LMS Coronation Class

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
LMS Coronation Class
Duchess of Hamilton - 2006-05-06.jpg
No. 46229 in so called 'semi-streamlined' condition at Tyseley, 6 May 2006 prior to the addition of its streamlined casing.
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer William Stanier
Builder LMS Crewe Works
Build date 1937–1948
Total produced 38
Configuration 4-6-2
UIC class 2′C1′ h4
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading dia. 3 ft 0 in (0.914 m)
Driver dia. 6 ft 9 in (2.057 m)
Trailing dia. 3 ft 9 in (1.143 m)
Minimum curve
  • 6 chains (120 m) normal
  • 4 12 chains (91 m) dead slow
Wheelbase 62 ft 11 in (19.177 m)
 • Engine 37 ft 0 in (11.278 m)
 • Drivers 14 ft 6 in (4.420 m)
 • Tender 15 ft 0 in (4.57 m)
  • Streamlined: 73 ft 9 34 in (22.498 m)
  • Conventional: 73 ft 10 14 in (22.511 m)
Height 13 ft 3 in (4.039 m)
Loco weight
  • Streamlined: 108.1 long tons (121 short tons; 110 t)
  • Conventional: 105.25 long tons (117.88 short tons; 106.94 t)
  • 6256/6257: 108.5 long tons (122 short tons; 110 t)
Tender weight
  • 6220–6255: 56.35 long tons (63.11 short tons; 57.25 t)
  • 6256/6257: 56.50 long tons (63.28 short tons; 57.41 t)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 10 long tons (11.2 short tons; 10.2 t)
Water cap 4,000 imp gal (18,000 l; 4,800 US gal)
Firebox type  
 • Firegrate area 50 sq ft (4.6 m2)
 • Model LMS type 1X
 • Tube plates 19 ft 3 in (5.867 m)
 • Small tubes 2 38 in (60 mm), 129 off
 • Large tubes 5 18 in (130 mm), 40 off
Boiler pressure 250 psi (1.72 MPa)
Heating surface 2,807 sq ft (260.8 m2)
 • Tubes and flues 2,577 sq ft (239.4 m2)
 • Firebox 230 sq ft (21 m2)
 • Heating area
  • 6220–6255: 822 sq ft (76.4 m2)
  • 6256/6257: 856 sq ft (79.5 m2)
Cylinders 4
Cylinder size 16 12 in × 28 in (419 mm × 711 mm)
Valve gear Walschaerts for outside cylinders with rocking shafts for inside cylinders
Valve type Piston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort 40,000 lbf (180 kN)
Power class
  • LMS: 7P
  • BR: 8P
  • LMS: 6220–6256
  • BR: 46220–46257
Withdrawn 1962–1964
Preserved 6229, 6233, 6235
Disposition Three preserved, remainder scrapped

The London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Coronation Class, also known as Princess Coronation Class, is a class of express passenger steam locomotives designed by William Stanier. They were an enlarged and improved version of the LMS Princess Royal Class. Several examples were originally built as streamlined, though the streamlining was later removed. The non-streamlined locomotives built during 1938 were often referred to as Duchesses, though to enginemen they were often known as Big Lizzies.

They were the most powerful passenger steam locomotives ever to be built for the LMS network, estimated at around 3,300 horsepower (2,500 kW), making them far more powerful than the diesel engines that ultimately replaced them.[1]

Design History[edit]

A 1933 Princess Royal Class locomotive. Stanier was persuaded that he could design an even better successor.

Although the prior introduction of the Princess Royal class had provided the LMS with more powerful locomotives to be used on the main line between London Euston and Glasgow Central, it could be seen by 1936 that more such locomotives would be needed, particularly as it was intended to introduce a new non-stop service between those cities. Initially, it was planned to build five more Princess Royals, but the Chief Technical Assistant and Chief Draughtsman at the LMS Derby Works, Tom Coleman, persuaded Stanier that he could design a locomotive that was more powerful, more reliable and easier to maintain. Stanier was convinced and plans were put in progress to construct five locomotives of the new class.[2] When Stanier was called on to perform an assignment in India, Coleman became responsible for most of the detailed design in his absence.[3]

Just as the new design was approaching finalisation, the LMS marketing department threw a spanner into the works. The London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) had recently introduced its streamlined Class A4 locomotive which had captured the imagination of the public, and the marketing department persuaded the board that the new locomotives should be streamlined too. This was problematic in that the new design was so large that it only just conformed to the maximum loading gauge for the main line and it was sufficiently heavy that it was close to the Civil Engineer's maximum weight limit. Nevertheless, Coleman managed to design a streamlined steel casing that hugged the locomotive so tightly that it could still meet the loading gauge requirements. The casing weighed some 5 long tons (5.6 short tons; 5.1 t), but Coleman managed to save an equivalent weight in the locomotive itself.[4][5]

The streamlining is probably best described as reminiscent of an upside down bathtub. The casing was tested in a wind tunnel, and retained after it was found to be as good as other forms of streamlining.[3][6] After introduction it was subsequently found that its aerodynamic form failed to disturb the air sufficiently to lift the exhaust from the chimney, thus obstructing the driver's vision with smoke.[7]

Construction History[edit]


The first five locomotives, Nos. 6220–6224, were built in 1937 at the LMS Crewe Works at an average cost of £11,641 each.[8] Starting with No. 6220, Coronation, they were streamlined and painted Caledonian Railway blue with silver horizontal lines that was repeated on the coaches of the Coronation Scot train they were built to haul.[5]

In 1938 the second five locomotives of the class, Nos. 6225–6229, were also built streamlined (at an average cost of £11,323 each)[9] commencing with No 6225 Duchess of Gloucester. They were painted in the more traditional crimson lake, with gilt horizontal lining. This was to match the standard LMS stock and a planned brand new Coronation train made up of articulated 1939 coaches. Although a prototype for this trainset was built and exhibited in America it was never put into service due to the outbreak of the Second World War.[10]

Stanier, the designer of the locomotives, felt that the added weight and difficulty in maintenance due to the streamlining was too high a price to pay for the actual benefits gained at high speed.[11] Therefore in 1938 a third batch of five locomotives was built, Nos. 6230-6234, without streamlining at an average cost of £10,659 each.[12] The first of this batch was No. 6230 Duchess of Buccleuch.

