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LMS Route: Rugby to Tamworth

Tamworth Station: lnwr_tam3143

LMS 4-6-0 5XP No 5500 'Patriot' is seen piloting an unidentified LMS 4-6-0 'Black Five' near Tamworth station

LMS 4-6-0 5XP No 5500 'Patriot' is seen piloting an unidentified LMS 4-6-0 'Black Five' near Tamworth station. Built at Derby works in November 1930, No 5500 was to remain in service until March 1961 when it was withdrawn from 26A Newton Heath shed to be scrapped. The Patriot Class was a class of 52 express passenger steam locomotives built for the London Midland and Scottish Railway. The first locomotive of the class was built in 1930 and the last in 1934. All of the Patriot class locomotives were withdrawn from service by 1965. The class was based on the chassis of the larger boilered Royal Scot combined with the boiler applied to the LNWR 4-6-0 Claughtons in attempt to overcome their poor performance. It was this marriage of a modern chassis with the new smaller boiler which gave rise to their early nickname the Baby Scots. When the LNWR Claughton No 5964 'Patriot', named in remembrance of LNWR employees who died in the Great War, became available it was applied to the first of the class as much as to move away from the Baby Scots nickname as it was to continue to honour the fallen.

The first two members of the class were rebuilt in 1930 from the 1912 built LNWR Large Claughton Class, retaining the original driving wheels with their large bosses, the 'double radial' bogie truck and some other parts. Of the subsequent fifty locomotives of the class forty were nominal rebuilds of Claughtons, although they were in fact new builds classified as rebuilt engines so that they could be charged to revenue accounts, rather than capital. The last ten were classified correctly as new builds. The two former Claughtons retained their original numbers until 1934, when they were renumbered No 5500 and No 5501. The forty built as replacements in 1934 took the numbers of the Claughtons that they replaced being No 5502 to 5541. The remainder of the class were originally allocated on paper as No 6030 to 6039, but were numbered 5542 to No 5051 from new. When (Sir) William Stanier took office he designed his own version of the Patriot Class, the most obvious visual difference being the tapered boiler, which continued the numbering where the Patriots had ceased.