Coronation Scot

Coronation Scot, LMS 6220, locomotive from England

30 posts in this topic

Hi everyone.

I am interested to hear from anyone with info, especially photographs or film (possibly colour) of the London Midland & Scottish Railway 'Coronation Scot' No. 6220, locomotive and train which visited the NYWF 1939-40. It was stranded in the USA during the war and was stored. The carriages were used as an 'Officers Mess' at Jeffersonville.

The streamliner train was painted crimson lake red with gold stripes running all along the sides of the whole train (as shown in my avatar).

Cheers,

Paul.

ps. This loco has been preserved in England and is currently being re-clad since it had the streamlining removed after the war in about 1949, for ease of maintainance.

post-4043-1217208129_thumb.jpg

post-4043-1217208168_thumb.jpg

post-4043-1217208204_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Paul, and welcome to PTU! Glad you found us.

You have one of my pictures from the fair (the middle one), and I think I have more but not yet restored. I'll see what I can find for you later, working against a deadline on something else at the moment. In the meantime, what can you share with us about the train?

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Paul,

same here - working with a deadline but I have this in color and in b/w and in hand-colored one-off photocard format. I recall this one among the hand-colored as a metallic gold was used in the album. Will see what I can find when I can. I am not a train nut and I know I have a large amount of these trains in color as they were a photographic obligation - like the fireworks show(s). Every time I open a new box or bundle of slides there are sometimes 10 or more of the fireworks. Only recently did I find some fireworks slides that I actually enjoyed. Anyway, for this reason it is possible I may have more than one view of this engine in which case I'd consider selling one if interested.

Best,

Eric aka MB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bill.

Thanks for replying so quickly. Hope you don't mind me using that 2nd photo. I can delete it if there are any copyright issues.

Loco info:

It was part of the Princess Coronation class of 38 locos which first came out to celebrate King George VI's coronation of 1937. The first 5 locos built were painted blue with silver stripes. The route they travelled was from Euston, London to Glasgow, Scotland. This service was called the 'Coronation Scot'. Then later in 1938 they also built more, some were red streamlined and others were red non-streamlined. Only the blue streamliners had matching striped carriages, other than this red one which visited the 1939-40 NYWF.

The loco was built at Crewe, England 7 Sept 1938 for the London Midland & Scottish Railway and referred to as 'the american engine'. Cost £9732 engine and £1570 tender. It was originally called "Duchess of Hamilton" and numbered 6229. It came out of the works in grey primer for a very short while for testing and then returned to Crewe to be painted red and to take the place of the real "Coronation" number 6220 (built 1937 which was actually blue with silver stripes). The LMS normally used crimson lake red for their locos anyway and felt it was better for publicity to send a red loco to the 1939 NYWF. And so both locos swapped name plates and numbers for a few years!

The 8 carriages were built in Derby, England at the LMS Carriage & Wagon workshops.

To comply with US railroad laws, the loco was fitted with a huge headlamp and brass bell, also brackets for side-lamps too, and the claw coupling. None of the other LMS streamliners had these features. The train first made a 3121 mile tour of the US, hosted by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, before being exhibited at the NYWF.

I have only found 2 [edit: 5 photos] colour views of 6220 at the NYWF. It is believed that the 'Coronation' nameplate it used was still painted dark blue background with chrome edging and lettering. [edit: Having checked 2 photos in colour, and zoomed in, I can now confirm that the background was navy blue.]

The loco stayed in the USA during the war until 1942 because of the threat of U-boat attacks in the Atlantic. The carriages remained until 1946. After the war, when it returned to England it swapped nameplates and numbers back again (6220 now 6229) and the streamlining was removed on 10 Jan 1948. British Railways were then formed in 1948 and 6229 now became 46229 by 3 July 1948. Officially retired on 15 Feb 1964 having covered 1,454,892 miles. Purchased by Sir Billy Butlin who displayed it as a static exhibit at his Minehead holiday camp. Then he offered the loco on loan to the National Railway Museum in York, where it was later purchased and brought back to mainline running condition. http://www.nrm.org.uk/collections/loco/duchess.asp

Currently being re-clad at Tyesley, Birmingham. See photos. But due to a shortage in steel on the world market, the project is delayed I have been told. The loco re-cladding has now been completed and the "Duchess of Hamilton" LMS number 6229 is now on display at the National Railway Museum in York, England. Photos can be found at this link: http://www.vintagetrains.co.uk/tlw_6229.htm

Hope that explains a bit more about it. Any further info, I'll do my best!

I would be very interested to hear if anyone has colour film of this captured on any DVD - there's so many colour films of the NYWF I'm sure some rich American with a cine-camera in 1939 must have filmed at bit somewhere!

