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92214 ‘Thunderer’.

'Hurricane' and 'Thunderer' were the first locomotives supplied to the GWR in 1838.

‘Hurricane’ and ‘Thunderer’ were the first locomotives supplied to the GWR in 1838.

I notice that the President of the GCR, Mike Gregory, cannot decide what to call his recently purchased 9F, 92214, which until recently was based at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, named ‘Cock of the North’ and lined out in BR black livery.  Not entirely authentic, perhaps, but it worked.

However, Swindon minded you are, it cannot be denied that these utterly magnificent locomotives are almost unarguably the Best Goods Engines ever built. And that is saying something.  Until the 9Fs, that BGE label belonged without any doubt in my mind, to the 28xxs.  8Fs are not quite ‘it’, even if I like the look of them and I love the GWSR’s gorgeous 8274, which I have had the privilege of firing and cleaning many times.  I have no real idea about merits of the LNER or SR candidates here so I will admit my ignorance and limitations and move on.

So 92214 is, in my mind, perfectly entitled to the honour of both lining out, a name that suits it and, as we now learn, the proper Brunswick Green ‘Evening Star’ treatment as befitting a Swindon built product.  I am sure that latter feature alone will be very popular indeed, particular among us GWR folk but what about that name?

They have trialled ‘Cromwell Warrior’ (sounds like a Freightliner Class 47), ‘Central Star (sounds like a trashy evening newspaper in the Midlands, apart from the fact that there is no central star anywhere in the cosmos so it makes no sense at all!) and all have received from the preservation community a resounding raspberry sounding noise that involves the tongue and lower lip.

‘Morning Star’ is out because the Shillingstone S&D guys who own 92207 have got in first but if 92214 is going GWR, then it has to be something from the right railway.  There are other GWR Stars, of course.  Lode (4003) is out, so is North (4000). Dog (4001) is asking for trouble, Red (4006) is no good (“Dad, why is that engine called Red Star cos its green?…”), Shooting (4009) sound’s a bit whizzy for a freight engine, and Western Star (4010) might be a bit diesely, which leaves Polar (4005) or Royal (4008).   Either of those would be great, I think, with  my vote probably edging towards Polar Star.  So that would make 3 members of the ‘new’ Star class…

On the other hand, there are lots of other excellent names from GWR history and I am tempted to suggest that consideration might be given to any of the wonderful Broad Gauge mythical names that suit a big engine like a 9F. For example, ‘Thunderer’ was one of the pair, with ‘Hurricane’  of admittedly not very successful engines built for the GWR. either if those would be great and, in the end, I come down to the former: 92214 ‘Thunderer’.  Yep. I think that works, it suits the engine, is evocative and allows one of the last engines of the steam age to commemorate the very earliest days of steam.

Try that one out and see what people think, Mike.

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One Response to “92214 ‘Thunderer’.”

  1. How about, IKB, or Great Western, or Swindon, or Sir Daniel Gooch?

    Posted by Arthur Curtis | June 29, 2014, 12:22 pm

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