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British Steam Military Connections (Hardback)

LNER Steam Locomotives & Tornado

British History Transport Photographic Books Colour Books Trains and Railways

By Keith Langston
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: British Steam
Pages: 152
Illustrations: 150
ISBN: 9781526759825
Published: 4th November 2019

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In Great Britain there existed a practice of naming steam railway locomotives. The names chosen covered many and varied subjects. However, a large number of those represented direct links with military personnel, regiments, squadrons, naval vessels, aircraft, battles and associated historic events. This publication looks specifically at the relevant steam locomotives which came into British Railway stock on 1 January 1948.

Memorably, the London, Midland & Scottish Railway named an express locomotive Patriot, as a memorial engine following on from a London & North Western Railway (LNWR) tradition. That name was then applied to a complete class of locomotives. In addition, a large number of the company’s Jubilee class locomotives were given names with a military connection, as were a small number of Black Five class engines. Famously the majority of the much-admired Royal Scot class of engines carried names associated with the military in general and regimental names in particular. The Stanier 8F class, often referred to as The Engines of War were unnamed by the LMS. However, one of the class honoured the memory of a Victoria Cross holder, whilst the locomotive was in the UK and under the ownership of the War Department.

Many of the nameplates were adorned with ornate crests and badges.

Long after the demise of mainline steam, rescued nameplates are still much sort after collectors’ items, which when offered for sale command high prices. This generously illustrated publication highlights the relevant steam locomotives at work around the railway network and explains the origins and social history surrounding their military names.

Reviewed alongside British Steam Military Connections: Southern Railway, Great Western Railway and British Railways - Steam Locomotives

Both books feature pin-sharp images and quality monochrome and colour reproduction, and are highly recommended additions to the social history of our railways.

West Somerset Railway Association

The second part of the book is a brief history of the legendary 50th A1 locomotive Tornado. This proved just as interesting as the first part and again includes a number of quality photographs to demonstrate this locomotives power and public appeal. I have to admit (hang my head in shame), that I had not realised the connection between the loco and the RAF fast jet until I read this book, every day is a school day? There are also pictures of Tornado jets in action, two of which are on the “Mach Loop” in Wales, an area I can wholeheartedly recommend if you are into plane spotting. All in all, an interesting read.

Graham Norton, The Circular

Overall this book strikes one as being somewhat in the ‘coffee table’ style although the author has managed, without producing a dense text, to cram in enough interesting information to hold the reader’s attention and keep the pages turning. At £25 it is not bad value for money.

Tenterden Terrier, March 2020

I feel that the book will appeal mainly to the railway enthusiast because of the picture content, but will also be of interest to the enthusiast of military matters as there is much more to this book than the locomotive illustrations.

Bradford Railway Circle, March 2020 - review by Philip Lockwood

A collection of the most interesting.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

The derivation of familiar names such as the Green Howards are of particular interest to military and Deltic fans alike!

Railway Modeller, April 2020

As featured by

Steam World, March 2020

Keith Langston uncovers the fascinating story of how British railway companies honoured Britain's military connections by naming their locomotives after notable soldiers and sailors.

Books Monthly

The book is full of fantastic photos of the various locomotives, above which the colored ones of the rebuilt Tornado stand out, photos that convey an atmosphere of times gone by. The information notes on the history of the locomotive, those on the subject to which the locomotive is dedicated, the same choices to give a name rather than another, make us know a lot about what the United Kingdom was like at the time of the steam locomotives, which were preserved and in any case have had a fruitful operational life. The authorities loved them so much for their service and their history by associating them with military names.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

A fascinating book that looks at LNER naming of locomotives and the military subjects they were named for. This is a fine production that does credit to the able text and the excellent images using quality gloss paper stock. – Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here

Firetrench

This was an enjoyable; easy-to-read, and informative book which provided a valuable and engaging insight into the naming traditions of long-lost LNER steam locomotives.

Read the full review here

Donna's Book Blog

About Keith Langston

Cheshire based Keith Langston is a widely published and highly respected photo journalist specialising in railway and other transport related subjects. His interest and vast knowledge of all things railway stem from being brought up in the North West of England as part of a railway family. Over the past 25 years he has operated as a contributor to heritage sector journals whilst establishing himself as an accomplished author in his own right.

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