During 1939 and 1940, a fourth batch of ten locomotives (Nos. 6235-6244) was built in streamlined form commencing with No. 6235 City of Birmingham. The names of cities for the locomotives would seem to have been adopted because the LMS was fast running out of names of Duchesses. These locomotives came at an average cost of £10,659 for the first five and £10,838 each for the second five.[13] It can be seen that the names of the cities in this batch were intended to be in strict alphabetical order. This came to an end when No. 6244 City of Leeds was patriotically renamed King George VI in 1941.[14]

The fifth batch consisting of four locomotives, Nos. 6245-6248, appeared during 1943, the first being No. 6245 City of London. The average cost of the batch was held to £10,908 due to incorporating recycled boilers.[15] During the Second World War, the Materials Committee of the government tried to balance the needs for steel between civilian departments and the War Department when allocating those resources.[16] Within these constraints, the entire batch was still outshopped in streamlined form.[17]

In 1944 another batch of four, Nos. 6249-6252, was at last built in unstreamlined form, commencing with No. 6249 City of Sheffield. The cost of these locomotives averaged £11,664 each.[18] A follow-up batch of three locomotives (Nos. 6253-6255) was built in 1946 commencing with No. 6253 City of St. Albans and this batch came at the inflationary average cost of £15,460 each.[19] At last the hanging smoke issue was addressed and smoke deflectors were incorporated into the design of this batch.

The final two locomotives were constructed to the modified design of George Ivatt who succeeded both Stanier (following his retirement) and Stanier's immediate successor Charles Fairburn (who unexpectedly died in office).[20] The first, No. 6256 built in 1947, was the last of the class to be built before nationalisation and it was therefore named in honour of its original designer Sir William A. Stanier, F.R.S.. The unveiling of the nameplate was performed by Stanier himself.[21] In 1948, the privately owned railways were nationalised and incorporated into British Railways.[22] It was within this new regime that No. 46257 was completed - in common with other LMS locomotives, 40000 had been added to the original numbers.[23] The spiraling costs after the Second World War, combined with the design changes, resulted in the individual cost of these locomotives escalating to £21,411.[24]



The lack of a handrail on the tender shows that this is an ex-streamlined Type A. The locomotive is No. 6225 Duchess of Gloucester photographed in 1961, so the table below shows that the tender is No. 9799.

The original design of tender, which came to be known as Type 'A' was designed for the first ten streamlined locomotives. These were of welded tank construction and included side sheets extending from the rear of the tender, which had the effect of reducing drag from eddies between the tender and the leading coach. 28 of these were constructed to be coupled with all the 24 streamliners (Nos. 6220-6229 and Nos. 6235-6248) as well as four of the unstreamlined locomotives (Nos. 6249-6252).[25] In practice, it would seem that the side sheets made it more difficult to access the water filler as well as the couplings.

A second, more traditional design followed for the initial batch of five unstreamlined locomotives (Nos. 6230-6234). Again they were of welded tank construction, but lacked any of the streamlining add-ons. Even without the streamlining Type 'B' tenders were distinguishable from Type 'A' by having a slightly different profile at the front and steps and handrails at the rear.[25]

The third design, by George Ivatt, initially was Type 'C1' and it was paired with the three locomotives Nos. 6253-6255. It was partially riveted and resembled a Type 'A' at its front end and a Type 'B' at the rear. The design was quickly followed by Type 'C2'. The only difference from the 'C1' was that it possessed a lower front edge. Only two 'C2's were built and they were coupled to the last two of the class, Nos. 6256 and 6257.[25]

Whilst nearly fifteen of the tenders remained wedded to their original locomotives, others received new partners - the very first tender to be manufactured swapped partners seven times.

After the Second World War, when the streamlined tenders were de-streamlined, it was difficult to spot any mismatches. The most readily visible mismatches were those of locomotives Nos. 6249-6252 where pre-produced Type 'A' streamlined tenders were married to unstreamlined locomotives.[26]

An unusual feature of all Coronation Class tenders was that they were fitted with a steam-operated coal pusher to bring the coal down to the firing plate. When this was in operation a plume of steam could be seen rising from the rear face of the coal bunker backwall.[27] This equipment greatly helped the locomotive's fireman to meet the high demands for power during the non-stop run of 399 miles (642 km) between London Euston and Glasgow Central, when operating the Coronation Scot train.[28]

Table of tender and locomotive pairings[edit]

All LMS tenders were given their own unique identity numbers and they tended to be constructed in advance of the locomotives they would be paired with. Hence, they were made in four batches, Nos. 9703-9709, 9743-9752, 9798-9817 and 10622-10624.[25]

The following table lists the locomotives to which they were attached.[29] Of note is the fact that locomotive No. 46221 had its tender (No.9816) withdrawn ahead of time in 1962; the locomotive was then paired to the Princess Royal tender No. 9359 until its withdrawal in May 1963.[30]


With each "chuff" of the locomotive a blast of steam is emitted through the blastpipe (a) into the smokebox (b). Hot gases from the firebox emerge from the boiler tubes (c) and are drawn by the steam blast up the chimney (d). A large locomotive may produce such large quantities of both hot gases and steam that a second blastpipe and chimney are called for.

Double chimneys[edit]

Single chimneys were initially fitted to Nos. 6220–6234 when built.[31] Following a successful trial using No. 6234 Duchess of Abercorn on 26 February 1939,[32] these were replaced with double blastpipes and chimneys between 1939 and 1944, the last being No. 6220 Coronation. From No. 6235 onwards, all the locomotives were built with double blastpipes and chimneys.[33] [34]

Smoke deflectors[edit]

Following a report by George Ivatt in 1945, smoke deflectors were introduced due to drifting smoke obscuring the crew's forward vision.[6][21] The first locomotive to be fitted with smoke deflectors from the outset was No. 6253 City of St. Albans in September 1946. All the following four locomotives included this feature. The first unstreamlined locomotive to be retrofitted was No. 6232 Duchess of Montrose in February 1945.

