Historic steam engine draws crowds at railway station

The steam train at Hampden Park Railway Station
The steam train at Hampden Park Railway Station

TRAIN enthusiasts gathered on the footbridge at Hampden Park to photograph a steam train on Thursday morning (July 14).

The 60-year-old Cathedral Express made a stop at Hampden Park Railway Station just before 8.30am. The train then went on to Lewes, where it was boarded by day trippers and Lewes MP Norman Baker before starting its journey to Cambridge and Ely.

The locomotive hauling the train was the 70000 Britannia, which was used to pull the funeral train of King George VI. Britannia was built for express passenger services between London and Norwich and has two cylinders, six driving wheels and a firebox of 42ft. It is limited to 75mph but capable of reaching speeds up to 100mph.

After 15 years of service in May 1966, Britannia was retired but then underwent major repairs and this year marks the locomotive’s return to the main line after a 14-year absence.