was used initially in East Anglia hauling express passenger trains between London and Norfolk, finding fame in February 1952 when it hauled the funeral train of King George VI to London.
‘Britannia’ was withdrawn in May 1966 and was destined to go into the National Collection, but due to a number of design differences with the rest of the fleet it was overlooked in favour of classmate No. 70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’. However 70000 was preserved in private hands and is currently mainline certified. The loco was on loan to the NRM after hauling Prince Charles to Wakefield aboard the Royal train in February.
No. 92210 was built at Swindon Works and released to traffic in February 1960. It was a powerful mixed-traffic locomotive, one of 251 9F Class locos and the only one to be named by BR. Not only was 92220 the last Standard built by BR, but the very last main line steam loco of all - being built at the same time as replacement diesels and electrics.
‘Evening Star’ had a planned working life of 20 years, but only survived until March 1965. Its iconic status meant it was acquired by the NRM and has been on display In York for most of the time.