Removal of streamlining[edit]

George Ivatt's 1945 report also recommended the removal of all streamlining casings and it was removed from the fitted locomotives from 1946 onwards.[21] It had been found to be of little value at speeds below 90 mph (140 km/h), and was unpopular with running shed employees as it caused difficulty of access for maintenance. The first step towards de-streamlining was carried out during the Second World War when many of the streamlined tenders had their side sheets cut away at the rear of the tender. Many photographs exist showing this measure.[35][36] The removal of the streamlining proper commenced in April 1946 with No. 6235 City of Birmingham. All de-streamlining coincided with the fitting of smoke deflectors. No. 6243 City of Lancaster was renumbered as 46243 in April 1948[37] and as it was not de-streamlined until May 1949, it became the only locomotive to carry its British Railways number while streamlined.

Initially, locomotives that had previously been streamlined could be readily recognised by the sloping top to the front of their smokeboxes, as well as slightly smaller front-facing cab windows.[38] [39] In due course all were re-equipped with cylindrical smokeboxes and larger cab windows - often, but not necessarily at the same time.[40] The sloping top led to the train-spotters' nickname of Semis (i.e. semi-streamlined). The first locomotive to receive a cylindrical smokebox was No. 6221 Queen Elizabeth in September 1952. The last one to retain the sloping top was 46246 City of Manchester which appeared with its new smokebox in May 1960.

Even following the conversion to cylindrical smokeboxes, it was still possible to distinguish some non-streamliners from ex-streamliners. On the former (Nos. 46230-46234 and 46249-46252, but not 46253-46257) the running plates veered downwards at right angles to connect with the buffer beam in the style of the Princess Royal Class.[41] The ex-streamliners did not have any such connection[42] (except No.46242 City of Glasgow which was rebuilt in 1952 following its collision at Harrow and Wealdstone).[43]

Final modifications[edit]

The final two locomotives Nos. 6256 and 6257 William A. Stanier, F.R.S and City of Salford were given many new features. In order to raise the mileage between general overhauls from 70,000 to 100,000, measures were taken to decrease wear to the axle bearings and hornguides through the use of roller bearings and manganese steel linings. Other modifications included further superheating area, a redesigned cast steel trailing truck, rocking grate, hopper ashpan and redesigned cab-sides.[21][44]


The LMS era[edit]


Before applying the top coats of paint, the LMS would apply a matt undercoat of Shop Grey in which it was customary to photograph the locomotive for the first time. The ensuing LMS top coats for the Coronation Class came in two basic colours during this period: Caledonian Blue and Crimson Lake. Linings for streamliners involved the renowned 'speed whiskers' comprising stripes emerging from a fixed point in the lower centre of the front of the locomotive to run in parallel along the sides. Non-streamliners carried the standard LMS-style lining.

The first five locomotives, Nos. 6220-6224, were painted in Caledonian blue with banding in silver-coloured aluminium paint.[45] Wheels, lining to the edges of the bands, and the background to the chromium-plated nameplates were painted in a darker blue, Navy or Prussian blue.[45]

The second and fourth batches of streamlined locomotives, Nos. 6225-6229 and 6235-6244, were painted in crimson lake, with banding in gold lined with vermilion and black.[45] Nameplates had a black background.[46] LMS Shop Grey was carried briefly in service on No. 6229 Duchess of Hamilton from 7 September 1938 until its return to Crewe Works later that year, on 9 December 1938,[47][48] to be painted crimson lake as No. 6220,[45] in preparation for the 1939 visit to the New York World's Fair, USA.

Insignia for both Caledonian blue and crimson lake liveries was in unshaded sans-serif.[49]

The non-streamlined Nos. 6230-6234 were painted in a special version of the standard crimson lake livery.[50] The locomotives were lined out in gold bordered with fine red lines, with serif lettering and numerals in gold leaf and vermillion shading. Handrails and sundry small external fittings were chrome-plated, as were the nameplates, which had a black background.[50]

Two unusual events have been recorded. Firstly, in 1940 No.6221 Queen Elizabeth had its Caledonian blue colour scheme replaced by the crimson lake, the only such instance.[51] Secondly, the rare event of a crimson lake streamliner hauling a blue Coronation Scot trainset was, probably uniquely, captured on film.[52]


No. 6233 Duchess of Sutherland in presevation turned out in LMS Black.

Black was the overriding colour for this period (with one exception).

Streamlined locomotives Nos. 6245-6248 were outshopped at Crewe in 1943 in plain black.[53] The following two batches, Nos. 6249-6255, were constructed without their streamlined fairings again painted unlined black with red-shaded yellow numerals and lettering.[53] From 1946 onwards de-streamlined locomotives were usually repainted in black with LMS-style lining. The lining comprised a broad maroon centre with fine straw yellow edging. Lettering and numbering were in a sans-serif Grotesque font, in yellow with an inner maroon line.[54]

The one exception to black was No. 6234 Duchess of Abercorn which in 1946 was painted in a blue/grey colour.[55][56][57] This was the colour of a proposed new post-war livery, one version of which had a pale straw yellow line along the running plate, yellow and black edging to cab and tender, and unshaded sans-serif numerals and lettering.[58][59]

Table of LMS liveries[edit]

The British Railways era[edit]


Wrong class, wrong railway even. But this preserved GWR King Class is displaying a fine rendering of British Railways Standard Blue.
The 1949 emblem of British Railways.

At first locomotives were painted in BR experimental lined black following nationalisation.[60] [61] In a time of corporate indecision regarding liveries, No. 46257 (completed after nationalisation) was turned out in LMS black.[62]

Following the decision by British Railways to paint all its large passenger locomotives in a uniform colour, blue was the selected hue, despite the fact that the Great Western Railway (GWR), the Southern Railway (SR) and the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) had overwhelmingly painted their locomotives green - the LMS by contrast had concentrated on maroon. Blue was subsequently carried by 27 of the 38 Coronation Class locomotives. Some were painted in BR experimental lined blue (a somewhat darkish shade) while others were adorned in what became BR standard lined blue. The first two to be painted blue received their new colour in May 1949. One locomotive is known to have carried the blue livery until June 1954.

