Coronation Pacifics Dvd: Stanier’s Duchesses
Steam Locomotive Profile No. 3:
The Coronation Pacifics –Stanier’s Duchesses Dvd
The LMS Coronation Class Pacifics, which were introduced in 1937, were a follow on from the company’s first class of pacific locomotives, The Princess Royals.
Designed under the guidance of Chief Mechanical Engineer Sir William Stanier, they were initially referred to by the LMS as Princess Coronation Class locomotives.
Eventually however the class became more commonly known as Duchesses.
The original design incorporated streamlining, a feature that was used on the LNER A4s, and a locomotive class that at the time were dominant in British express passenger train haulage.
The LMS Pacifics were intended to challenge the A4s position as, what was perceived by the public to be the nations most prestigious railway locomotive, and ultimately lift the profile of the LMS.
Not all the Coronation Pacifics were built with streamlined casings, no less than 18 of the final total of 38 locomotives being constructed to a conventional design.
Eventually the streamliners had their casings removed and the whole class took on a broadly similar appearance.
The Duchesses became a much loved class of locomotive and achieved great acclaim hauling express workings up and down the West Coast Mainline between London and Glasgow.
Eventually however they succumbed to railway modernization plans and diesel locomotives began to replace them on their traditional top link turns.
The Duchesses soldiered on for a while however, but were relegated to the likes of freight and parcels turns, and were even seen on duties that amounted to no more than short four-coach passenger trains.
Withdrawals began in 1962, and by the autumn of 1964 the entire class had disappeared.
Happily however three of the original 38 locomotives have survived, two of which 46229 Duchess of Hamilton and 6233 Duchess of Sutherland have been returned to steam and have seen action out on the mainline.
This programme studies the class and its development, using cine archive footage, including rare colour shots of streamlined examples, plus sequences of the preserved pair in action.
Approx. 60 minutes.
This dvd is being sold on behalf and with full permission of the copyright holder – Cinerail.