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The secret messages revealed by our A4 loco restorers

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Class A4 60008 Dwight D Eisenhower - names inscribed under removed paint

During the work we’ve been doing to cosmetically restore LNER Class A4 60008 Dwight D. Eisenhower since it was repatriated from the US, we’ve uncovered a surprise: a list of names.

In the US, Dwight’s motion was painted with several coats of aluminium paint. Our workshop team have been stripping that back down to the bare metal – and underneath the paint layers, we’ve found the names inscribed into the metal of the slide bar.

Close-up of names inscribed into A4 60008 Dwight D Eisenhower

A close-up of the names discovered under the paint on A4 Dwight D Eisenhower

Anthony Coulls, Senior Curator of our rail vehicle collection, thinks that these are the names of the American team who painted Dwight in 1984, or the crew who put the motion back together after the locomotive originally landed in America in the late 1960s.

Do you know different? Let us know if you recognise any of these names – or if one of them is you.

That’s not the only surprise we’ve had while working on the A4s for our upcoming Mallard 75 events. The team at Shildon have been stripping paint on Dominion of Canada, and found this strange drawing of a dog…

Dog drawing discovered during the restoration of A4 Dominion Of Canada

… and a rabbit.

Rabbit drawing found under the paint on A4 Dominion Of Canada

Written by Mark Green

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  1. Graeme Watson

    What an interesting find; thanks for sharing!

  2. Brian Dominic

    I think the last two pictures (plus the one I’ve seen of the British Rail double arrow symbol) were on the clockwork version – they’re a wind-up!

    1. Mark Green, Web Producer, National Railway Museum

      Who can say, Brian :) But those names on Dwight D Eisenhower are the real deal – we’re eager to see if anyone can help us track down the people named.

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