The Final Day Collection - LNER 4-6-2 'Gay Crusader' A3 Class Limited Edition
Item code: R3518
Minister of Transport, Eric Campbell Geddes’ Railways Act of 1921, enacted at the start of 1923, created the ‘Big Four’ regional rail companies of the Great Western Railway, the London Midland Scottish Railway, the London North Eastern Railway and the Southern Railway. Twenty five years later, on January 1, 1948, Clement Attlee's Transport Act of 1947 created British Railways, marking the end of what many regard as the golden age of the railways. With 2017 marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the ‘Big Four’, the ‘Final Day’ collection features a mainline locomotive from each of the regions, in its final regional livery.
A modification of Sir Nigel Gresley’s original A1 design, the LNER’s A3 locomotives were the stalwarts of the East Coast Main Line Express services from the mid-1920s, right up until 1961, when they were replaced by English Electric Deltics. Gresley’s first designs for a large express passenger locomotive were put into practice in 1915 and although the First World War delayed development, in April 1922, 1470 Great Northern became the first A1 to enter service. Following exchange trials with the Great Western Railway, a range of modifications were brought to the A1 Class, eventually resulting in all of the A1s being rebuilt as Class A3 locomotives, with the exception of Great Northern, which was rebuilt by Thompson in 1945 as a Class A1/1.