The 1948 Locomotive Exchange Trials

Quickly right after the railways were nationalised in 1948, the then recently shaped British Railways Board (BRB) undertook a review of the locomotive stock which had been inherited from the ‘Big Four’ independent railway businesses. It soon became apparent that the complete stable of steam locomotives comprised of a massive selection of distinct course varieties, wide quantities of which ended up acquiring shut to or in some situations, have been previously life-expired.

Appropriate from the beginning the government-owned organisation required to cut down charges as before long and as useful as possible. Not an effortless process with a war-battered railway. On the other hand, work commenced straight absent and in its initial yr, the BRB had recruited the renowned locomotive engineer Robert A Riddles, formerly of the LMS, to get accountability for the Mechanical & Electrical Engineering office. Riddles was given the undertaking of developing a new compact variety of new steam locomotive styles, the intention being that they switch the more mature pre-nationalisation locomotives.

Riddles’ settled for a prepare of action which was to use the best pre-nationalisation types and include the most effective traits of each and every into his standardised locomotives, consequently amalgamating the finest engineering feats from all of the former railway firms. The initial phase to producing the new styles were being the ‘Locomotive Trade Trials’. Riddles begun his quest by selecting a variety of convey style locomotives from every of the freshly-shaped Areas and utilising them on ”foreign” territory. As an instance, LMS locomotives operated about the Southern Location where there were no h2o troughs. To compensate for this they had been married jointly with four-axled ex-War Department tenders with much larger drinking water tanks. These ended up specifically presented LMS lettering for the occasion. In the same way, ex-Southern Location forms used somewhere else were being married collectively with ex-LMS tenders with drinking water scoops. This yielded some essential information and facts for the layout team on how appropriate certain locomotive lessons were being to certain stretches of line.

On completion of the Locomotive Trade Trials, Riddles’ Chief Draftsmen went again to the drawing board and began to formulate the 1st of the then new ‘standardised’ steam locomotives. Officially, these trials were being to recognize the best factors of the four unique strategies to locomotive design so that they could be used in the new BR normal styles. Nevertheless, the approaches utilized for testing lacked any authentic scientific value, and using Riddles’ track record into consideration and other political influences, it was nearly predictable that LMS practice was largely adopted by the new common layouts irrespective, and it is therefore rarely surprising that almost all of Riddles’ closing merchandise would bear a lot resemblance to the designs pioneered by the LMS, specially those locomotives which have been designes of Stanier and Ivatt.

Nevertheless, the trials were valuable publicity for BR to exhibit the unity of the new British Railways. By 1950 the very first of the new categorical locomotive patterns had been finalised at Derby and in the exact same yr, the British Transport Commission positioned an buy with Crewe Performs for the design of 20-4 of the style. What arrived forth from Crewe on 2nd January 1951 was a 4-6-2 Pacific locomotive seeking conspicuously like the Coronation course of engines built by William Stanier, also formerly of the LMS. The imposing motor, concluded in a plain black scheme with no lining, was scheduled for a exam operate in between Crewe and Carlisle on 11th January 1951, a dynamometer carriage being a person of the is composed of the teach it was to haul. Subsequent the test run, which proved to be a promising start off for the style, the locomotive, numbered 70000, was repainted into the a great deal extra common lined BR Brunswick Inexperienced and delivered to Marylebone station on the previous but a person working day of January to be named. No. 70000 was correctly named ‘Britannia’, following the female personification of the British Empire, and it marked a pretty promising stage ahead for BR.

To commemorate the Sixtieth Anniversary of the 1948 Locomotive Trade Trials, in 2008 Hornby Railways generated a Minimal Edition Design of a 4-6-2 West Nation Course Locomotive ‘Bude’ No 34006. This product, signifies the vintage pairing of a Southern Location Bulleid Pacific with a Stanier Tender. For the collectors out there, the Hornby R2685 West Country Class ‘Bude’ with Stanier Tender was only generated in a restricted run of 2008 and each of the product trains arrived with a numbered Certificate of Authentication.