Cheers,

Paul.

post-4043-1217213163_thumb.jpg

post-4043-1217213231_thumb.jpg

post-4043-1217213270_thumb.jpg

Edited by Coronation Scot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some pics from the B & O staff magazine. Landing in 1939 and the 'Officers Mess' in 1943.

post-4043-1217214275_thumb.jpg

post-4043-1217214293_thumb.jpg

post-4043-1217214311_thumb.jpg

post-4043-1217214360_thumb.jpg

post-4043-1217214406_thumb.jpg

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem using the picture here on PTU. Thanks for the information on the train. I'm a big fan of old steam so it's great to see it being rebuilt. Sure looks like a very nice and thorough job. Remind me after August 12th and I'll go through my files and see what I have for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two questions-

1) I thought the track guage was different between the UK and America-either wider or narrower. Did this unit have to be modified to run on American trackage?

2) Was this engine used to pull the train between the U.S. and Canada to haul the royal family (King George, Queen Mary, kids & entourage) when they visited in 1939?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two questions-

Q1) I thought the track guage was different between the UK and America-either wider or narrower. Did this unit have to be modified to run on American trackage?

Q2) Was this engine used to pull the train between the U.S. and Canada to haul the royal family (King George, Queen Mary, kids & entourage) when they visited in 1939?

Hi Randy,

A1) Standard Gauge. I'm certain that it is a myth that there are differences in gauge size between US and UK railways. Even my Dad thought the same as you did and he worked in the British Rail Derby Carriage & Wagon workshops for over 30+ years! There have been several UK to USA loco visits over the years. Great Britain sent over locos as early as 1893. The LMS sent over 6100 'Royal Scot' for the 1933 Chigago expo; The Great Western Railway sent over 6000 'King George V'; and Alan Pegler sent over his London & North Eastern Railway 4472 'Flying Scotsman' in 1969. The Pullman carriage company sent Pullman coach kits from USA to Derby, UK, for the Midland Railway to assemble. And at the turn of the century, 1899-1900, the Midland Railway also imported eighty 2-6-0 locos from America because of a national loco shortage in England. The USA companies supplying these were Baldwins and the Schenectady Loco Co. I have seen a photo of these being assembled in the open air in front of the Derby loco works! So I guess the standard gauge of 4' 8" and a half, was widespread thanks to things like the export of steam railways from Great Britain into the old 'Empire' and neighbouring markets. I have seen on a TV show that the reason for the 4' 8" and a half gauge was because it was the width of the ruts left in the roads by the Romans' horse carts in Britain. Not sure on that one. But the first steam engine to ever run on rails was in 1804 at Pen-y-Darren by Richard Trevithick. (Well before Stephenson's 'Rocket' of 1829!). I can't find what gauge the Trevithick loco used though.

A2) I believe the loco you are thinking about, for the 1939 Royal visit to Canada, was the Canadian National Railways U-4-a class 4-8-4 Northern 6400.

Preserved here. This isn't the loco I am researching.

Cheers,

Paul.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The NYWF items I have, are the red and the blue versions on the Coronation Scot brochure. They look identical in design, but the blue one is prior to the exhibition.

There was a second blue brochure issued with an aeroplane on the front (see photo). I think this was for the second season i.e. 1940. I don't have this copy yet. [edit: I now have all 3 versions in my collection.]

And I have seen a NYWF diner childrens menu with pictures of locos inside it.

Paul.

post-4043-1217302275_thumb.jpg

post-4043-1217302329_thumb.jpg

Edited by Coronation Scot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't have time to fully restore these but thought I would add them here before I forget.

First, a view of the engine itself:

39-coronation-1.jpg

and second a sign with some statistics:

39-coronation-2.jpg

Note the line about track "Width of track as in America" would seem to indicate it was indeed different than in the UK.

Hope you enjoy them, Paul.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From http://www.naciente.com/essay94.htm

American railroad tracks are 56.5" wide (the "gauge") because the English built the first railroads in America and they used that width. Why did they use that width? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used. Why did "they" use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that were used for building wagons which used that wheel spacing.

Why did wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Because older wagon ruts throughout England used that spacing, and if they changed it, wagon wheels would break by either falling into or being forced out of the old ruts, which were 56.5" wide.

The old ruts were that size because the roads were built by the Romans, who arrived in England in 54 BC and left about 400 AD. Their wagons, and their chariots before their wagons, used that spacing, and that spacing was used all over Europe and wherever Rome conquered, because their wagons used the identical wheel base everywhere. So the modern railroad track width derives from the Roman chariot.

Why was the Roman chariot track width 56.5"? Because that was the width of a chariot that would equal the width of two "standard" Roman horses. Thus, wagon and horses would fit through the same narrow street. Specifications and bureaucracies live forever!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

very interesting!!!

We should all be grateful that the Romans did not use two standard sized elephants to pull their chariots. Imagine how big our locomotives would be!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Bill for those excellent photos. I haven't seen these before. Mostly I just find people posing at the front of the loco and the photos are often tiny!

