Fowler Class 5XP/6P "Patriot"
Introduced : 1927 (in original form
No. Built : 71Wheel arrangement : 4-6-0
With Fowler unable to implement his 4-6-2 "Pacific" designs, the LMS design department began to consider the possibility of a 4-6-0 design, a wheel arrangement favoured by the Great Western Railway at the time. At the end of 1926, the LMS requested the loan of one of the GWR's Castle Class locomotives (one of, if not the, most successful GWR designs) in order to run trials against existing LMS designs, and was duly granted the loan of No. 5000 "Launceston Castle".
The result of the tests was staggering; the Castle outperformed all of the LMS locomotives it faced in the trials, even on the steep Cumbrian banks. It looked like a 4-6-0 could be the answer to the LMS's locomotion problems, and the LMS approached the GWR with a view to either buying Swindon-built Castles for its own use, or obtaining the plans in order to build its own version of the locomotive.
However the GWR did not have the capacity at Swindon for building "export" Castles as well as its own, and was not willing to release the plans of the Castles to the LMS. The LMS then approached the Southern Railway for copies of the plans of its "Lord Nelson" class 4-6-0; the SR were more amenable and released the plans to the LMS. With some modifications at Derby (principally to make a 3-cylinder design, although some elements from Horwich 2-6-0's were also added), the final result was sub-contracted to the North British Locomotive Company, who were asked to produce 50 locomotives in time to implement the "Royal Scot" Express from Euston to Glasgow in 1927. This was the first LMS-built locomotive class to truly embrace the concept of locomotive names; most taking the names of army regiments.
By 1930, the success of the design led the LMS to order another 20 of the class. In 1933, the LMS sent one of the class to the United States on a publicity tour; the engine sent was nominally 6100 "Royal Scot", but was more likely to have been 6152 "The Kings Dragoon Guardsman" with an identity swap (a practice repeated later in the decade with "Princess Coronation" class nos. 6220 & 6229), 6152 having built with improvements suggested by Stanier. However, the identities were not swapped back on return and this should be taken into consideration when considering the 1944 list below, and with regard to the preserved examples (David Jenkinson presents evidence that the identities were not returned in the section "Royal Scot (?) goes to America" of "The Power of the Royal Scots").
The 71st member of the class was not originally a "Royal Scot" as such, but an experimental high pressure compound 4-6-0 initiated by Fowler in 1929, and originally given the name "Fury" and the number 6399. However, during tests, the boiler exploded, causing one fatality, and Fowler abandoned the idea. Stanier eventually had Fury rebuilt as 6170 "British Legion" using a tapered boiler instead of the original parallel boiler; a modification that would be using in the rebuilding of the class which started in the mid-1940's. The rebuilds were prompted by issues that had manifested themselves during the early years of operation, mainly due to problems that meant the engines had difficulty running for more than 6 or 7 hours continuously.
The "Royal Scots" continued to be a mainstay of the LMS fleet, right up until nationalisation; the Stanier "Princesses" were a more powerful locomotive but there were never enough built to do away with the "Royal Scot" class. The rebuilds of the class were completed by 1953, with the scrapping of the class completed by 1965
(i) The identities of these two locomotives were switched in 1933 and never switched back.
(ii) Formerly 6399 "Fury", rebuilt by Stanier as the first of the "Rebuilt Scots" in 1935.
Two of the class survived into preservation; 6100 "Royal Scot" and 6115 "Scots Guardsman". As of October 2017, 6100 is currently operational and main line certified, but 6115 is currently undergoing an overhaul.
6100 was originally preserved in LMS Crimson, although as a rebuild the locomotive never carried this livery in service (the livery was applied during preservation at Bressingham); the locomotive was returned to operational status in BR Green livery as 46100 in 2015 (as seen above). 6115 is currently in BR Green as 46115, although it did carry LMS Postwar Black when initially preserved.