1948 Locomotive Exchange Trials
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The 1948 Locomotive Exchange Trials were organised by the newly nationalised British Railways (BR). Locomotives from the former "Big Four" constituent companies (GWR, LMS, LNER, SR) were transferred to and worked on other regions. Officially, these comparisons were to identify the best qualities of the four different schools of thought of locomotive design so that they could be used in the new BR standard designs. However, the testing had little scientific rigour, and political influence meant that LMS practice was largely followed by the new standard designs regardless. However, the trials were useful publicity for BR to show the unity of the new British Railways.
LMS engines operated over the Southern Region where there were no water troughs were paired with four-axled ex-WD tenders with larger water tanks. These were specially given LMS lettering for the occasion. Similarly, ex-Southern types used elsewhere were paired with ex-LMS tenders with water scoops.
Locomotives used were as follows (NB numbers given should be the ones carried at the time, so this is a somewhat curious mixture of old pre-nationalisation numbers, prefixed numbers, and new BR numbers):
Express passenger locomotives
- ex-GWR King Class 6018 King Henry VI on the Leeds - Grantham East Coast mainline.
- ex-GWR Hall Class 6990 Witherslack Hall on the Great Central Main Line.
- ex-SR West Country class 34004 Yeovil on the Highland Main Line
- ex-SR West Country class 34005 Barnstaple on the St. Pancras - Manchester route.
- ex-SR West Country class 34006 Bude on the Bristol - Taunton - Plymouth run and GCR.
- ex-SR Merchant Navy Class 35017 Belgian Marine on the Leeds - Grantham LNER.
- ex-SR Merchant Navy Class 35018 British India Line on Waterloo route.
- ex-SR Merchant Navy Class 35019 French Line C.G.T on the Paddington - Taunton line.
- ex-LMS Rebuilt Royal Scot Class 46154 The Hussar Waterloo - Exeter route.
- ex-LMS Rebuilt Royal Scot Class 46162 Queens Westminster Rifleman
- ex-LMS Princess Coronation Class 46236 City of Bradford.
- ex-LMS Black Five 44799 on the Highland Main Line
- ex-LMS Black Five 45253 on the St. Pancras - Manchester run and GCR.
- ex-LNER Class A4 E22 Mallard on the Waterloo - Exeter run.
- ex-LNER Class A4 60033 Seagull Waterloo - Exeter and GW mainline.
- ex-LNER Class A4 60034 Lord Faringdon Preston - Carlisle route.
- ex-LNER Class B1 61251 Oliver Bury on the Bristol - Taunton - Plymouth run.
- ex-LNER Class B1 61292 on the Highland Main Line
- ex-GWR 2884 Class 3803
- ex-LMS 8F class 48189 on the Eastern Region.
- ex-LNER Class O1 63773 on the Western Region
- ex-LNER Class O7 63169
- ex-WD Austerity 2-10-0 73774 on South Wales route
Preserved 1948 Exchange Trial participants
- GWR 6990 Witherslack Hall - Great Central Railway (preserved).
- SR Merchant Navy class 35018 British India Line - South Coast Steam Ltd, on the Isle of Portland.
- LNER A4 class 4468 Mallard - National Railway Museum Locomotion Outpost, Shildon.
- GWR 2884 Class 3803 - South Devon Railway.
- Allen, Cecil J. (1949). The Locomotive Exchanges 1870 - 1948. Ian Allan Ltd. A comprehensive book on locomotive exchanges, giving details of each trial and the locomotives involved.
- 35018 British Indian Line at SCS Ltd, Isle of Portland, December 2007.
- More photographs of 35018 on the Isle of Portland
- Nine Elms shed and the 1948 Locomotive Exchange trials.
- 46236 City of Bradford on Shap image.
- 46236 City of Bradford image.
- Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust page on the LMS dynamometer car used in the trials.