Saturday, 22 August 2009

Fast Lady

We had a trip to York today, for one reason; to see the Duchess.

I've always liked the class ever since Miles Kington covered it, and 46229 Duchess of Hamilton in particular, in one episode of his BBC series Steam Days, so to see it in its current stae was a must! Restreamling the Duchess has been comprehensively covered in the mainstream railway press but I wanted to show it here because it is still an wonderful achievement!

I could have stared at the loco all day; it is very imposing, far more than I thought it would be. It provides an interesting contrast with the LNER A4, of which 4468 Mallard 'lives' within the museum. I must have been an awesome sight in the 1930s to see machines like this bursting out of towns blackened by smoke and dirt from the industrial revolution and endless steam hauled trains passing by. It's shame the LMS Duchess and LNER A4 aren't standing alongside each other but hopefully this may happen at some point.

I really hope the 6229 can be restored to working order again. The sight of this on the mainline would be wonderful. I'd much rather see this than Flying Scotsman restored. Scotsman seems to be a millstone round the National Railway Museum's neck - it should have been cosmetically restored in the first instance so its appearance was accurate; either in BR green with its smoke deflectors and double chimney or back to an authentic LNER condition in apple green, not some hideous halfway house. It could even have been placed next to the museum's blue A4 to show two East Coast veterans together and allow the public excellent access to it.

If you are anywhere near York, go and see the streamlined Duchess, it is a very worthwhile trip!


  1. I agree totally with your comments about the Scotsman. It could be resored cosmetically in a historically correct has had a good spell on the main line in the past, and ruined too many people's fortunes in the process!

    Great photos of the Duchess...what a paint job, too.


  2. sorry about the strange signature..what comes of using a laptop without a mouse...

  3. so beautifull ansd so red!!

    in fact more beautifull than a grey TGV

  4. Ah, but the TGV came from a beautiful thought, an echo of the optimism that gave birth to the streamlined Duchess! It, too is a thing of great beauty...and handsome is as handsome does...


  5. The standard of the paint finish is one of the best I've seen on a preserved locomotive!

    The visual impact of the locomotive is far greater in the flesh - even Suzi was impressed by the site of it! She commented how 'American' it looked. Although not the prettiest of machines it is undoubtedly a thing of beauty, although perhaps lacking the majesty of the A4s.

    Thanks for your compliment of the photos Iain; they took great patience! A combination of low light levels, no tripod and hoards of visitors! Despite this the photos make the museum appear very quiet! Although the museum is a much nicer place during the week when it's quiet it is good to see so many people taking an interest. And, although I may sound snobby saying this, it's nice to see that the museum generally attracts 'nice' families, if you know what I mean...

  6. Ouah, impressionnant ! Belle machine !
    BĂ©atrice de Lausanne.

    Sorry , but I will wright in french. Easier.


  7. Beatrice, I suspect your french is far better than my english!

    I was in York the other day and popped to the Museum before I came home and I headed straight for the Duchess; I suspect I will always be impressed by the loco!