Eighty years ago today, on the 5th December 1934 Cock o’ the North set off on a trip to Paris to visit the Vitry locomotive testing plant. The trip had been arranged by Sir Nigel Gresley and Andre Chapelon and the locomotive accompanied by OVS Bulleid and a Doncaster driver and fireman who worked the locomotive whilst on the test plant and on the French Mainline. The test plant gave the opportunity to scientifically study the locomotive and its performance. Much was learnt whilst the engine was on the continent and minor modifications were made to improve its performance. The locomotive became very popular with the French public and a special exhibition was organised to display the locomotive at Paris Gare du Nord before the locomotive returned home. To find out more about the locomotives exploits in France pick up a copy of the latest Railway Magazine and read the fascinating story unearthed by the P2 Steam locomotive Company archivist Andy Hardy containing many unpublished images and details.


No. 2001 on the test plant at Vitry – P2SLC Collection