HomeHeritageRoyal Salute for Rail Britannia

Royal Salute for Rail Britannia

HRH Prince Charles braved torrential rain at Wakefield Kirkgate station to rename 70000 Britannia.

The locomotive had just hauled the Royal Train on which the prince, a keen supporter of railways, had travelled.

Greeting the many local children who had turned out to see him, Prince Charles made his way along the platform with Pete Waterman, who owned the LNWR works in Crewe where Britannia was overhauled, before renaming the British Rail standard class locomotive.

Said a delighted Pete Waterman, ‘He loves steam engines. He’s as much of an enthusiast as I am.’

The locomotive has a strong family connection with the Prince of Wales. 70000 Britannia hauled the funeral train of King George VI, the prince’s grandfather, in 1952.

Britannia was built at Crewe works in 1951 and is only one of two, the other is Oliver Cromwell, to have survived. Sadly the vast majority of the 55 strong class were scrapped in Scotland during the late 1960s.

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