An LMS “Swan Song” published just three months before nationalisation. Sir William Valentine Wood succeeded Lord Stamp as President still maintained an iron grip onof the Executive, and initiated some easing of the “Old Bean Counter’s” penny pinching policies. The “ERO” – Executive Research Office still maintained an iron grip on printing paper costs, and would do so into early British Railways days, there was more recognition at the top, that “cost” did not necessarily reflect value, and some PR publications were produced to a higher standard. Despite the restrictions on use of paper during post -war austerity, this valedictory publication has been produced as a quality item, on semi art paper.
Beginning with “Rocket” some 60 locomotives of the LMS and constituent companies. are illustrated, in both pre-grouping and LMS livery (albeit in black & white) . In fact the comparatively few constituent companies locomotive classes which received the full crimson lake lined livery did not look well suited. An exception perhaps was the LNWR “Claughtons” (not that I ever saw one in real life – I am not that old.. but the late David Jenkinson had a superb 4mm scale model of “E. Tootal Broadhurst” in crimson lake, painted I think by Larry Goddard. It looked much more handsome than in black). It should be mentioned in passing that in the atmosphre of ill-feeling between LNWR and Midland factions which blighted the workings of the LMS mechanical engineering department following Hewitt Beames being passed over in favour first George Hughes, then of Sir Henry Fowler, misguided loyalists at Crewe delighted in outshopping repaired red locos with black tenders and vice versa. There is a hint in this book that old enme…ties were still smouldering. There is a detectable Crewe bias in the selection, in that the most up to date Midland Railway express passenger locomotive which could be mustered was built in 1900.
The full range of Stanier locomotives are represented, as are a couple of H.G. Ivatt’s, and a diesel electric shunter. I have a feeling that the booklet was prepared in something of a rush. It is unusual for a publication of this kind to carry a month of publication and the “artist’ impressions of the first LMS main line diesel electrics, are captioned respectively “3,200 hp.” and “1,600 hp” but both look identical, and both carry the number 10000.
Usefully, weight diagrams for all the locomotives built under LMS auspices are reproduced under the appropriate photograph.
PREVIEW BELOW – MAY TAKE A WHILE TO LOAD.