LMS Coronation Class
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46229 in so called 'semi-streamlined' condition at Tyseley, 6 May 2006.
The London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Coronation Class is a class of express passenger steam locomotives designed by William Stanier. They were an enlarged version of the LMS Princess Royal Class. Several examples were originally built as streamlined, though this was later removed. The non-streamlined locomotives 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 3300 horsepower and making them far more powerful than the diesel engines that replaced them.
The first five locomotives, Nos. 6220–6224, were built in 1937 at Crewe. They were streamlined and painted Caledonian Railway blue with silver horizontal lines to match the Coronation Scot train they were built to haul. Stanier was absent from the LMS during the period in which the design was developed, and the chief draughtsman at Derby, Tom Coleman, was responsible for most of the detailed design. It was Coleman who designed the streamlined casing. The streamlining is probably best described as reminiscent of an upside down bathtub and was fitted largely for publicity reasons. 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. The casing was tested in a wind tunnel, and retained after it was found to be as good as other forms of streamlining. In use its aerodynamic form failed to disturb the air sufficiently to lift the exhaust from the chimney, thus obstructing the driver's vision with smoke.
Prior to the introduction of the Coronation service, No. 6220 underwent speed trials with a special train in 1937. Just south of Crewe, the train achieved a speed of 114 miles per hour (183 km/h), beating the previous record for a steam train (held by the LNER) by a slim margin. 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. After this incident, the LMS and LNER agreed to stop dangerous record-breaking runs which were in effect publicity stunts.
The second five locomotives of the class, Nos. 6225–6229, were also streamlined, but 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 coaches. Although a prototype for this was built and exhibited in America it was never put into service due to the outbreak of the Second World War.
In 1938 a batch of five locomotives were built without streamlining, starting with 6230 "Duchess of Buccleuch". Further locomotives to the streamlined design, covering numbers 6235-6248 were built in 1939, 1940 and 1943. More unstreamlined locomotives 6249-6252 were built in 1944, followed by 6253-6255 in 1946. The final two locomotives were constructed to a modified design, with roller bearings, by George Ivatt and were built in 1947 (No. 6256) and 1948 (No. 46257). In 1948, British Railways were nationalised, and the class's numbers were changed; in common with other LMS locomotives, 40000 was added to the original numbers. No. 46257 was completed after nationalisation.
Single chimneys were initially fitted to Nos. 6220–6234 when built. These were replaced with double chimneys between 1939 and 1944. From No. 6235 onwards, the locomotives were built with double chimneys.
Smoke deflectors were added from 1945 due to drifting smoke obscuring the crew's forward vision. The last five locomotives were completed with smoke deflectors fitted.
An unusual feature of 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. This equipment greatly helped the loco's fireman to meet the high demands for power during the non-stop run of 299 miles (481 km) between London Euston and Carlisle Citadel, when operating the Royal Scot train to and from Glasgow Central.
Removal of streamlining
The streamlining was removed from the fitted locomotives from 1946 onwards. 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. Only three locomotives were still streamlined at the end of the LMS period and they had been stripped by the end of 1949. Only 46243 City of Lancaster carried its British Railways number while streamlined.
Initially, locomotives that had previously been streamlined could be readily recognised by a sloping top to the front of the smokebox; however all were eventually re-equipped with rounded smokeboxes. The sloping top led to the train-spotters' nickname of Semis (i.e. semi-streamlined). The last one to retain the sloping top was 46246 in 1959.
The first five locomotives, Nos. 6220-6224, were painted in Caledonian blue with banding in silver-coloured aluminium paint. 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. The second batch of streamlined locomotives, Nos. 6225-6229, were painted in crimson lake, with banding in gold lined with vermilion and black. Nameplates had a black background. LMS Shop Grey was carried briefly in service on 6229 Duchess of Hamilton from 7 September 1938 until its return to Crewe Works later that year, on 9 December 1938, to be painted crimson lake as No. 6220, in preparation for the 1939 visit to the New York World's Fair, USA. Insignia for both liveries was in unshaded sans-serif.
The non-streamlined Nos. 6230-6234 were painted in a special version of the standard crimson lake livery. 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.
Streamlined locomotives Nos. 6245-6248 were outshopped at Crewe in 1943 in plain black. The following batch, Nos. 6249-6252, were outshopped without their streamlined fairings, but with streamlined tenders, again painted unlined black with red-shaded yellow numerals and lettering.
In March 1946 No. 6234 Duchess of Abercorn was painted in a blue/grey colour. 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.
