Sir William Stanier’s family visit his famous engine

The streamlined steam giant Duchess of Hamilton, at the National Railway Museum in York. Pictured Sarah Garrett, Stanier's granddaughter.
The streamlined steam giant Duchess of Hamilton, at the National Railway Museum in York. Pictured Sarah Garrett, Stanier's granddaughter.
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It is a locomotive which tells the story of high speed travel along the West Coast line.

The Duchess of Hamilton, the LMS Coronation Class locomotive, designed by Sir William Stanier was a key figure in the well-documented race for speed in the 1930s where the luxury services of the day vied for supremacy.

The powerful Coronation Class with its four cylinder boiler and large driving wheels was the muscle car to the Sir Nigel Gresley-designed sports car, Mallard, which eventually won the steam speed crown for all time on July 3 1938.

Sir William’s granddaughter, Sarah Garrett, who lives in Berkshire, visited York’s National Railway Museum, to see the engine, together with her daughter Becky Walker and two grandchildren, Finlay, 6, and Isla, 3.

She said: “It’s been a really moving experience seeing the locomotives designed by my grandfather and explaining to my own grandchildren the important part he played in railway history.”

Andrew McLean, head curator at the National Railway Museum said: “Stanier played an instrumental part in the development of high speed travel in the thirties and it’s been a privilege to show his descendants his legacy on display here.”

In 1939 No 6229 Duchess of Hamilton became the most famous of the class when it was shipped to America to take part in the New York World‘s Fair, renamed and numbered as Coronation.