Reality Check: Stanier’s ‘Duchess’ class 'Pacifics

Although eclipsed in the public’s imagination by engines from rival railways the LMS ‘Duchesses’ were the most powerful passenger locomotives of their time and given other circumstances might have even held the world steam speed record, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.

Above: In spectacular style ‘Princess Coronation’ 46236 City of Bradford storms up Shap with the Down ‘Royal Scot’ in the early 1950s. W.J. Verden Anderson/Rail Archive Stephenson.

By the mid 1930s Britain had entered a new era of optimism and progress, finally shaking off some of the financial restrictions arising from the First World War and the Great Depression. In the world of design Art Deco was all the rage; new clothing fashions proliferated and at last many more people had the money to enjoy travel.


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