The Duke

The Duke was designed at Derby locomotive works in 1953 and was constructed at Crewe locomotive works in 1954. After approximately eight years’ service during which the locomotive enjoyed, at best, a mixed reputation on the main line, it was withdrawn and sent for scrap.

That bald story, although correct, gives no clue as to what makes the Duke unique and why it holds such a special place in the history of steam locomotive development in Great Britain. “Unique” is a much overused word in connection with many artefacts, but this particular locomotive probably better earns that epithet than any other.