The Railways Act is passed, amalgamating over 120 railways into four large companies, three of which are new (the GWR already
being in existence).
The "Grouping" plan comes into effect on January 1st and the LMS starts to operate. However,
the internal rivalries of the companies grouped into the LMS, especially the MR and LNWR, bitter rivals, mean that the public will
see little change for the next decade
George Hughes, at this point Chief Mechanical Engineer of the combined LNWR and LYR, becomes
CME of the LMS.
Sir William Guy Granet becomes Chairman of the LMS and begins to adopt an American-style management system
for the LMS, revolutionary in its time.
Hughes is succeeded by Henry Fowler as CME. Fowler is former CME of the Midland
Sir Josiah Stamp becomes President of the LMS. At this point, the American management system is in full
swing, with a four-man executive. This is later increased to seven.
The General Strike occurs in May and lasts for 9
days, but the miners stay out until early December. With coal in short supply, the practice of (unnecessary) double-heading out of
Euston is ended, a policy forced on the former LNWR lines by the MR-biased management.
With Fowler's "Pacific" designs
blocked, the LMS begins to consider the 4-6-0 to solve its locomotive problems. A locomotive exchange takes place with the Great Western
Railway in which the LMS gains Castle Class No 5000 "Launceston Castle"; the Castle proceeded to outperform all LMS locomotives it
is compared to, even on the steep Cumbrian banks. With this in mind, The LMS approaches the GWR with a view to either obtaining the
plans, or buying 50 Castles for the LMS. The GWR refuses both options; the latter is impractical anyway as the Swindon Works is at
capacity making the GWR's own Castle fleet.
The Southern Railway is more amenable to the request for plans and supply drawings
of their "Lord Nelson" class. From these, the "Royal Scot" and "Patriot" classes would emerge,
Stamp becomes chairman as
well as president.
The first "Royal Scot" class locomotives are built.
Records for non-stop runs from Euston to
Glasgow ("Royal Scot" No. 6113 "Cameronian) and Euston to Edinburgh ("Compound" No. 1054).
Henry Fowler's experimental
ultra-high pressure 4-6-0 compound 6399 "Fury" suffers a explosion, caused by a burst tube, which kills an inspector. This is probably
the darkest moment of Fowler's career.
The first "Patriot" class locomotives are built
The LMS commissions research
into streamlined trains.
William Stanier is appointed CME of the LMS. At this point LMS locomotives have tended to be underpowered,
a policy inherited mainly from the Midland Railway, resulting in expresses often being double-headed. Stanier had trained under Charles
Collett, CME of the Great Western Railway, and the fact that he has no loyalties to any of the companies forming the LMS, means that
the internal rivalries that have held back locomotive design, now become a thing of the past. Stanier's designs would radically improve
services between now and the outbreak of World War II in 1939.
The 1896 agreement between East and West Coast mainlines limiting
services between London and Edinburgh/Glasgow to a minimum 8.25hrs journey is finally terminated, paving the way for the LMS and LNER
to provide faster services to Scotland.
"Royal Scot" Class 6100 "Royal Scot" visits the United States on a publicity tour
between May and November. The first two "Princess Royal" class locomotives commence operations in June.
The first "Jubilee"
and "Black Five" class locomotives are built.
The third "Princess Royal", No 6202, is built using steam turbines instead of conventional
reciprocating cylinders. Generally referred to as "Turbomotive", this locomotive remains in service until 1949, when it is rebuilt
as the one-off "Princess Anne" class. Tragically, the locomotive suffers serious damage in the 1952 Harrow rail crash, a few months
after re-entering service, and is withdrawn.
The results of the streamlining research are published.
On the 16th
November, as a prelude to the introduction of the "Coronation Scot", high speed trials are conducted between Euston and Glasgow. On
the above date "Princess Royal" class no. 6201 "Princess Elizabeth" covers the 401.5 miles in 5 hours, 53 minutes and 38 seconds,
with a seven coach load.
The first "Princess Coronation" class locomotives are built. Most of the class would initially be
built as streamlined locomotives (The exceptions being 6230-6234), although the streamline casings would be removed in later years.
The first streamlined "Coronation Scot" with 4-6-2 No 6220 "Coronation" leaves Euston on a return trip to Crewe. The express
sets a new speed record of at least 113mph (this record is to be short-lived as the LNER would exceed it the next year with "Mallard").
The arrival at Crewe is eventful, as the express approaches the station too quickly, but mercifully the train stays on the track and
damage seems to be limited to the brakes and the crockery in the dining car.
At this point the LMS is operating 6,870 route
miles of line (excluding its Irish interests), but like the other members of the "Big Four" it is not making significant profits.
Princess Coronation No 6229 "Duchess of Hamilton" is shipped with several "Coronation Scot" coaches to the United States on a
publicity tour, taking the identity (but not the colour scheme) of 6220 "Coronation". The outbreak of World War II means that the
tour is stranded, with engine returning in 1942 and coaches in 1946.
The LMS is "temporarily" nationalised during
World War II. A speed limit of 45mph is imposed on the railways, which effectively spells the end of the streamlined expresses (the
speed limit would be increased to 60mph the next month).
Josiah Stamp, his wife and eldest son are killed in an air-raid.
Sir William Wood is appointed president of the LMS.
Stanier is appointed advisor to the Ministry of Production, remaining
CME effectively in name only. Charles Fairburn is to all intents and purposes CME at this point.
Stanier is knighted
in the New Year's honours list.
The rebuilding of the "Royal Scot" class begins.
Stanier retires completely
as CME; Charles Fairburn now officially holding the position; his contributions in locomotive design being mainly in the areas of
With the Second World War over, the railways attempt to return to normal. TPO mailbag
exchange and restaurant car services are reinstated.
Fairburn's tenure as CME is cut short with his sudden death.
de-streamlining of the "Princess Coronation" begins with 6235 "City of Birmingham" the first to be converted. Smoke deflectors are
also added to the class post-war. Henry G Ivatt becomes CME.
December sees the LMS introduces the first main diesel locomotive
No. 10000, a legacy of Charles Fairburn.
1st January, 1948
Nationalisation takes effect, and the LMS becomes the London Midland
Region and part of the Scottish Region of British Rail