The locomotive's tender had traditionally been the medium to display the railway companies' logos, emblems and even coats of arms. After the formation of British Railways in 1948, the initial response was to adorn the tenders with the unimaginitive 'BRITISH RAILWAYS' lettering. This was applied to three different liveries: the LMS-style lined black livery (Nos. 46224, 46225, 46236, 46257);[63] the BR experimental dark blue livery (Nos. 46224, 46227, 46230–2, 46241);[64] and the BR experimental lined black livery (Nos. 46226, 46234, 46238, 46246, 46248, 46251, 46252, 46256).[65]

The spartan BRITISH RAILWAYS logo was subsequently replaced by the early BR crest which was applied from 1949, nicknamed 'the unicycling lion'.[66]


Preserved No. 46233 Duchess of Sutherland hauls a steam special gleaming in its BR Brunswick Green.
The 1956 emblem of British Railways.
In 1964, No. 46241 City of Carlisle shows off its coat of LMR Maroon. It also sports the yellow stripe.

The decision to adopt blue as the standard colour was subsequently reversed and Brunswick green was introduced in November 1951 with No. 46232 Duchess of Montrose.[67] Between October 1955[67] and December 1957,[68] all 38 locommotives carried it concurrently, the only livery the entire class carried.[69]

In the late 1950s the decision was made that the London Midland Region's main line locomotives could carry the colour maroon. This permission did not extend to the Scottish Region whose locomotives remained green until withdrawal.

The LMR maroon was carried on 16 locomotives from the late 1950s: Nos. 46225-6, 46228-9, 46236, 46238, 46240, 46243-48, 46251, 46254 and 46256.[68][70] No. 46245 was the first, in December 1957; a further fifteen examples followed between May and November 1958.[68] The style of lining varied: the first six repaints into maroon (including No. 46245) were lined out in the LMS style; the last ten received the BR style of lining as used on the standard green livery; No. 46247, originally lined in the LMS style, was given the BR style in July 1959; and by November 1961 those with the BR lining were repainted to match No. 46245.[68]

Meanwhile, from 1956 onwards the 1949 BR crest was now replaced with a new one, often disparagingly known as 'the ferret and dartboard'.[66]

From September 1964, a yellow diagonal stripe on the cab side denoted a restriction not to work under the 25kV overhead wires south of Crewe due to the lack of clearance. This inability of the locomotives to operate on the line they were designed for soon led to the remainder of the class being withdrawn.[71]

Shed allocations[edit]


The LMS's code for a locomotive's sheds was displayed on and an oval plate on the shoebox door. The code "1B", above, relates to Camden shed.
The vastness of Crewe North.

At first all the locomotives were allocated to Camden shed in London (LMS designation 1B). By 1939 there were 19 officially stationed there. In 1940 some of the class were reallocated to Crewe North (5A) and Glasgow Polmadie (27A, 66A from 1948). As the numbers grew, Crewe North was generally the beneficiary, but in 1946 Carlisle Upperby (12B), received an initial allocation of six locomotives. At various times locomotives were also seconded to Liverpool Edge Hill (8A) Holyhead (7C) and Rugby (2A). Following the closure of Camden shed in 1961, the allocated locomotives were transferred to nearby Willesden (1A).[72]

A typical allocation of the 1950s was Camden 15, Crewe North 10, Polmadie 9 and Upperby 4.[73] In practice, some of the outlying locomotives would be seconded to Camden in the summer to cope with holiday traffic.[72] As the 1960s progressed, the lines from Crewe to Liverpool and Manchester had already been completed and now the electrification crept south from Crewe towards London Euston.[74] The massive proportions of the Coronation Class resulted in their prohibition from operating under those wires. Camden's allocation was now run down, Polmadie's was dispensed with entirely and nearly half the locomotives found their way to Upperby.[72]

The locomotive that was wedded to its shed for the longest was No. 6240 City of Coventry which remained at Camden/Willesden from its introduction into service in March 1940 until its withdrawal in September 1964. By far the most promiscuous was No. 6251 City of Nottingham which, including temporary transfers, suffered seven shed transfers between 1948 and 1950 and fourteen between 1954 and 1957.[75]

Table of shed allocations[edit]

The entire class saw service at the following sheds. The table lists the recorded allocations, but does not list temporary loans and secondments of up to three months, which in some cases may have been considerable. It also ignores the transfer of No. 46225 to the Rugby Test Station for several months in 1955. [76]


No. 6220 Coronation on its record breaking journey on 29 June 1937.

Between 1937 and 1939, two significant records were set by locomotives of the Coronation class. Before the introduction of the Coronation service, No. 6220 headed a special train of invited guests from London Euston to Crewe on 29 June 1937. Just south of Crewe, the train (disputably)[77] achieved a speed of 114 miles per hour (183 km/h), narrowly beating the previous British record for a steam locomotive (held by the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER)). Insufficient braking distance had been left before entering a series of crossover points at Crewe, and although the train held the rails, much crockery in the dining car was smashed.[78][79] The LNER was to gain its revenge on 3 June 1938 when A4 Class No. 4468, Mallard regained the British and world records with a recorded maximum speed of 126 miles per hour (203 km/h).[80]

Following an earlier test using No. 6234 Duchess of Abercorn which indicated that the locomotive's power was compromised due to its single blastpipe, a double blastpipe and chimney were installed.[32] On 26 February 1939, a retest was undertaken and No. 6234 hauled a train of 20 coaches, including a dynanometer car, from Crewe to Glasgow and back. Even though the load was 610 long tons (680 short tons; 620 t), the train was propelled up the climbs to the summits at Shap and Beattock at unprecedented speeds. Drawbar horsepower (the power conveyed directly to the 20 coach train) was frequently over 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) and a maximum of 2,511 hp (1,872 kW) was recorded. This remains the official British record for a steam locomotive to this day.[81][82] Because there were unmeasured variables, the horsepower at the cylinders could only be estimated; Cecil J. Allen thought it to be 3,333 hp (2,485 kW) whilst O. S. Nock was more conservative at 3,209 hp (2,393 kW).[83][84]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