No. 6256 Sir William A. Stanier FRS was outshopped in 1947 in black, with lining and edging in maroon with fine straw yellow lining. Lettering and numbering were in a sans-serif grotesque font, in yellow with an inner maroon line.
BR Blue was carried by 27 of the 38 locomotives, the first two being so painted in May 1949. One locomotive is known to have carried the blue livery until June 1954.
BR Green was introduced in November 1951 with 46232 Duchess of Montrose. Between October 1955 and December 1957, all 38 locos carried it concurrently, the only livery the entire class carried. Locomotives allocated to the Scottish Region remained green until withdrawal.
BR Red was carried on 16 locomotives from the late 1950s: Nos. 46225-6, 46228-9, 46236, 46238, 46240, 46243-48, 46251, 46254, 46256 allocated to the London Midland Region. 46245 was the first, in December 1957; a further fifteen examples followed between May and November 1958. The style of lining varied: the first six repaints into crimson (including 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 46245.
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. Within a short time of this being applied, the remainder of the class were withdrawn.
After the formation of British Railways in 1948, some locos ran with tenders carrying BRITISH RAILWAYS lettering. This was applied to three different liveries: the LMS-style lined black livery (nos. 46224, 46225, 46236, 46257); the BR experimental dark blue livery (nos. 46224, 46227, 46230–2, 46241); and the BR experimental lined black livery (nos. 46226, 46234, 46238, 46246, 46248, 46251, 46252, 46256). The early BR crest was applied from 1949, this in turn was replaced by the later crest from 1956.
Accidents and incidents
- 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 3 were injured.
Main article: Rail accidents in Winsford
- 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.
- 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.
Main article: Harrow and Wealdstone rail crash
- 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, 112 people were killed at the scene and 10 more died later from their injuries.
- 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.
46236 'City of Bradford' approaching Crewe in 1957.
|LMS No.||BR No.||Name||Built||Style||Dbl. Chim.||Casing removed||Smoke Defl.||S’box circular||Withdrawn||Notes|
|6220||46220||Coronation||Jun 1937||Str.||Dec 1944||Sep 1946||Sep 1946||Dec 1955||Apr 1963||Set speed record of 114 mph (183 km/h) on 29 June 1937|
|6221||46221||Queen Elizabeth||Jun 1937||Str.||Nov 1940||May 1946||May 1946||Sep 1952||May 1963|
|6222||46222||Queen Mary||Jun 1937||Str.||Aug 1943||May 1946||May 1946||Aug 1953||Oct 1963|
|6223||46223||Princess Alice||Jul 1937||Str.||Nov 1941||Aug 1946||Aug 1946||Aug 1955||Oct 1963|
|6224||46224||Princess Alexandra||Jul 1937||Str.||May 1940||May 1946||May 1946||Oct 1954||Oct 1963|
|6225||46225||Duchess of Gloucester||May 1938||Str.||Jun 1943||Feb 1947||Feb 1947||Jan 1955||Oct 1964|
|6226||46226||Duchess of Norfolk||May 1938||Str.||Jul 1942||Jun 1947||Jun 1947||Nov 1955||Oct 1964|
|6227||46227||Duchess of Devonshire||Jun 1938||Str.||Dec 1940||Aug 1946||Feb 1947||May 1953||Dec 1962|
|6228||46228||Duchess of Rutland||Jun 1938||Str.||Sep 1940||Jul 1947||Jul 1947||Jan 1957||Oct 1964|
|6229||46229||Duchess of Hamilton||Sep 1938||Str.||Apr 1943||Nov 1947||Nov 1947||Feb 1957||Feb 1964||Preserved. Newly converted at Tyseley Locomotive Works into original, streamlined form for static display alongside LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard|
|6230||46230||Duchess of Buccleuch||Jul 1938||Conv.||Oct 1940||—||Sep 1946||—||Nov 1963|
|6231||46231||Duchess of Atholl||Jul 1938||Conv.||Jun 1940||—||Sep 1946||—||Dec 1962|
|6232||46232||Duchess of Montrose||Jul 1938||Conv.||Jan 1943||—||Feb 1945||—||Dec 1962|
|6233||46233||Duchess of Sutherland||Jul 1938||Conv.||Mar 1941||—||Aug 1946||—||Feb 1964||Preserved: Operational, Mainline Certified.|
