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De la Trip
  • Number: 785, previously 30785
  • Class: SR Maunsell N15 "King Arthur"
  • Designer: Robert Urie/Richard Maunsell
  • Build date: 1925
  • Configuration: 4-6-0
  • Arrived on the DR: 1971

Sir Mador de la Porte, better known as De la Trip or just 'Trip", is a large express engine, who arrived on the Dark Railway in 1971.


De la Trip is a Maunsell N15 4-6-0 built in August 1925 by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow. He gained his nickname, "De la Trip", from his first engine crews, who couldn't pronounce his name properly, therefore coining the phrase "taking a De la Trip" to refer to their engine. The name stuck, and De la Trip has stuck to this name for his entire life.

For his entire life, he worked on the Southern Railway, hauling express passenger trains over the Wessex Mainline, from London to Exeter, though at some point during the 1950's, he was based at Bournemouth Shed to work the South West Mainline, alongside 257 Squadron, Sir Eustace Missenden and a host of other engines. Whilst at Bournemouth, he befriended 257 but disapproved of Eustace greatly. He was well known for his dislike of other locomotives from other regions, often making rude remarks about engines from "off region" running on the Southern Railway (later the Southern Region). He also had a dislike of British Railways built steam engines and diesel locomotives, prompting many of his shed mates to soothe hurt feelings between De la Trip and any visitors. This attitude was brought on by the fact that De la Trip was bullied by the older Southern engines when he first entered service for his origins, and he subsequently lied about where he was built, claiming to be from Eastleigh. Overtime, he fell into the ways of his colleagues, becoming a Southern supremacist.

By the late 1950's, De la Trip was back on the western section, hauling expresses from Salisbury to Exeter, and despite his distaste for the western region, took fierce pride in his work, despite having to venture into Western territory from time to time. By the mid-1960's, and with the rundown of steam on the region, De la Trip was earmarked for withdrawal but was sold to Caracus Smash in 1966 after a long period in storage. 

Mr. Smash slowly restored the locomotive to working order, but the work was interrupted by the move of his business, Caracus Smash Limited, from Saxonhurst to Galen Junction in 1971. Mr. Smash had, by this point, agreed to sell De la Trip to Mr. Dark, to make up for the loss of Repulse, who had been banished from the railway a few years earlier. By early 1972, De la Trip had been restored to working order, and had been repainted into Southern Railway green, a livery De la Trip insisted on. 

He returned to service on the Dark Railway in the spring of 1972, the intention being that he would plug the gap left by Dave, who was being prepared for an overhaul. De la Trip immediately made himself unpopular with the other engines when he learned that there were no Southern built engines on the line and started a major argument in the sheds. When he learned that 257 was a British Railways built engine, he proceeded to disown him as a friend but was blackmailed into silence by Mr. B after learning that he knew of his secret. Although he kept quiet for several weeks afterwards, he eventually snapped at 257 one evening, declaring that he wished his old friend had never been built. This prompted Mr. B to finally reveal his secret: contrary to his past claims, De la Trip was actually built in Glasgow. The other engines proceeded to berate him for his hypocrisy while 257 was left devastated by the revelation. The other engines refused to speak to him after this, leaving him feeling depressed. Eventually, Mr. Dark brought De la Trip and 257 together, and De la Trip apologised for his actions. 257 decided to forgive him, as did Eustace. Over time, the rest of the engines began to at least tolerate him. Hannah was the last engine to forgive him despite his efforts to make amends, but she finally came around after he rescued her following a failure at Walschurch.

After Dave returned to traffic in 1974, De la Trip felt jealous that he was grabbing the attention of visitors more than he was. Eustace and 257 sympathised with him, and cheered him up by assuring him that his efforts were still appreciated by those on the railway.


De la Trip was highly prejudiced and abusive to those who he deemed as not being "true" Southern Railway engines when he arrived on the Dark Railway. In the wake of his secret's exposure he has mellowed out greatly and is trying to change. Despite this, he remains rather jealous when he feels he is being upstaged by other engines and gets in foul moods as a result.


De la Trip is currently painted in Southern Railway wartime black livery with sunshine lettering. When he first arrived on the railway he carried Southern Maunsell lined green with his number and "Southern" painted on his tender.

Previously, De la Trip would have worn Southern Railway Olive Green, Southern Railway Maunsell Green, Bulleid Malachite Green,, and British Railways lined Brunswick Green.


De la Trip is based on a Southern Railway Maunsell N15 Class 4-6-0, known as the "King Arthur" class.


The Dark Railway SeriesEdit



  • De la Trip is named after the song of the same name by German musician Ian Pooley.
Locomotives of The Dark Railway
Current locomotives
Theo and Otto257 SquadronSir Eustace MissendenDaveBrianEddieLenoAbominationHannahEdSidCaracus SmashBarryDe la TripColossusGoose
RyanRaymondAllanTurboMr. BWarriorAndy
Former locomotives
CheapsideDark Railway No 1202JamesColinRepulseFive
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