No. 6251 City of Nottingham showing the damage to its front end following the 1948 collision at Winsford.
No. 46242 City of Glasgow after the 1952 Harrow and Wealdstone collision. Despite the extensive damage it was subsequently repaired and returned to service.
  • On 21 July 1945, locomotive No. 6231 Duchess of Atholl was hauling an express passenger train which overran signals and collided with a freight train that was being shunted at Ecclefechan, Dumfriesshire. Two people were killed and three were injured.[85]
  • On 21 July 1947,locomotive No. 6244 King George VI was derailed at 60 mph (97 km/h) near Polesworth, Warwickshire due to the poor state of the track following the years of neglect throughout the Second World War. Coaches piled up behind it and five passengers were killed and 64 injured.[86] On 19 November 1951 No. 46252 City of Leicester, whilst traversing from the fast line to the slow, was derailed at almost the same spot. This time there was no pile-up and no serious injury.[87]
  • On 17 April 1948, locomotive No. 6251 City of Nottingham was hauling a mail train which was in a rear-end collision with a passenger train at Winsford, Cheshire. In the first major accident for the newly formed British Railways, 24 people were killed and thirty injured.[88]
  • On 25 April 1949, locomotive No. 46230 Duchess of Buccleuch was hauling a passenger train that overran a signal and was derailed at Douglas Park Signal Box, Motherwell, Lanarkshire. The signalman was suspected of having deliberately moved points under the train.[89]
  • On 8 October 1952, locomotive No. 46242 City of Glasgow was hauling an express passenger train when it overran signals and crashed into a local passenger train at Harrow and Wealdstone, Middlesex. Another express passenger train ran into the wreckage. In the second deadliest railway accident in the United Kingdom, 102 people were killed at the scene and 10 more died later from their injuries; no fewer than 340 people were injured.[90][91]
  • On 3 February 1954, locomotive No. 46250 City of Lichfield was hauling a passenger train that was derailed inside Watford Tunnel, Hertfordshire due to a broken rail. The rear three carriages became divided from the train at Watford Junction station, with one of them ending up on the platform. Fifteen people were injured.[92]
  • There were three instances of firebox crown collapse, resulting in boiler explosions. No. 6224 Princess Alexandra suffered a severe failure at Craigenhill on 10 September 1940 due to the inexperience of the crew (who both perished).[93][94] The same locomotive suffered a similar failure on 7 March 1948 at Lamington due to dirty and malfunctioning water gauge glasses.[94] The third incident occurred as No.46238 City of Carlisle was passing Bletchley on 24 January 1962 - this was attributed to faulty design of the water gauge glasses.[94]



The London Midland Region, compared with some of the other Regions, was slow to discard its "Big Engines". By a matter of a few days, the Western Region had managed to withdraw the whole of its King Class locomotives before the Coronation Class lost its first.[95] The beginning of the end occurred late in December 1962 when it was deemed uneconomic to proceed with major repairs required by three locomotives. Nos. 46227, 46231 and 46232 were therefore summarily withdrawn.[95]

Nos. 46234, 46246 and 46253 followed the next month and throughout 1963 the entire initial batch, Nos. 46220-46224, was withdrawn along with Nos. 46230, 46242, 46247, 46249 and 46252. These withdrawals meant that by the New Year of 1964, there were only 22 of the class remaining. Nos. 46229, 46233 and 46236 followed in early 1964, although two of this group - No. 46229 Duchess of Hamilton and No. 46233 Duchess of Sutherland - were destined for preservation.[96]

The final resting place for many a locomotive - the scrapyard.

Attempts were now made to find a role for the remaining 19 locomotives. By now many had been relegated to hauling trains in what were once seen as remote outposts of the LMS. Often they were reduced to pulling stopping trains,[97] empty stock trains,[98] or even goods trains.[99] Two potential roles were considered. The first was to replace the Scottish Region A4 Class on the testing route between Edinburgh Waverley and Aberdeen. This idea was discarded largely because it would be problematic to train the A4 crews to operate the Coronations.[100] The second option was to use the Coronation Class on the Southern Region's route from London Waterloo to Bournemouth.[101] This was a non-starter because the Southern Region still had all thirty of its rebuilt Merchant Navy locomotives which were quite up to the task. With no credible role, the die was cast: in July 1964 it was resolved that the remaining 19 locomotives were to be withdrawn from 12 September.[102]

Accordingly, the remaining locomotives were nominally taken out of service on 12 September 1964 apart from No. 46256 Sir William A. Stanier, F.R.S which hauled a special train on 26 September 1964.[100] By October all were officially withdrawn. Up until March 1964 the withdrawn locomotives were cut up for scrap at Crewe Works, but the withdrawal of all nineteen remainin locomotives in the autumn of 1964 (one of which was preserved) was too much to deal with and the work was contracted out to private firms. J. Cashmore at Great Bridge, Staffordshire, accounted for nine of the batch, the West of Scotland Shipbreaking Company at Troon, Ayrshire, dispatched eight and the Central Wagon Company at Wigan, Lancashire, disposed of the one remaining. [103] [104]

Table of withdrawals[edit]

The following table lists the fate of the Coronation Class locomotives following their withdrawal from service. [104]


Histories as of December 2016[edit]

Of the 38 original members of the Coronation Class, only three locomotives have been preserved, albeit in very different ways.

No. 46229 Duchess of Hamilton[edit]

No. 6229 Duchess of Hamilton in pseudo-LMS livery with smoke deflectors removed at Butlin's Holiday Camp, Minehead, in August 1974
No. 6229 on display at York after re-streamlining at Tyseley.

