At the Railway Museum, York

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John Robert Brown, Leeds

Here’s old Rocket in her glory, yellow paint and polished brass.
Evening Star from nineteen-sixty, Brunswick green, she’s Standard Class.
Lode Star stands here cold, unsteamed; she’s earned her place along these aisles,
Four-four-two designed by Churchward, now she’s run two million miles.
Look! Sir Nigel Gresley’s Mallard, champ of pre-war high-speed trials.

Thirties streamlined diesel railcar, worked from nineteen-thirty-three,
Cream-and-chocolate air-smoothed body, motors made by AEC.
Rolling stock’s not all that’s here. Do look around, see other gear:
From posters, pots, to painted plates – why, there’s even railway beer,
Signals, clocks, cast-iron benches, railway relics to revere.

Chinese monster hauled huge freight trains, unnamed giant four-eight-four,
Roughly cast white-painted wheel rims, British-built before the war.
Flying Scotsman, stylish loco, always coloured apple-green,
Clever scoop to take on water, crews who drove her were the cream.
Pullman dining, haircut on-board, riding ritzy thirties steam.

There’s a Shinkansen from Tokyo, first one seen outside Japan.
And a Maglev from Thames Docklands, like a hovering sedan.
Abundant railway treasures stored; you’ll be truly glad you came.
Now that you’ve made this pilgrimage you could travel home by train,
And I’ll wager, once you’ve been to York, you’ll want to come again.

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