For most British railway enthusiasts. ex-London and North Eastern Railway A4s 60008 Dwight D. Eisenhower and 60010 Dominion of Canada are like mythical creatures; we've heard of their existence but only a small number have ever seen them... This, of course, has recently changed with their return to the UK...
Both locomotives have headed to Locomotion at Shildon where they've spent most of October on display - their condition is rather poor, 60010 looks particularly bad and uncared for, where as 60008 is very shiny with US style silver painted rods but isn't perfect either. But this didn't seem to matter as it was almost like seeing into the past. We're all used to the UK based A4s - living where we do we have easy access to York and the North Yorkshire Moors railway so 4468 Mallard and 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley are regular sights. However, despite that familiar shape the two at Shildon were still very much a novelty for all the visitors. Clearly for many men of a certain age who formed a significant population of the visitors, these provided direct links to days spotting on the East Coast Mainline.
Soon Dominion of Canada will be transformed into a single 'chimney'd' machine in LNER garter blue with the full Coronation condition as it was when first built and number eight will receive a new coat of green paint before a year of events to celebrate seventy five years since the 126 mph record.
I think it'll be great to see all the surviving A4s together!