Why not model the ‘Turbomotive’ and its rebuild as No. 46202 Princess Anne?

Your ‘locomotives that might have been’ comments (RMM September) set my thoughts wandering in the direction of ready-to-run engines I’d love to have seen produced by one of the major model companies – notable among them being the famous steam turbine-driven ‘Turbomotive’ No. 6202, the third to be numbered in the ‘Princess Royal’ class whose stablemates were normal four-cylinder Pacifics.

Many years ago, a model of the ‘Turbomotive’ was available in kit form, but I don’t ever recall it being produced in RTR format – a great pity, but then I should have had the guts and skill to have bought and built one at the time.

The Turbomotive 46202 near Halton Junction with an up Liverpool – Euston service, 1949. ©www.railphotoprints.co.uk – Collection – the late R. A. Whitfield.

As a child in my home town of Lancaster, I spent many hours at the local Castle Station watching the West Coast Main Line expresses thundering through, the ‘Streaks’ and ‘Semis’ (‘Princess Coronation’ Pacifics), then the pioneering diesel-electrics 10000 and 10001, but never the ‘Turbo’, whose primary destination was Liverpool.

Unfortunately, soon after being converted from a steam turbine into a four-cylinder ‘Princess Royal’ Pacific incorporating some ‘Princess Coronation’ features and named Princess Anne, No. 46202 was involved in the horrendous Harrow & Wealdstone tragedy that cost so many lives and was damaged beyond repair. However City of Glasgow, which was also involved and equally badly damaged, did make it back.

What a handsome locomotive the rebuild of Princess Anne was. Mortons Archive photo.

When converted to orthodox ‘Princess Royal’ style, the former ‘Turbo’ took on a handsome form and, in my humble opinion, would make a stunning shelf model, so it’s over to you Hornby, Bachmann et al.

Finally, congratulations on your excellent publication. Being a journalist myself, I like the newspaper format – not to mention that I don’t have to fork out a fiver for the glossies!

Peter Gardner,
Hazel Grove, Cheshire

Thank you for an excellent letter, Peter, and models of both the original ‘Turbomotive’ and short-lived Princess Anne conversion would make excellent collectors’ pieces – why not both of them together, either to run or to display on a wooden plinth?

The Harrow & Weldstone disaster that occurred on the morning of October 8, 1952 was sparked when a southbound train headed by ‘Princess Coronation’ Pacific No. 46242 City of Glasgow ran into the back of a stationary morning commuter train in the fog, and the wreckage was scattered all over the tracks.

Minutes later, the northbound combined Liverpool and Manchester train with ‘Jubilee’ 4-6-0 No. 45637 Windward Islands piloting
No. 46202
Princess Anne ran into the wreckage at an estimated 60mph, and the disaster killed 112 people and injured another 340, some of them very seriously indeed.

While both Windward Islands and Princess Anne were damaged beyond economic repair, City of Glasgow was eventually returned to service and, less than five years later, became one of the two members of the class chosen to head the inaugural eight-coach ‘Caledonian’ service between London and Glasgow in 1957, the other one of course being No. 46245 City of London.

The loss of the rebuilt ‘Turbomotive’ resulted in the commissioning of the unique BR Standard Class 8 three-cylinder Pacific No. 71000 Duke of Gloucester, which incorporated modified Caprotti valve-gear and remains in preservation.

For more Letters, Opinion, News and Views, see the November edition of Modelling – available now!

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