Category:Oliver Cromwell 4-6-2 steam locomotive BR 70013, 1-12 scale (J W Airton)

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Star Exhibit

Oliver Cromwell 4-6-2 steam locomotive BR 70013, 1-12 scale (J W Airton)

Oliver Cromwell locomotive BR 70013.jpg (i)

BTMM map 079.gif
Arch Four , Area 79
Arch Four, Misc.

A working coal-fired one-inch-to-the-foot (1:12-scale) 5 inch gauge exhibition-standard scale steam model of the Oliver Cromwell steam locomotive, painted in Brunswick green, and built by J.W. Airton.

About the model

This is an award-winning working coal-fired steam-powered model of a two-cylinder British Railways "Britannia Class 7" 4-6-2 locomotive and tender No 70013 "Oliver Cromwell", built to 1/12th scale (1 inch to the foot) on 5-inch gauge track by J. W. Airton of Rotherham circa ~1993. Airton is a renowned model locomotive builder who took many photographs and measurements of the original loco and even took a sample of paint to be able to get the correct match.

The brazed superheated copper boiler is fitted with a firebox arch as in the original, and the cab and backhead fittings are exact and to scale (even down to the kettle and teapot!), as is the running gear and all external pipework and fittings. As an indication of the extreme attention to detail, the driver's seat is leather-covered, while the fireman's seat is wooden, just as in the original loco.

The tender is built to a similar standard of excellence and accuracy, including coal-space and water tank with a hand-feed pump fitted.

Oliver Cromwell locomotive 70013 model. This photo was taken during a photoshoot for the cover of the museum's souvenir guidebook

2004 auction slip, "Exceptional Scientific and Engineering Works of Art"

Running the loco

The model will have been fired and steamed at some point to establish that it is a in fully-working order, but probably hasn't been fired up since, in order to preserve its immaculate condition. In theory it is capable of running on a raised "trestle" five-inch gauge garden railway with the operator leaning forward over the tender to operate the tiny working scale controls – the cab roof is designed to lift off in order to provide easier access to the controls to a full-size human engine driver.


The model won "Best in Section" in "Locomotives up to 5" gauge" at the National Engineering and Modelling Exhibition, and First Prize in Competition Class 3 at The Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition 1996.

The original locomotive

The original 70013 "Oliver Cromwell" was built in May 1951. One of a batch of 55 "Britannia Class 7" two-cylinder 4-6-2 locomotives designed by R. A. Riddles for express passenger and other duties, it was fitted with 6'2" -diameter driving wheels.

The locomotive was first shedded at Norwich, and worked express trains into Liverpool Street Station, London.


"Oliver Cromwell" achieved fame by working the last official mainline B.R. steam-hauled scheduled train service, on Saturday 3rd August 1968 (it also then ran some "special" services the same month, the last one being on 11th August 1968).


The original locomotive is now preserved in running condition as part of the National Collection.

External links

Media in category ‘Oliver Cromwell 4-6-2 steam locomotive BR 70013, 1-12 scale (J W Airton)’

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