BR STANDARD CLASS 5 4-6-0 No.73129
73129 approaching Rothley in 2005 - Jack Hemming
No.73129, one of the locomotives with Caprotti valve gear, was built at Derby Works in August, 1956 and was sent to Shrewsbury where its duties were varied and included working expresses to Plymouth, stopping services to Crewe and parcels trains to South Wales. Such was the popularity of the class with crews and shed staff that the locomotive was frequently borrowed by other sheds and in August, 1957 No.73129 was seen on a local from Manchester Central to Buxton. This was a sign of things to come as in September, 1958 it was transferred to Patricroft for working on coal and freight traffic in the Manchester area. As before No.73129 found itself on other duties working passenger trains to Leeds and working excursions to the North Wales coast during the summer months. With the decline of steam Patricroft became a refuge for the class where they were mainly used on freight duties but did deputise for Britannias on the Manchester to Barrow parcels trains.

No.73129 was withdrawn on 2nd December, 1967 after only 11 years in service with British Railways. It arrived at the Barry scrapyard in South Wales in February, 1968.

In 1972 it was purchased by Derby Corporation as an example of the locomotives built at that famous railway town and is now based at the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley. No.73129 returned to traffic on 20th May, 2005. Since then the locomotive has performed regularly at Butterley and briefly visited the GCR for the October Gala in 2005 arriving on 4th October and leaving a week later.

 A further visit by No.73129 for the Autumn Gala of 2013 will be most welcome and presages the day when No.73156 returns to service. The locomotive arrived on the GCR on 11th September, 2013 and was in service the following weekend.

73129 left the GCR on 8th October, 2013 after a very successful visit.


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