Butlin's, the holiday camp giant purchased No. 46229 Duchess of Hamilton following the withdrawal of this locomotive in February 1964 and it was put on display at the Minehead holiday camp.[105] In 1975, following a slow deterioration due to the Minehead's salty atmosphere and the looming maintenance costs, Butlin's signed a twenty year loan agreement for it to be taken under the wing of the National Railway Museum.[106] In 1976, following a cosmetic overhaul, No. 46229 was put on static display in the museum's York premises.[107] In due course a fundraising appeal allowed an overhaul to take place as a precursor to letting the locomotive operate on the national rail network once more.[108]

In April 1980 the locomotive again took to the rails and thereafter was employed in hauling many enthusiasts' trains.[108] After a substantial overhaul, the Duchess was declared fit in 1990 to continue working on the national network and at the same time the museum purchased it outright from Butlins.[109] In 1998, however, the locomotive returned to static display at the National Railway Museum in York.[110]

Following a successful appeal run by Steam Railway magazine, it was decided to re-streamline No. 46229. The locomotive was moved to Tyseley Locomotive Works, for the work to be carried out.[111] The project was completed in 2009, and the locomotive returned to York in May, now wearing her crimson streamlining and her pre-war number 6229.[112][113]

No. 46233 Duchess of Sutherland[edit]

No. 46233 Duchess of Sutherland prior to its 2010 overhaul. This could well be a scene from the early 1950s.
No. 6233 after its 2010 overhaul. The livery is 1938 but the smoke deflectors were only added in 1946.

No. 46233, which was withdrawn at the same time as No. 46229, was also purchased by Butlin's and it was displayed at its holiday camp at Ayr,[105] although - like No. 6229 Duchess of Hamilton at Minehead - it was stripped of its smoke deflectors and painted in pseudo-LMS livery. [114] By 1971 it had similarly deteriorated due to the salty seaside air and was in need of expensive maintenance. It was rescued by Alan Bloom, owner of Norfolk-based "Bloom's of Bressingham" nurseries; he had already taken over the Royal Scot Class No. 6100 from Butlin's Skegness holiday camp. In March 1971 No. 46233 was taken by rail and road to Bressingham on permanent loan.[115]

Over the course of the next few years, Bloom spent some £16,000 restoring the locomotive (along with some 20,000 man hours) and in May 1974 it was restored to steam once more. Unfortunately, as 1976 progressed it was discovered that No. 46233 would require a new firebox tubeplate at a projected cost of £12,000. Bloom was not prepared to spend further money at this time and the engine became a static exhibit at Bressingham.[116]

In 1989 Bloom bought the locomotive outright.[117] During 1993 it was moved temporarily to the East Lancashire Railway near Manchester and whilst there an exercise was undertaken to establish what repairs were necessary and how much they would cost. It was found that the extensive list amounted to £162,000 and no business plan could be found that would support such expenditure.[118]

In November 1995 the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust purchased the locomotive for £200,000 (through a third party) and the following February it was transferred to the Trust's premises at the Midland Railway in Butterley,Derbyshire.[119] In 1998, funded by public donation and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the third party purchaser was paid off and the money was now available to restore the locomotive. The work was carried out at the railway workshops at Swanwick Junction and in July 2001 the restored locomotive was allowed a trial run on the national rail network, where it promptly broke down and had to be towed home. With the fault fixed, No. 46233 now started to earn its crust by hauling enthusiasts' trains,[120] as well as the Royal Train on two occasions.[121] Following another overhaul commencing in 2010, the locomotive resumed its steaming duties in 2012.[122] Currently it is still owned by the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust and still pulling enthusiasts' specials.[123][124]

No. 46235 City of Birmingham[edit]

No. 46235 displaying the complex interior of its cab.
No. 46235 City of Birmingham in its Thinktank setting.

The locomotive received its official naming ceremony in March 1945, although it was well over five years old at the time. Alderman Wiggins-Davies performed the ceremony at the back end of Birmingham New Street Station - the locomotive was too large to be accommodated within the main part of the station.[125]

The city's love for its eponymous locomotive was borne out when, in 1953, Birmingham's Museum of Science and Industry determined that when the opportunity arose it would like to acquire No. 46235. When the locomotive was withdrawn in October 1964, the opportunity was taken to take it into the museum's custody. After successive spells at Crewe Works, Nuneaton, Crewe again (for cosmetic overhaul), Saltley depot and the Birmingham Lawley Street container terminal,the locomotive was finally moved to the museum in May 1966. At that time the building was still under construction and it wasn't until 1972 that the building was completed.[126]

In 1997 Birmingham City Council decided to close the museum and to construct the brand new ThinkTank museum (since re-christened Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum) in nearby Digbeth. In 2001 the locomotive was moved to the Thinktank where it remains to this day.[127][128] It differs significantly from the other two preserved locomotives in that it represents the only untouched example of a British Railways Coronation locomotive.

Table of Locomotives[edit]

The following table lists the chronology of major events for the entire class. De-streamlining took several weeks, so the date for modifications has been taken as the date when the locomotive was returned to service. Entries listed as "Current" are valid as at December 2016.





