Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.
Published on Mar 21, 2010
When the rusty remains of 'The Duke' were rescued from a Welsh scrapyard in 1973, few people imagined that a complete locomotive would ever actually be seen again.The scepticism was essentially based on the fact that more than half the engine, including unique parts, was missing and this view was coloured by its less than glorious history. Unlike other big steam locomotives, which had established great reputations in British Railways' service, 'The Duke' had been a failure. A mystery steaming problem had let down mechanical technology fifty years ahead of its time, and betrayed the potential of the engine to become a "World Beater".
Fortunately the rescuers were not deterred and set out on what was described as "The Impossible Dream". Their hopes were not only to restore 'The Duke' to full working condition but perhaps to find the mysterious problem affecting the boiler.
Thirteen years later, a giant steel "Phoenix" arose and began rewriting history. Two faults had been found in respect of the boiler during restoration, one a mistake in design, another a mistake in construction. After flawless performances on The Great Central Railway, 'The Duke' was brought up to main line running standards at Crewe and Didcot. In March 1990 a British Railways test run from Derby to Sheffield proved that the engine had been transformed into a Supersteamer, but this still had to be proved to the rest of the world.