LMS Route: Rugby to Tamworth
Trent Valley Lineside - Gypsy Lane: lnwr_gyp1158
An unidentified LMS 6P 4-6-0 Royal Scot class locomotive is
seen approaching Gypsy Lane road bridge on an up express circa 1929. The Royal
Scot class was introduced in 1927 due to the recognition by senior management
that the LMS was falling behind in competing with the LNER in attracting
traffic to Scotland. Since grouping in 1923 the LMS had followed the Midland
Railway's small engine policy that meant that it had no locomotives of
sufficient power for its expresses on the West Coast Main Line. By the
mid-1920s trains were entrusted to Midland designed Compounds 4-4-0s, the LNWR
Claughton Class 4-6-0s and the L&YR Dreadnought 4-6-0s with the latter two
designs being recognised as both not up to the job and costly to run.
The construction of fifty a new class of 4-6-0 was
authorised by the LMS to be delivered by the North British Locomotive Works
based in Glasgow. Such was the haste to get them in to service that they were
introduced without testing, the design being based on the SR Lord Nelson Class.
A further twenty were later built by Derby works. The Royal Scots were
initially named after famous British Regiments and also some historical LNWR
locomotives, though these were later renamed in 1935-6 again after regiments.
From late 1931, after several bizarre experiments to clear drifting smoke away
from the locomotive straight sided smoke deflectors were added; these being
later replaced by an angled-top version. From 1933 the class were taken off the
top-link expresses, being superseded by the LMS Princess Royal Class and later
the LMS Princess Coronation Class pacifics.