  1. ^ Roden 2008, pp. 47-48 and 103.
  2. ^ Roden 2008, pp. 18-19.
  3. ^ a b Bellwood & Jenkinson 1976, p. 73.
  4. ^ Roden 2008, pp. 23-25.
  5. ^ a b Haresnape 1989, p. 123.
  6. ^ a b Peacock 1951, pp. 606-61, Paper 506.
  7. ^ Bellwood & Jenkinson 1976, pp. 73-74.
  8. ^ Baker 2010, pp. 76,80,82,86 and 88.
  9. ^ Baker 2010, pp. 92,94,98,100 and 102.
  10. ^ Roden 2008, p. 49.
  11. ^ Marsh 2006, pp. 27-29.
  12. ^ Baker 2010, pp. 106,110,112,116 and 118.
  13. ^ Baker 2010, pp. 120,124,130,134,136,138, 142,144,148 and 150.
  14. ^ Baker 2010, p. 150.
  15. ^ Baker 2010, pp. 156,162,166 and 168.
  16. ^ Howlett 1994, pp. 523-44.
  17. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plates 135,144 and 148.
  18. ^ Baker 2010, pp. 172,174,178 and 182.
  19. ^ Baker 2010, pp. 186 and 190.
  20. ^ Roden 2008, p. 59.
  21. ^ a b c d Roden 2008, p. 64.
  22. ^ Banks 1990, p. 7.
  23. ^ Banks 1990, pp. 8 and 189.
  24. ^ Baker 2010, pp. 196 and 200.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h Jenkinson 1982, Tender Designs and Changes.
  26. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plate 168.
  27. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plates 122 and 197.
  28. ^ The Engineer 1939, p. 466, 3 diagrams and plan..
  29. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Notes to Nos. 6220-46257.
  30. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Notes to No. 6221.
  31. ^ a b c Baker 2010, p. 59.
  32. ^ a b Roden 2008, pp. 38-42.
  33. ^ Baker 2010, pp. 59 and 66.
  34. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plate 77.
  35. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plates 34,96,114,125 and 144.
  36. ^ Talbot 2011, pp. 100-104 and 106, Plates 147-150,154-157 and 159.
  37. ^ Banks 1990, p. 148.
  38. ^ Baker 2010, pp. 56 and 62.
  39. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plate 86.
  40. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plates 17,41 and 127.
  41. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plate 56.
  42. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plate 3.
  43. ^ a b Jenkinson 1982, Plates 120 and 123.
  44. ^ Nock 1984, p. 146.
  45. ^ a b c d Haresnape 1989, p. 115.
  46. ^ Haresnape 1989, p. 125.
  47. ^ Talbot 2002, p. 60, plate 77.
  48. ^ Jennison et al. 2009, p. 19.
  49. ^ Talbot 2011, p. 50.
  50. ^ a b Haresnape 1989, p. 124.
  51. ^ Baker 2010, p. 64.
  52. ^ Talbot 2011, p. 32, Plate 36.
  53. ^ a b Haresnape 1989, p. 138.
  54. ^ Haresnape 1989, pp. 140-141.
  55. ^ Hunt et al. 2008, pp. 105,143 and 166.
  56. ^ Jennison et al. 2009, p. 49.
  57. ^ Binns 1988, p. 18.
  58. ^ Haresnape 1989, p. 139.
  59. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plate 73.
  60. ^ Hunt et al. 2008, pp. 143,148,150 and 166.
  61. ^ Jennison et al. 2009, p. 51.
  62. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plate199.
  63. ^ Hunt et al. 2008, pp. 145 and 147–148.
  64. ^ Hunt et al. 2008, p. 148.
  65. ^ Hunt et al. 2008, p. 150.
  66. ^ a b Jackson 2013, Chapter 6:In Search of an Identity.
  67. ^ a b Hunt et al. 2008, p. 153.
  68. ^ a b c d Hunt et al. 2008, p. 157.
  69. ^ Hunt et al. 2008, p. 136.
  70. ^ Jennison et al. 2009, p. 118.
  71. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plate 95.
  72. ^ a b c Jenkinson 1982, Depot Allocations.
  73. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Summary of 'Duchess' 4-6-2 Allocation at Depots as at Autumn of the Years shown below.
  74. ^ "Electric All The Way" (PDF). British Railways Board. 1974. 
  75. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Depot Allocations, Notes to No. 6240 and Notes to No. 6251.
  76. ^ Roden 2008, pp. 5-77.
  77. ^ Nock 1971, pp. 163-164.
  78. ^ a b Nock 1984, pp. 82-83.
  79. ^ a b Roden 2008, pp. 26-31.
  80. ^ Nock 1984, p. 86.
  81. ^ a b Roden 2008, pp. 42-46.
  82. ^ a b Nock 1984, pp. 86-87.
  83. ^ Roden 2008, p. 46.
  84. ^ Nock 1984, p. 87.
  85. ^ a b Hoole 1983, p. 48.
  86. ^ a b Talbot 2011, p. 83, Plates 117-118.
  87. ^ "LMS Route: Rugby to Tamworth Polesworth Station: lnwr_pol1210". WarwickshireRailways. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  88. ^ a b Earnshaw 1991, p. 30.
  89. ^ Vaughan 1989, pp. 18–19.
  90. ^ a b Trevena 1980, p. 45.
  91. ^ Rolt & Kichenside 1982, p. 288.
  92. ^ a b Earnshaw 1991, p. 34.
  93. ^ a b Bond 1975, p. 136.
  94. ^ a b c d e f Webb 2005, pp. 20-27.
  95. ^ a b Roden 2008, p. 108.
  96. ^ Roden 2008, pp. 110.
  97. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plates 160 and 198.
  98. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plates 11 and 123.
  99. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plates 26,81,95, 100,145 and 201.
  100. ^ a b Roden 2008, p. 113.
  101. ^ "Railway Vehicle Information Sheet 1976-7000 - Duchess of Hamilton" (PDF). National Railway Museum. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  102. ^ Roden 2008, p. 112.
  103. ^ Roden 2008, pp. 114-115.
  104. ^ a b Hands 1980, pp. 28 and 30.
  105. ^ a b Roden 2008, p. 120.
  106. ^ Roden 2008, p. 140.
  107. ^ Roden 2008, p. 141.
  108. ^ a b Roden 2008, p. 142.
  109. ^ Roden 2008, p. 149.
  110. ^ Roden 2008, p. 218.
  111. ^ Roden 2008, pp. 221-223.
  112. ^ "Duchess of Hamilton locomotive arrives at National Railway Museum in York". The Press, York. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  113. ^ a b "LMS(R) Steam Locomotive with Tender 'Duchess of Hamilton' 4-6-2 Coronation Class, No 6229, 1938". National Railway Museum. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  114. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plate 70.
  115. ^ Roden 2008, pp. 132-135.
  116. ^ Roden 2008, pp. 137-138.
  117. ^ Roden 2008, p. 157.
  118. ^ Roden 2008, pp. 157-158.
  119. ^ Roden 2008, pp. 158-162.
  120. ^ Roden 2008, pp. 166-177.
  121. ^ Roden 2008, pp. 203-207 and 215-217.
  122. ^ "Midland Railway's 'Royal' steam locomotive can ride again". BBC News - Derbyshire. 3 March 2012. 
  123. ^ a b "PMR Tours". Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  124. ^ "Locomotives". Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  125. ^ Talbot 2011, p. 101, Plate 151.
  126. ^ Roden 2008, pp. 122-127.
  127. ^ "Collection". thintank Birmingham science museum. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  128. ^ a b Roden 2008, pp. 227-230.
  129. ^ 2010, p. 59.
  130. ^ a b c Baker 2010, pp. 76-200.
  131. ^ Baker 2010, pp. 59, 76-200.
  132. ^ a b c Hunt et al. 2008, p. 166.
  133. ^ Jenkinson 1982, Plates 85-88.
  134. ^ Nock 1984, p. 179.
  135. ^ Roden 2008, pp. 98-99.
  136. ^ "Photograph of nameplate and numberplate". Flickr. 22 July 2014. 
  137. ^ a b Roden 2008, pp. 99-100.
  138. ^ Roden 2008, p. 68.
  139. ^ Roden 2008, p. 72.


