Welcome to The BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust,

custodians of steam locomotive Number 71000 DUKE OF GLOUCESTER known by many as “The Duke”.

The Duke’s history is so interesting it has a section of its own (see Menu above) but what you need to know here is that he is UNIQUE.

The Duke is a unique steam locomotive in the following ways: –

It is the only one of its Class (8P) built

It is the only double-chimney British Railways Standard Pacific (4-6-2) locomotive

It is the only British Railways Standard Pacific locomotive with Caprotti Valve Gear

It is the only British Railways Standard locomotive to be equipped with a 10-ton coal capacity tender (BR1E, later BR1J with steam powered coal pusher)

Of the 999 British Railways Standard class locomotives built it is the only one with 3 cylinders

The Duke is currently based at Tyseley Locomotive Works in Birmingham  and is undergoing a heavy general overhaul in order to return it to mainline operational condition.

A number of minor modifications are being made in order to maintain the locomotive’s compatibility with the latest developments in railway safety technology. It is the objective of the Trust to achieve this by late 2021 and, within the constraints imposed by operation on the 21st century railway, to restore The Duke as closely as possible to its original 1954 external condition and livery on completion of the overhaul.

The maintenance of The Duke is funded primarily by public support including membership subscriptions, donations and fares paid for rail-tours hauled by the locomotive when in service.


The latest posts about The Duke

Todays Railways

Update on ‘The Duke’

Become a member of The Duke family.

To do this simply subscribe as a member of the Trust. Click here for details. You will be helping us to fund the return of The Duke to mainline operation later next year and will be making a valuable contribution to the preservation of our railway heritage. There are also opportunities to have a more hands on involvement, for example, working with the support crew or as a member of the sales team. Whatever you choose there will be a warm welcome for you within the Trust.

As a member you will receive exclusive updates about the progress of the overhaul, as well as behind-the-scenes glimpses into the process. But, most of all, you make a real contribution to safeguard this iconic engine for future generations. Find out more about Membership and how you can support this much-loved locomotive. As an incentive members will be offered a seat on the loaded test run of The Duke at £10 each on a first-come, first-served basis.

Join The Duke family NOW!

Boiler Tube Appeal

With The Duke’s boiler now back in the frames it’s time to retube it. We are asking Trust members and wider supporters alike to sponsor a boiler tube. There are 136 small tubes and 40 larger flue tubes that contain the superheater elements. Small tubes are £140 to sponsor whilst flue tubes are £500.