Not providing a driver when a locomotive has a closed cab is understandable, but when the footplate is completely open, as it is for the famous 'Rocket' locomotive, the need for some crew figures is more obvious, and happily Airfix provided two for this kit from their Railway range. Driving the iconic locomotive are these two gentlemen, and we use the word advisedly because they wear frock coats, cravats and top hats, which is what a gentleman of 1830 would expect to wear outdoors. However these are far too smart to be a normal crew for what was a dirty machine, exposed to the wind and rain, and a more practical smart workman's outfit - probably topped with a peaked cap - would have been a much better choice. However at the grand opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830 George Stephenson himself was on the footplate (after Huskisson was struck), and doubtless well dressed like these men, so perhaps they represent the 'crew' on that momentous and tragic day in particular.
19th century civilians are very rare in this hobby, and these are not perhaps the most useful of figures for a wider range of modelling needs. In addition they don’t deserve the label 'finely sculpted figures' found in the catalogue, although good enough for the intended purpose. The pictured examples came from the modern reissue of this kit by Dapol, and both exhibited some sink holes and some flash, as well as large mould marks on the back. Sculpting round the hands is quite vague, although this may be a result of the great age of the mould. Still they are interesting figures and assuming a very specific time and place they are perhaps suitable for the intended purpose, as well as offering quite limited possibilities for use elsewhere.
Below are examples of how the completed kit was illustrated in Airfix catalogues.