London Midland and Scottish Railway Timeline 1921 - 1947 - Gateway to the LMS

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LMS Timeline 1921 - 1947
1921
The Railways Act is passed, amalgamating over 120 railways into four large  companies, three of which are new (the GWR already being in existence).

January, 1923
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.

1924
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.

August 1925
Hughes is succeeded by Henry Fowler as CME. Fowler is former CME of the  Midland Railway.

January 1926
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.

May 1926
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.

Autumn 1926
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.

1927
Stamp becomes chairman as well as president.

The first "Royal Scot" class locomotives are built.

April 1928
Records for non-stop runs from Euston to Glasgow ("Royal Scot" No. 6113  "Cameronian) and Euston to Edinburgh ("Compound" No. 1054).

January 1929
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.

1930
The first "Patriot" class locomotives are built.

1931
The LMS commissions research into streamlined trains.

1932
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.

1933
"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.

1934
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.

1935
The results of the streamlining research are published.

1936
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.

1937
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.

29th June, 1937
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.

1938
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.

March 1939
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.

September 1939
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).

April, 1941
Josiah Stamp, his wife and eldest son are killed in an air-raid.

June 1941
Sir William Wood is appointed president of the LMS.

1942
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.

January 1943
Stanier is knighted in the New Year's honours list.

April 1943
The rebuilding of the "Royal Scot" class begins.

April 1943
Stanier retires completely as CME; Charles Fairburn now officially holding  the position; his contributions in locomotive design being mainly in the areas  of diesel-electric locomotion.

October 1945
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.

1946
The 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.

1947
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.
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