The story of the Princess Coronation Class is one of split personalities and purposes and represents the difference in opinions and attitudes between design on the one hand, and perceived cost savings on the other.
The original streamlined form of the class arose from tests by the London Midland Scottish Railway’s Research Department on Stanier’s development of the Princess Royal class locomotives. Stanier was said to be ambivalent about the economic value of streamlining but was aware of the publicity value of such a design. When the opportunity to produce five conventional versions of the Coronation Pacific as a comparison to the streamlined version arose, Stanier was quoted as saying, “They can have their streamliners if they b***** want them, but we will also build them five proper ones”.
Those first five conventional locomotives were 6230 Duchess of Buccleuch to 6234 Duchess of Abercorn and colloquially they were known as Duchesses, after the first of this sub-class. Appearing in 1938 with a single chimney and without smoke deflectors, it is this form that many purists regard as the finest Pacific locomotive produced. The next four Duchesses to appear were 6249-6252 in 1944 and they emerged from works with a double chimney. Originally ordered as streamlined, the demands of maintaining the streamlined form exceeded the cost savings in coal and so they emerged from works without the casing, but with streamlined tenders (which had been completed before that decision was taken). In 1946 the next three Duchesses, 6253-6255, differed in appearance again, this time the curved fall plate at the front was replaced by a split platform and smoke deflectors were fitted. The final ‘as new’ produced Duchesses were 6256 and 46257 (as it appeared straight into British Railways ownership) and these were modified designs by Ivatt, featuring a different cab, pony truck, reversing gear and roller bearings.
The process of de-streamlining (or defrocking as the fitters called it) the remaining engines began with 6235 City of Birmingham in April 1946, with 6243 City of Lancaster being the last in May 1949. Because the smokeboxes were angled down between the chimney and door to accommodate the sweep of the streamlined casing, upon defrocking they retained this look, being referred to as semi-streamlined by enthusiasts of the time. Eventually the raked smokeboxes were replaced with conventional smokeboxes, so that by late 1958 the majority of the fleet showed a similar appearance, although all the defrocked locomotives had the split platform ‘utility’ front end.
Withdrawal of the class commenced in December 1962 and by October 1964 all had been withdrawn. Fortunately, three locomotives were saved for preservation; 6229 Duchess of Hamilton, 6233 Duchess of Sutherland and 6235 City of Birmingham.
6241 Duchess of Edinburgh was built streamlined at Crewe and entered traffic at Camden on April 13, 1940, paired with tender 9804. The streamlined casing was removed on February 2, 1947 whilst the locomotive was still at Camden, a shed where 6241 spent the majority of its working life. In storage between November 1962 and February 1963, then again between October 1963 and March 1964, 6241 Duchess of Edinburgh was withdrawn in September 1964.
Hornby is the UK’s leading model railway brand. Its high quality 00 gauge models (1:76) are slightly bigger than H0 (1:87), but will run on the same gauge track.
Detailed scale model. Not suitable for children under 14 years.Please refer to the safety notes in the enclosed instruction leaflet. Colours and contents may differ from those illustrated. Please retain these details and the address for future reference.
Technical Specification & Detail
|DCC Type||DCC Ready|
|Period||Era 3 (1923 - 1947)|
|Operator/Livery||LMS Lined Black|
|Designer||Sir William Stanier|
|Minimum Curve||2nd Radius + (438mm)|
|Motor||5 Pole Skew Wound|
The big question with this and the other new Coronations is, are they worth the extra money?. I feel I am a bit of an expert. First Coronation was 6233 in 1977 and since then I have had no less than 80 pass through my collection. In a nutshell, Yes it is worth the extra money however try to get it under £200. Sounds better when it starts with a 1!. Great to look at and a great runner. Quicker and stronger than the models from 3 years ago and looks stunning with 10 LMS coaches behind it. Hornby, keep them coming.
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