|6234||46234||Duchess of Abercorn||Aug 1938||Conv.||Feb 1939||—||Mar 1946||—||Jan 1963||Set all time power output record for a British steam locomotive at 3,333 hp (2,485 kW).|
|6235||46235||City of Birmingham||Jul 1939||Str.||New||Apr 1946||Apr 1946||Jul 1952||Oct 1964||Preserved as a static exhibit, Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry|
|6236||46236||City of Bradford||Jul 1939||Str||New||Dec 1947||Dec 1947||Nov 1953||Mar 1964||1948 Locomotive Exchange locomotive.|
|6237||46237||City of Bristol||Aug 1939||Str.||New||Jan 1947||Jan 1947||May 1956||Oct 1964|
|6238||46238||City of Carlisle||Sep 1939||Str.||New||Nov 1946||Nov 1946||Oct 1953||Oct 1964|
|6239||46239||City of Chester||Sep 1939||Str.||New||Jun 1947||Jun 1947||Feb 1957||Oct 1964|
|6240||46240||City of Coventry||Mar 1940||Str.||New||Jun 1947||Jun 1947||May 1957||Oct 1964||The nameplate and numberplate of this locomotive have survived. They are at Coventry Station and can be seen from the staircase above platform 2 and 3, together with photographs.|
|6241||46241||City of Edinburgh||Apr 1940||Str.||New||Jan 1947||Jan 1947||Feb 1958||Sep 1964|
|6242||46242||City of Glasgow||May 1940||Str.||New||Mar 1947||Mar 1947||Nov 1953||Oct 1963||Badly damaged in the Harrow and Wealdstone accident, 1952. Rebuilt with non-streamlined style front footplate, which had been removed from another victim of the same accident, number 46202.|
|6243||46243||City of Lancaster||Jun 1940||Str.||New||May 1949||May 1949||Nov 1958||Oct 1964||Last streamlined locomotive to have its casings removed.|
|6244||46244||City of Leeds
King George VI ( Apr. 1941)
|Jul 1940||Str.||New||Aug 1947||Aug 1947||Jul 1953||Oct 1964|
|6245||46245||City of London||Jun 1943||Str.||New||Aug 1947||Aug 1947||Dec 1957||Oct 1964|
|6246||46246||City of Manchester||Aug 1943||Str.||New||Sep 1946||Sep 1946||May 1960||Jan 1963|
|6247||46247||City of Liverpool||Sep 1943||Str.||New||May 1947||May 1947||May 1958||Jun 1963|
|6248||46248||City of Leeds||Oct 1943||Str.||New||Dec 1946||Dec 1946||Jun 1958||Sep 1964|
|6249||46249||City of Sheffield||Apr 1944||Conv.||New||—||Nov 1946||—||Nov 1963||Built with streamlined tender.|
|6250||46250||City of Lichfield||May 1944||Conv.||New||—||Mar 1946||—||Oct 1964||Built with streamlined tender.|
|6251||46251||City of Nottingham||Jun 1944||Conv.||New||—||Aug 1948||—||Oct 1964||Built with streamlined tender. Locomotive damaged in the 1948 Winsford rail accident.|
|6252||46252||City of Leicester||Jun 1944||Conv.||New||—||Mar 1945||—||Jun 1963||Built with streamlined tender.|
|6253||46253||City of St. Albans||Sep 1946||Conv.||New||—||New||—||Jan 1963|
|6254||46254||City of Stoke-on-Trent||Sep 1946||Conv.||New||—||New||—||Oct 1964|
|6255||46255||City of Hereford||Oct 1946||Conv.||New||—||New||—||Oct 1964|
|6256||46256||Sir William A. Stanier F.R.S.||Dec 1947||Conv.||New||—||New||—||Oct 1964||Design modified by Ivatt.|
|6257||46257||City of Salford||May 1948||Conv.||New||—||New||—||Oct 1964||Design modified by Ivatt.|
Three Duchesses have been preserved. (4)6229 Duchess of Hamilton, (4)6233 Duchess of Sutherland which have both been in service on the main line hauling railtours. The third locomotive, (4)6235 City of Birmingham, was the centrepiece in the now defunct Birmingham science museum. The locomotive was put in place and the museum built around her. (4)6235 is now located at ThinkTank in Birmingham.
Following a successful appeal run by Steam Railway Magazine, 46229 was re-streamlined. The locomotive was moved to Tyseley Locomotive Works, where the work was carried out. The project was completed in 2009, and the locomotive returned to York on 18 May, now wearing her pre-war number 6229 and taking her place at the heart of a new National Railway Museum temporary exhibition. Currently only 46233 is operational and still has a mainline certificate. 'Duchess of Sutherland' is owned by The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust and is based at the West Shed, Midland Railway-Butterley, Derbyshire.
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- Princess Coronations
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