Tag Archives: London Midland and Scottish Railway

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era – 1937 ‘Coronation’ Pacifics – London Midland & Scottish Railway

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era
1937 ‘Coronation’ Pacifics
London Midland & Scottish Railway

6229 Duchess of Hamilton as first built

6229 Duchess of Hamilton as first built

Following the success of the ‘Princess’ class Pacifics an improved design was put in hand, and five engines appeared in 1937 for working the newly inaugurated high-speed service between London and Glasgow. The heating surface, cylinders and piston valves were enlarged, and the driving wheel diameter increased to 6’ 9”, but the most striking change was the fully streamlined casing, which while impressive was also aesthetically extremely ugly. The engines were also painted a bright shade of blue with horizontal white bands to match the new train, which was similarly adorned. Nos.6225-9 which followed, were, however, painted in standard LMS maroon. The next batch, Nos.6230-4, were non-streamlined and presented a handsome appearance. Further additions to the class were Nos. 6235-48, all streamlined, and finally, between 1944 and 1948 there came Nos. 6249-57, without streamlining. No.6256 was named after its designer, Sir William Á. Stanier, F.R.S. This, and No.6257 had roller bearings. The outer casing was removed from all the streamlined engines, as it was found to be of little value at speeds below 90 mph or so, and was a nuisance to the maintenance staff as it rendered parts of the engine somewhat inaccessible. To combat the trouble of drifting steam over the cab, all the class was fitted with smoke deflectors, but strangely this was never found necessary with the earlier ‘Princess’ class.

6251 as first built

6251 as first built

Prior to the introduction of the ‘Coronation’ flier in July, 1937, No.6220 was tried out with a special train and attained 114 mph just south of |Crewe, thus beating the record of 113 mph at that time held by the LNER.
The ‘Coronation’ class have since shown themselves to be magnificent engines, not only in the realms of speed, but in their ability to handle very heavy expresses over the West Coast route. On test in 1939, No.6234, then newly fitted with a double chimney, worked a train of twenty coaches, 610 tons behind the tender, between Crewe and Carlisle, 102 miles in 118 minutes. This included of course the ascents of Shap and Beattock. All were still in service in 1959, as BR Nos. 46220-57, although beginning to be displaced by diesels on many of the top link workings.

TheRailwayMagazine-Nov1998-page21loco‘Duchess of Hamilton’ dressed up as ‘Coronation’


In January, 1939, No.6229 ‘Duchess of Hamilton’ was sent on exhibition to New York, and later made an extended tour over the USA railways. It was still there when the Second World War broke out, and was not returned to this country until 1943. During this time it had exchanged numbers and nameplates with No.6220 ‘Coronation’, but these were altered back on the engine’s return. This was a great mistake, as many American servicemen in this country, seeing the real 6220, were naturally under the erroneous impression that it was the same locomotive which had toured their own native land.

Duchess of Montrose
Driving wheels – 6’ 9”, Cylinders (4) – 16½”x 28”, Pressure – 250 lb., Tractive effort – 40000 lb., Weight – 105 tons 5 cwt., Nos. 46256-7 weighed 106 tons 8 cwt., LMS classification – 7P, BR classification – 8P

Duchess of Hamilton in the NRM 2014

Duchess of Hamilton in the NRM 2014

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era – 1933 – ‘Princess’ Pacifics London Midland & Scottish Railway

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era
1933 – ‘Princess’ Pacifics
London Midland & Scottish Railway

Princess Louise in 1948 at first temporarily numbered M6206 and later 46206, in 1948

Princess Louise at first temporarily numbered M6206 and later 46206, in 1948

One of Mr. (later Sir) William Stanier’s first designs after his appointment as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LMS. Stanier came from the Great Western, and introduced a number of features of that Company’s practice to the LMS for the first time, including the use of a taper boiler. His first two Pacifics, Nos. 6200 ‘The Princess Royal’ and 6201 ‘Princess Elizabeth, which appeared in 1933, were given thorough trials before any more were built, after which ten similar engines, Nos.6203-12 came out in 1935 with slight modifications following the experience gained with the first two engines, chief amongst these was an increase in the superheater heating surface. The four cylinders on this class has each its own independent set of Walschaert valve gear, but No.6205 later had its inside sets replaced by rocking levers actuated from the outside pair. As might have been expected, these locomotives soon proved themselves to be greatly superior to anything previously seen on the North Western main line. In 1936, in anticipation of the introduction of a high speed service between London and Glasgow, No.6201 was tested with a light load of 230 tons, seven coaches, and succeeded in covering the distance of 401½ miles, non-stop, in the remarkable time of 353½ minutes.

Concurrently with Nos. 6203-12, there appeared No.6202, which differed radically from its sisters. The boiler, wheels, etc., were identical, but in place of the normal cylinders and reciprocating motion it was propelled by turbines, a large one on the left hand side of the engine, for forward motion, and a smaller one on the right hand for reverse running. It was not the first turbine driven locomotive in this country, other experiments in this direction having been made in the 1920s, but it was undoubtedly the only successful turbine design to appear. Many snags were encountered and the engine spent a good proportion of its life in the works undergoing modifications, but nevertheless when it was in service it was a very good engine, and performed work equal to that of its orthodox sisters. It was a beautiful machine to see in action, with its soft purr and even torque, which resulted in almost complete absence of slipping, even with the heaviest load, a fault to which most ‘Pacifics’ designs are particularly prone.

It ran as a turbine until 1952, when it was rebuilt with a normal 4-cylinder propulsion. Previously nameless, it now became ‘Princess Anne’, but its life under its new metamorphosis was exceedingly short, as it was involved in the disastrous Harrow accident in that year, and damaged beyond repair. All the other ‘Princesses, now BR Nos. 46200, 46201 and 46203-12, were in active service in 1959.

Anne Turbine
‘Princess’ class – Driving wheels – 6’ 6”, Cylinders – 16¼”x 28”, Pressure – 250 lb., Tractive effort – 40285 lb., Weight – 104½ tons, BR classification – 8P
No.6202 – Driving wheels – 6’ 6”, Cylinders – N/A, Pressure – 250 lb., Tractive effort –N/A., Weight – 110½ tons, BR classification – N/A

Anne rebuilt

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era – 1927 – ‘Garratts’ – LMS

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era
1927 – ‘Garratts’

No. 4999 as originally built

No. 4999 as originally built

In 1927 the LMS decided to try out the Garratt design for heavy mineral trains over the Midland main line between Toton and Cricklewood, with a view to eliminating double heading. Three engines, Nos. 4997-9, were built by Beyer Peacock in 1927, and were followed by another thirty, Nos. 4967-96.
In 1938-9 they were renumbered 7967-99, and these numbers were increased by 40000 at Nationalisation in 1948.

All except Nos. 47998 and 47999 were later fitted with revolving bunkers to ease the work of the fireman.
For some reason the Garratt design never achieved the favour in this country it has received elsewhere, notably in South Africa, and the whole class was scrapped between 1955 and 1958.
Driving wheels – 5’ 3”, Cylinders (4) – 18½”x 26”, Pressure – 190 lb., Tractive effort – 45620 lb., Weight – 155½ tons.