Living Museum of the Great Western Railway

Iron Duke

Broad Gauge Replica Loco, built by RESCO Railways in 1985, as part of the Great Western 150 celebrations, using parts from two Hunslet Austerity tanks. The locomotive is part of the National Railway Museum collection.

The locomotive is a replica of one of the first batch of the 29 strong 4-2-2 Iron Duke class which was built in 1847. The locomotive was withdrawn in 1871 though the name was re-used for one of the then new Rover class, which itself lasted until the demise of the Broad Gauge in 1892.

The first event of the 1985 GW150 celebrations took place on 3 April, when the replica locomotive was formally named by His Grace the Duke of Wellington at a ceremony by the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, London. The Duke is a descendant of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and acquired the nickname ‘Iron Duke’ during his time as Prime Minister in the 1820s. The event featured ‘Iron Duke’ in steam and running on about 150 yards of track which had been laid by BR Western Region engineers.

The locomotive was subsequently displayed at the National Railway Museum and toured a number of heritage railways.

After a few earlier visits in 1986/7, this locomotive returned to Didcot Railway Centre in December 2013 and has been cosmetically restored for static display.


Static Display
Build date
Built at
RESCO Railways
Wheel arrangement
4 - 2 - 2
Route availability
Boiler pressure
100 psi
18 x 24 in
21.7 sq ft
Power class
Superheater area
Tractive effort
8100 lbs
35t 10cwt
Wheel diameter

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