  • Baker, Allan C. (2010) [1998]. The Book of the Coronation Pacifics Mk2. Clophill: Irwell Press. ISBN 978-1-906919-17-7. 
  • Banks, Chris (1990). British Railways Locomotives 1948. Yeovil: Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 0-860934-66-7. 
  • Bellwood, John E.; Jenkinson, David (May 1976). Gresley and Stanier: A Centenary Tribute. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 0-11-290253-7. 
  • Binns, Donald (1988). LMS Locomotives at Work - 2, Coronation Class 4-6-2. Skipton: Wyvern Publications. ISBN 0-907941-32-X. 
  • Bond, R.C. (1975). Lifetime with Locomotives. Norwich: Goose & Son Publishers. ISBN 0-90040-430-2. 
  • Earnshaw, Alan (1991). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 7. Penryn: Atlantic Books. ISBN 0-906899-50-8. 
  • Hands, P.B. (1980). What Happened to Steam, Volume Seven. Solihull: P. B. Hands. 
  • Haresnape, Brian (1989). Railway Liveries 1923-1947. Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1829-4. 
  • Hoole, Ken (1983). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 4. Redruth: Atlantic Books. ISBN 0-906899-07-9. 
  • Howlett, Peter (July 1994). "Resource allocation in wartime Britain: The case of steel, 1939-45". Journal of Contemporary History. 29 (3). 
  • Hunt, David; Jennison, John; Meanley, Bob; James, Fred; Essery, Bob (2008). LMS Locomotive Profiles, No. 11 - The 'Coronation' Class Pacifics. Didcot: Wild Swan. ISBN 978-1-905184-46-0. 
  • Jackson, Tanya (2013). British Railways: The Nation's Railway. Stroud: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-9742-6. 
  • Jenkinson, David (1982). Profile of the Duchesses. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 0-86093-176-5. 
  • Jennison, John; Meanley, Bob; Essery, Bob; James, Fred; Hunt, David (2009). Pictorial Supplement to LMS Locomotive Profile No. 11 - The 'Coronation' Pacifics. Didcot: Wild Swan. ISBN 978-1-905184-62-0. 
  • Marsh, Phil (February 2006). Pigott, Nick, ed. "Stanier did not like streamlined locos!". The Railway Magazine. Vol. 152 no. 1258. London: IPC Media. ISSN 0033-8923. 
  • Nock, O.S. (1971). Speed Records on British Railways. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-5342-X. 
  • Nock, O.S. (1984). British Locomotives of the 20th Century, Volume 2 1930-1960. Cambridge: Patrick Stephens. ISBN 0-85059-596-7. 
  • Peacock, D. W. (1951). "Railway wind tunnel work". Journal of Institution of Locomotive Engineers. 41. 
  • Roden, Andrew (2008). The Duchesses: The Story of Britain's Ultimate Steam Locomotives. London: Aurum Press. ISBN 1-84513-369-2. 
  • Rolt, L.T.C.; Kichenside, Geoffrey M. (1982) [1955]. Red for Danger (4th ed.). Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-8362-0. 
  • Talbot, Edward (2002). The Coronation Scot, The Streamline Era on the LMS. Stafford: Edward Talbot. ISBN 0-9542787-1-2. 
  • Talbot, Edward (2011). LMS POWER, The 'Coronation' Class. Stafford: Edward Talbot. ISBN 978-0-9542787-5-5. 
  • Trevena, Arthur (1980). Trains in Trouble. Vol. 1. Redruth: Atlantic Books. ISBN 0-906899-01-X. 
  • "Tender of L.M.S. "Coronation" class locomotive". The Engineer. 168. 1939. 
  • Vaughan, Adrian (1989). Obstruction Danger. Wellingborough: Patrick Stephens. ISBN 1-85260-055-1. 
  • Webb, Terry (May 2005). "'Duchesses' in distress". Steam World. No. 215. Peterborough: Steam World Publishing. ISSN 0959-0897. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Doherty, Douglas (1973). The LMS Duchesses. Hemel Hempstead: Model and Allied Publications. ISBN 0-85242-325-X. 
  • Jenkinson, David (1980). The Power of the Duchesses. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 0-86093-063-7. 
  • Longworth, Hugh. British Railway Steam Locomotives 1948-1968. Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 0-86093-593-0. 
  • Mannion, Roger J. (1996). The Duchess, Stanier's Masterpiece. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-0903-X. 
  • Powell, A.J. (1991). Stanier Locomotive Classes. Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1962-2. 
  • Powell, A.J. (1986). Stanier Pacifics at Work. Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1534-1. 
  • Rowledge, J.W.P. (1975). Engines of the LMS, built 1923–51. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 0-902888-59-5. 
  • Rowledge, J.W.P. (1987). LMS Pacifics. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-8776-6. 
  • Sixsmith, Ian (1998). The Book of the Coronation Pacifics. Clophill: Irwell Press. ISBN 1-871608-94-5. 

External links[edit]