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73050 - City of Peterborough

73050 is the loco that effectively started heritage railways in Peterborough.  A BR Standard class 5, built in 1954, she was bought directly from British Rail in 1968 - the year that steam haulage finished on the mainline – and was the kernel around which the Peterborough Railway Society grew, becoming The Nene Valley Railway in 1984.

Donated by Reverend Richard Paten, at the controls on the right, to the city in 1973, she was formally loaned to the railway, initially for a 100-year period but that has been replaced by a rolling 10-year agreement.  Named “City of Peterborough” in 1973, she’s the railway’s flagship locomotive featuring in practically all the significant events in NVR history.

Now in her 55th year in preservation, she’s been overhauled three times.  The current work started in 2017 and has progressed to the stage where re-assembly of the frames, wheels and motion is gathering momentum in the NVR workshops at Wansford.  The boiler, with the 70-year old steel fabric needing a most comprehensive overhaul, is with Riley’s in Heywood, Lancashire.  Work on it is progressing well and it’s hoped that, with sufficient funding, it’ll be complete in 2025-6.  While work on the loco is carried out, the tender has been loaned to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway where it runs behind the BR Standard 9F, 92134.

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Help Needed
Thanks to generous donations from individuals and from the Peterborough City Council the overhaul has been able to proceed quite well, although the Covid-19 pandemic has had direct and indirect effects. But we need more money, the estimated cost to complete the overhaul is over £500,000 and funds are currently about half that amount.  We’re running a series of programmes to suit all pockets and these are described in the paragraphs below.  We hope that one of them will appeal to your kindness. 

The COP Supporters club
For around the price of a decent coffee each week you can join the first level of the fundraising program. 

We’ll help you set up a standing order for £20 each month and every penny of that goes directly to meeting the costs of the overhaul.  As a token of our gratitude, each month you’ll receive a copy of the overhaul’s status report PDF, with pictures and information about the work being carried out.  Each year, in March we’ll hold an open day and you’ll be welcome to come and inspect progress at first hand.  

After a year in the scheme, we’ll send you a “COP Supporter” lapel badge and an A2 copy of the General Arrangement drawing.   You’ll also get first dibs on tickets for early runs of the loco when she goes back into service.

Join COP Supporters Now


The COP Crusaders
If you can stretch beyond the first level then it might be that you can become one of the COP Crusaders.  These are special people who can give £50 each month to really make a big difference to our funding. 

In return, as well as the benefits offered to the ‘Supporters’, we offer a personal visit every three months when you’ll be able to meet the team and inspect our progress.  We’ll give you a “COP Crusader” lapel badge, a “City of Peterborough” mug and a pen.

When the loco is ready for service, you’ll get four free tickets to share with friends and family at anytime in the first year.

Join COP Crusaders Now


COP Champions
We don’t expect there’ll be many who can go beyond the Crusader stage but if you are fortunate enough and have a strong desire to see heritage steam flourish on the Nene Valley Railway, then you can become one of a select few Champions.

We’re not setting a price on this level but invite you to get in touch if you’d like to explore the possibility.

Once enrolled, you’ll be paired with one of the overhaul team at Wansford and they’ll exchange emails with you to answer questions about the overhaul and the engine in general.  They’ll welcome you on monthly visits and brief you about important steps as they come up.  You’ll be invited to observe (from a safe distance!) some of the major activities like fitting the boiler to the frames and executing tests. 

You’ll have complimentary seats for the first service train hauled by the loco and sometime in the first year, a footplate ride will be arranged for you. 

Enquire about COP Champions Now

Thank you to David Withers for supplying the image of 73050 City of Peterborough at the top of this page

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