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Certainly not on Good Friday 13 April 1990.

The first public outing of 46229 Duchess of Hamilton following three years of a major overhaul was when she pulled a Friends’ charter train of fourteen fully loaded carriages from York to Carlisle and back via the Settle route. She performed magnificently.

Her return to main line operations was achieved by a joint NRM and Friends project ‘Duchess 90’.

In 1997, 46229 was finally bought from Butlin’s for the National Collection and the Friends accepted the challenge to continue to fund her restoration and operation. The engineering requirements would continue to be masterminded by Friends Honorary CME John Peck with the mechanical work undertaken by the Friends’ sponsored fitters Kim Mallyon, Peter Pickering and Adrian Ashby and the Tuesday night heavy gang of volunteers.

Photo: Roger Bastin

Fundraising took many forms. Income from the ‘55 Club’ volunteers who provided catering on Duchess-hauled trains in the early 1980s pump primed the restoration fund. Sponsor a tube, initiated by Mike Blakemore when the overhaul started, was a worthwhile initial scheme. The £60,000 surplus from the ‘Mallard88’ charter trains was allocated to ‘Duchess 90’. Steam Railways magazine supported a public appeal for partners, and 370 signed up to contribute to a range of packages with benefits. From this emerged the ‘‘229 Club, initially 170 members, who have over the last thirty years been the bedrock for all subsequent Duchess projects. Royalties from the Richard Lucraft sales of the limited edition prints of Terence Cuneo's Duchess on Shap and David Weston’s Duchess in the Workshop are permanent by-products of the appeal.

The final expenditure on getting and keeping 46229 to BR mainline operational standards exceeded £300,000.

So the Good Friday 1990 appearance of Duchess of Hamilton was the outcome of a huge sustained effort by hundreds of people which over the subsequent eight years gave enormous pleasure and lasting memories to thousands.

By Frank Paterson

The last BR steam locomotive Class 9F No 92220 Evening Star

The Liverpool & Manchester (L & M) Railway opened the first ‘InterCity’ railway in the world one hundred and ninety years ago in 1830. The previous year the Railway held a competition to decide on the best locomotives to use. Famously this was won by Rocket, designed and built by Robert Stephenson at his works in Newcastle.

Representing more modern traction, Class 55 Deltic No 55015 Tulyar pulls electric Class 86 86214 and Class 76 EM1 No 26020

To commemorate 150 years since the opening of the L & M Railway, forty years ago during the Spring Bank Holiday, British Railways London Midland Region held a cavalcade of locomotives old and new at Rainhill. The locomotives had travelled from all over the country, many under their own power, with the cavalcade assembled at nearby Bold Colliery.

LNER Class V2 No 4771 Green Arrow

Thirty-six locomotives, the Advanced Passenger Train, a High Speed Train and a steam breakdown crane, took part. The National Railway Museum was very well represented with twelve steam locomotives, together with the Manchester, Sheffield & Wath EM1 electric loco, appearing from the National Collection.

Midland Compound No 1000 4-4-0

Replica Sans Pareil with crew and passengers in open wagon suffering from the inclement weather

Southern Railway 4-6-0 No 850 Lord Nelson All photos:© Philip Benham

By Philip Benham

Forty years ago, in the summer of 1980, on 29 July, nearly two hundred people attended an auspicious inauguration ceremony at Hambleton near Selby to commemorate building the first new railway in Britain for 125mph (200kmph) operation, British Rail’s Selby Diversion.

Photo:British Rail

The new 23km double-track railway was to divert the East Coast Main Line (ECML) between Temple Hirst south of Selby and Colton near York to avoid sterilising extensive coal reserves that lay beneath the original ECML and were planned to be extracted by the Selby Mine to fuel power stations in the locality. The trinity of the National Coal Board (NCB), British Rail and the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) could then work together to deliver the national policy for energy with the NCB producing the fuel, British Rail providing a conveyor belt of trains from the mine to the power stations and the CEGB delivering the power.

The inauguration ceremony, hosted by British Rail Eastern Region’s General Manager at the time, Frank Paterson (now our President of the FNRM), was themed on the industries working together. The Chairmen of the three industries, the Chairman of the principal contractor building the railway, A Monk & Company Limited and the General Manager signed a commemorative scroll for the occasion. The scroll was placed and secured in a stainless-steel casket along with a copy of the Act of Parliament authorising construction of the railway, 1980 coins of the realm, the event guest list and small token objects representing the four undertakings (company badges). The casket was ceremoniously carried and buried in a chamber cast in the base of a commemorative stone.

Photo:British Rail

Photo:British Rail

The main feature of the event was the four Chairmen, assisted by an apprentice representing each organisation, pulling the commemorative stone into its final position on the base. The four apprentices, Paul Wakefield (A Monk & Co.), Colin Parrish (CEGB), Paul Ward (NCB) and Garry Atkinson (BR), ensured the chiefs had the appropriate bump cap (hard hat) and rope in preparation for the task.

Photo:British Rail

In this photograph the industry Chairmen, A Monk’s W Stanley Whittingham and CEGB’s Glyn England on the left and NCB’s Sir Derek Ezra and BRB’s Sir Peter Parker on the right, await General Manager Frank Paterson waving the green flag that will signal “the off” for them to pull the commemorative stone into position. British Rail Eastern Region’s Chief Civil Engineer Brian Davis who was responsible for and directed the design and contract supervision of the new railway watches on behind the main group. Thanks largely to his professionalism the project was completed on 3 October 1983, a day before the originally planned completion date and within budget.

Photo:British Rail

The commemorative stone and plaques. Photo:British Rail

With the commemorative stone in place the Bishop of Selby, the Right Reverend M H St John Maddox dedicated the engineering works and the new high-speed railway that was to come, after which refreshments and a buffet luncheon were available for all attendees.

By Hugh Fenwick

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Photos on this website are ©Philip Benham or ©National Railway Museum