Full-size replica of British Railways 'Duke of Gloucester' cab
Replica locomotive cab, British Railways, full-size cab from British Rail Class 8P Loco No.71000 'Duke of Gloucester'.
This cab mock-up was built at Crewe Works by British Railways, who sometimes built working models in order that enginemen were able to test whether the layout of a cab was workable for those who would be operating the locomotive. This mock-up was likely built just before the Duke of Gloucester locomotive itself.
The Duke of Gloucester is the only member of the proposed British Rail Standard Class 8 Pacific locomotives. Designed by Robert Riddles, the design was based on the BR Standard Class 7 Britannia locomotives, but after the prototype appeared from Crewe Works in 1954 the Railway Executive declined to order a complete batch. The Duke’s manufacture coincided with the publication of British Rail’s Modernisation Plan and production had been costly. Additionally, crews had never warmed to the locomotive and it subsequently had a short operational life of only eight years.
After serving its manufacturing purpose the cab was displayed at multiple exhibitions from the late 1950s onwards, and this exhibit at one point featured a projected film simulating a run between Willesdon and Watford.
Despite its somewhat inauspicious beginnings the Duke of Gloucester was saved from the scrapheap and restored to mainline operation by the BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust and was officially re-commissioned by HRH the Duke of Gloucester in 1986.