You are here:Home1/Duke Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Where will The Duke be based?
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.
Where can I see The Duke on the mainline?
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.
When will The Duke return to traffic and the mainline?
The current heavy overhaul is on schedule to be completed by this autumn.
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.
What benefits do Trust members receive?
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.
Who can join The Duke’s Support Crew?
The Duke needs Support Crew before and when in traffic. Our Support Crew is made up of volunteer Trust members.
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.