Iron Duke

Resource Type: Image | Posted on 10th May 2011 by Jenny Porter

This is a photograph of a replica of the Iron Duke, part of the broad-gauge Iron Duke class of locomotives on the Great Western Railway. They were built to pull the express, and could travel up to 80 mph. In particular, they pulled what was then the world’s fastest express train, the Flying Dutchman, which ran between Paddington and Exeter. The first locomotive of that class was called the Great Western, after the railway company, and was built in 1846. The Iron Duke itself, named after the Duke of Wellington, who installed iron shutters on his windows during the parliamentary reform crisis so they would not be smashed by supporters of reform, was built in 1847 and remained in service until 1871. However, the class fell from favour when broad gauge was removed. The last of Iron Duke class of locomotives last saw service in 1887, but in 1985 this replica of the eponymous engine was built to mark the GWR’s 150th anniversary and is now, as shown here, in the National Railway Museum in York.

Iron Duke

Tagged under: steam locomotives, great western railway, iron duke

Categorised under: Landmarks, Landscapes & Locomotives

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