London Midland Region of British Railways
The London Midland Region (LMR) was one of the six regions created on the formation of the nationalised British Railways (BR) and consisted of ex-London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) lines in England and Wales. The region was managed first from buildings adjacent to Euston Station and later from Stanier House in Birmingham. It existed from the creation of BR in 1948, ceased to be an operating unit in its own right in the 1980s and was wound up at the end of 1992.
At its inception, the LMR's territory consisted of ex-LMS lines in England and Wales. LMS lines in Scotland became part of the Scottish Region, whilst those of the Northern Counties Committee (NCC) in Northern Ireland became part of the Ulster Transport Authority (UTA). The Mersey Railway, which had avoided being "Grouped" with the LMS in 1923, also joined the LMR.
During the time of the LMR's existence there were a number of transfers of territory to and from other regions. The major changes were:
- In 1949 the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway, which was wholly surrounded by Eastern lines and almost completely cut off from the rest of the LMR network, was transferred to the Eastern.
- In 1958 a major re-drawing of the regional boundaries took place. LMR lines in South Wales and south-west of Birmingham were transferred to the Western; lines in Lincolnshire and the present-day South Yorkshire went to the Eastern Region and in the present-day West and North Yorkshire to the North Eastern Region. In return the London Midland gained the lines of the former Great Central Railway that lay outside Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
- In 1974, the Chiltern line from London Marylebone to Banbury and Birmingham Moor Street was transferred to the LMR from the Western Region.
Locomotives and rolling stock
The LMR inherited ex-LMS types of steam locomotive. For a few months in early 1948, an M prefix was added to existing LMS loco numbers. From mid-1948, 40000 was added, giving numbers of ex-LMS types in the 4XXXX and 5XXXX series. Some elderly loco classes were renumbered in the 58XXX series to make way for new production of LMS designs.
The LMR initially continued building ex-LMS stock, particularly Black Fives, Ivatt 2MT, two Duchesses, and rebuilds of Royal Scots and Patriots. Stanier "Period III" carriages continued to be built and were developed into a new style known as "Porthole" stock. Freight stock on order at Nationalisation was completed: some LMS designs were accepted as BR standard designs and continued to be built for the whole network through the 1950s and early 1960s.
In 1968 it was the last region of BR to completely eliminate steam traction under the 1955 Modernisation Plan.
West Coast Main Line electrification
- Ball, MG. British Railways Atlas Ian Allan Publishing 2004