Duke FAQs Answered

Below are some questions we get asked quite often with our answers. If your question hasn’t been answered here or on other pages of our website, please use the form below and we will get back to to as soon as possible.

The Trust has an agreement with Tyseley for them to carry out a rolling maintenance programme along with The Duke being based at Tyseley for 10 years following the completion of the current overhaul.

The routes The Duke travels are determined by the Train Operating Company and the particular charter’s destination. Please visit the relevant TOC’s website for further information.  The heritage railway media is another good source of news about steam charters.

The current heavy overhaul is on schedule to be completed by this autumn.

Trust members will be kept informed as the date for The Duke’s return to traffic approaches. Join the Trust to stay informed.

71000 Steam Locomotive Limited, Company Number 01195307, was incorporated on 2nd January 1975 and is the registered owner of The Duke.

The BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust has rolling Custodianship of the Duke. This is currently for 100 years but can be increased for a further 50 year terms before the expiry of the rolling period at the Trusts discretion.

The Trust is dependent on its members for financial support. In return, the Trust provides regular newsletters, both electronically and by post where appropriate, on the progress of the current overhaul. When The Duke returns to traffic you will be kept informed of forthcoming tours or heritage railway visits as well as receiving reports about The Duke’s performance on past excursions.

Members of the Trust also have access to a private area on this website where you will find interesting videos and downloads not available elsewhere.

At all times members, no matter what level of commitment, are treated as members of a ‘family’.

If you would like to become a member of The Duke ‘family’ click here.

The Duke needs Support Crew before and when in traffic. Our Support Crew is made up of volunteer Trust members.

During Overhaul

There’s always work to do on The Duke during a heavy overhaul. If you have the time and the energy to work on The Duke at Tyseley Locomotive Works (TLW) within one of our Working Parties then please get in touch. Currently, Covid-19 restrictions don’t allow us to visit TLW to work on The Duke but when they are lifted Working Parties will resume.

Working Party resumption will be announced on these pages and through our usual news channels.

On the Road

The Support Coach and Crew are an essential part of the long distance operation of preserved steam locomotives in the United Kingdom on the main line network. Since main line steam operation ended in 1968, the static infrastructure and paid staff required to support steam locomotive operation no longer exists, requiring the use of support coaches and crews to travel with The Duke. The crews are made up of volunteers from locomotive preservation societies. The support crew supplements the three-man professional train crew consisting of the Driver, Fireman and Traction Inspector, who are employed by the Train Operating Company (TOC) for charter trains and railtours.

Being part of the Service Crew is like being a member of The Duke’s extended family. Though at times the working day can be long there is a great deal of pleasure to be had working behind the scenes. Seeing the numerous onlookers as we travel over Network Rail metals is reward in itself.

Joining the The Duke’s Support Crew

If, after reading all the above you are interested in becoming a member of the The Duke Support Crew then please complete the Support Crew Application Form. Any questions please email the Support Crew Principal.

Need Trust membership information – it’s here.

We’d love to have you in our ‘Crew.

You can join the BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust online here but we would prefer you to download our application form and post it to us as we don’t have to pay transaction fees that way.

If we haven’t answered your question please complete the form below and we’ll get back to you ASAP.