Streamlined locomotives
of the world

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If I had a time machine I'd be straight back to Crewe between the wars to cop the streamlined Duchesses ('semis') steaming by, for I never actually saw one at the time! I was fortunate enough to go trainspotting in the early 1960s and did see streamlined A4 streaks at Doncaster and the destreamlined or always unstreamlined Cities and Duchesses on the west coast line, but regret not taking any photos (if I did, they are lost) and I confess I somehow lost interest in trains at around the death of steam.

The duchess - restreamlined

The great news is that Duchess of Hamilton has been restreamlined and I went to York recently to see her!

I have intense nostalgia for the Semis, Pats, Jubs, Scots, Brits and all the other namers I used to spot, and all those exotic A1s, A2s, A3s, B1s, etc over the border in Yorkshire. I was brought up in Bury, Lancs and saw the odd namer go past my schools - Bury High School, then The Derby School - but had to travel to Manchester and, best of all, Crewe to see more. Me and my pal Roy travelled on platform tickets to see the real giants of the iron way, to Chester to see Westerns, and to Sheffield (on the DC electric namers) and Doncaster to see LNER locos. I never did get to see any Southerns back then.

Much as I love the East Lancs Railway, the best thing in Bury, or the Bluebell Railway near to where I now live in Brighton, their engines are much too clean! And you know deep down that only a few locos were ever preserved.

Until time machines are invented, this is the best I can do.

STOP PRESS: I'm grateful to John Richards for informing me about streamliners in Iraq! Namely the PC class 4-6-2 (Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns, 1940) - see some photos here. More info on Iraq's locos here.