‘Dominion of Canada has not been sold and is not for sale’ say officials after online claim in Australia


EXCLUSIVE: By Geoff Courtney

A claim by an Australian syndicate that it had bought a “certain English locomotive” – widely believed to have referred to preserved No. 60010 Dominion of Canada – has been exposed as a hoax, after a ‘true or false’ mystery worthy of an Agatha Christie novel.

The locomotive was donated by BR to the Canadian Railroad Historical Association after its withdrawal from Aberdeen Ferryhill in May 1965 and, until recently, had been on display at the Canadian Railway Museum in Saint-Constant, Quebec, since its arrival in the country in mid-1966.

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English resident in Scotland: No. 60010 Dominion of Canada of King’s Cross shed on the East Coast Main Line at Longniddry between Edinburgh and Berwick. The date is unrecorded, but the Pacific carries the British Railways name on its tender, indicating late 1940s/early 1950s. The Canadian Pacific Railway bell above the smokebox numberplate was fitted in 1938 and removed in 1957, when the engine was fitted with a double chimney. JOHN ROBERTSON/TRANSPORT TREASURY

It returned to these shores for the award-winning Great Gathering of the six preserved A4s at the NRM in 2013, when it was cosmetically restored as No. 4489, its LNER number when it entered traffic in the summer of 1937. On its return to Canada it was again placed on display, but last year it was placed in storage, leading to reports that it could be sold.

In recent months the preservation movement in Australia had become awash with rumours that the Gresley Pacific, which in 1937 achieved 109½mph down Stoke Bank south of Grantham, would be coming to a new home down under.

However, a statement from the Canadian Railroad Historical Association just before Christmas revealed that the rumours were baseless, but not before they had reached fever pitch following a posting on Facebook in Australia in December under the identity of Joshua Ralston of the ‘NSWGR steam locomotive fleet’.

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