By 1940, into the second season of the Fair, I have noticed that the loco has had certain parts painted white, such as the oval buffers and wheel rims. I guess it was rusting! Looks a bit gash painted white and not a practice done in England, although in Scotland they have been known to paint buffers, smokebox hinges and numberplate surrounds white or silver!

The sign is very helpful and a great close up photo.

  • "Width of track as in America." To me, that means it is the same gauge. It's 'Standard Gauge' at 4' 8" and 1/2" which is the same for both countries.

    The Maximum speed attained at 114 mph... well that wasn't with this particular loco, it was with the original blue LMS Coronation 6220 back in England. During her World record breaking run on 29th June 1937, that loco did get up to 114 mph, but took the bend too fast into Crewe station and all the cutlery in the Kitchen Car went flying! It only held the World speed record for a steam engine briefly and by 1938, the
LNER's 4468 Mallard beat it, at 126mph and that record still stands today.

If you look in the top lefthand corner of the 2nd photo, near the woman's shoe, there is painted on the loco 7P. That is the a haulage capacity classification of 7 and P is for passenger loco. Later it was amended to 8P.

I like the part on the sign which says "Weight on Drivers = 150304 lbs"... who ate all the pies!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

who ate all the pies!!

:lol: A British director friend of mine just taught me this expression a few days ago... great to hear you use it again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad you liked them, Paul. These haven't been published anywhere and are part of my collection of negatives.

What does the pie bit mean?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Paul,

as expected, I found a few fully unfaded color 35mm slides of this engine in 1939/40 as well as the handtinted unique photocards rendered so nicely in metallic paints I mentiuoned in my post above in response to your initial query. When I am past my current deadlines, some time after mid-August, I will try to scan and post some small scans of the slides.

Best,

Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What does the pie bit mean?
British humour!

Background: Fans in the UK, at football games have long had a tradition of eating meat pies at half-time. On occasion there are not enough pies to go round and so any player looking a little overweight gets catcalled with the question "Who ate all the pies?". We can say it about anyone who's a fatty - it's not just reserved for football matches these days.

Hence on the sign it said "Weight on Drivers = 150304 lbs"... so I thought it funny, having a double meaning of either the driving wheels, or the men who drove the loco!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Eric. I just knew I'd find the right people to ask on this forum. I'll look forward to see your scans when you have more time on your hands.

Kind regards,

Paul.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Paul,

as expected, I found a few fully unfaded color 35mm slides of this engine in 1939/40 as well as the handtinted unique photocards rendered so nicely in metallic paints I mentiuoned in my post above in response to your initial query. When I am past my current deadlines, some time after mid-August, I will try to scan and post some small scans of the slides.

Best,

Eric

Hi Eric. If this is not in the way of your current deadlines, I would really be interested to see your colour images of the 'Coronation Scot' loco. (And any others from Bill too! Those last ones were great). If there are any prints/duplicates/negs/slides etc you might wish to sell, you can PM me. I've just acquired 7 negs of the 1939-40 NYWF and apart from the one with the Coronation loco on it, the other six I might well sell or part with them in a deal. Copyright goes with them too.

Left, 2nd down, is the loco neg I'm keeping.

post-4043-1222134784_thumb.jpgpost-4043-1222134838_thumb.jpg

Each negative is approx 1-1/2" x 2-1/2" and were stored in separate, individual negative envelopes.

  1. Overall, Wide angle View - Perisphere and Trylon in background
  2. Overall view of trains "Railroads at Work" (Sign in background reads "Coronation Scot"?)
  3. Communications Building (with large art nouveau mural on entire side of building)
  4. Wide view of the British Pavilion? (with Italia in background)
  5. Closeup view of Perisphere and Helicline with - Goodrich building in background
  6. High angle view of crowd and front of Welcome Center?
  7. Street scene - walking under an arch

Cheers,

Paul, UK.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Paul,

sorry abt this delay - just working hard. Still busy but will get the color image posted next week. That is the best I can do but you ought not to be disappointed. Full color and no people if memory serves.

MB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Paul,

PM sent. :)

Eric MB

Hi there

Sorry to resurrect this thread, but I too am interested in any colour images of the loco in question whilst at the NY World's Fair. I'm curious about the colour of the numbers, nameplate and crown - were they swapped directly from the 'real' blue liveried 6220 to the renamed 6229, or were new ones used that matched 6229's red and gold livery?

Many thanks

Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PM sent Simon.

Paul.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bump!

New edits [in brackets] added to my old posts, numbers #4 and #9, - to keep things "up-to-date".

New URL links added within my edits, linking to photos of the re-streamlined loco, now completed. Looks great - in glorious colour, for you all to see :D

And if anyone has further photos etc., from back in the day, 1939-42, of this loco in the USA, do get in touch please!

Regards,

Coronation Scot,

Derby, UK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now