The Princess Royal Pacifics (Hardback)
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When Stanier joined the LMS in 1932, as their CME, he was expected to breathe new life into this ailing giant. Since its formation it had steadily lost ground to its main rival, the LNER. In Doncaster, Nigel Gresley and his team, with an eye to advancing locomotive design at the same time as making the company commercially successful, had quickly begun producing a series of high performance and iconic Pacific engines to pull their high profile express trains. Their impact left the LMS trailing in their wake.
Under previous CMEs, the LMS had concentrated on 4-6-0 designs to pull their express services, but many felt they lacked sufficient power and had little to offer in performance or glamour when compared to their rivals.
Stanier, heavily influenced by his mentor, George Churchward, his work on the GWR and the potential of the Pacific design, saw such a class as essential to the success of the LMS. And so the Princess Royal Class came into being, against a background of some opposition and cultural differences. Despite this, they proved their worth and became popular with their crew and managers. Within a few short years, however, their premier position in the company had been taken by a very worthy successor, the Princess Coronation Class.
Overshadowed and often overlooked, they tend to be seen as a stepping stone to something better. Yet, in reality they stand up well to the closest scrutiny, and this book tells the story of these engines through the eyes of those who came into contact with them. They also best represent the impact William Stanier had on locomotive design and best describe the way he changed the culture of the LMS to allow it to grow successfully. It is a story of great endeavor and courage that can only be told by revealing and discussing political, social, economic and engineering issues.
The author is to be congratulated on his research which is deep and includes many revealing quotes.Friends of the National Railway Museum
The range of photographs is excellent and contribute greatly.
No LMS devotee should be without this book.
There have been numerous books on these magnificent machines but for enthusiasts of Stanier and the LMS this is a 'must have' book for your collection...Model Engineer – reviewed by Paul Carpenter
... Author Tim Hillier-Graves does an excellent job in describing the technical features of the engines, how they were constructed and the trials and tribulations of commissioning them...
... Altogether a very enjoyable, readable and informative book representing good value.
Definitely a must for LMS fans, this book covers the genesis of the class under William Stanier with his formative years at Swindon. It looks at inspirations for the class abroad, the internal politics of the LMS and problems in building and testing a new class. R.A. Riddles’ little known technical specification is reproduced as an appendix, giving useful engineering information. There’s a chapter about life on the footplate drawing on the recollections of East End boy Laurie Earl, later a crack driver, and a section about the Turbomotive spinoff. Unusually this includes potted biographies of people involved, not only locomotive engineers. In all a very good book.Society of Model & Experimental Engineers
BOOK OF THE MONTHBarnsley Chronicle, February 2018
Article: 'Local resident publishes locomotive history book' as featured inWhite Horse News, 1st February 2018