With fond memories of the unrebuilt parallel-boiler ‘Patriot’ 4-6-0s from 60 years ago, Pete Kelly looks forward to both the completion of The LMS-Patriot Project’s new-build main line locomotive No. 5551 The Unknown Warrior and the forthcoming Bachmann Branchline model of the same national memorial engine.
Dressed in LMS crimson lake livery, Bachmann Branchline’s forthcoming OO-scale version of The LMS-Patriot Project’s new-build main line locomotive looks a beautiful model, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one. Production versions will reflect the necessary modifications being applied to the real-life main line locomotive that is gradually nearing completion.
For the last five years or so, in the company of many like-minded souls, I’ve been helping to fund the construction of the project’s new-build member of Sir Henry Fowler’s noble yet sadly extinct 4-6-0 ‘Patriot’ class, No. 5551 The Unknown Warrior, which will be the first real-life parallel-boiler ‘Patriot’ to be seen in 57 years, since the last of the class disappeared in 1962 (the first to succumb to the cutter’s torch being No. 45502 Royal Naval Division in September 1960).
With their 6ft 9in driving wheels, the 5XP (later reclassified 6P5F) ‘Patriots’, originally known as ‘Baby Scots’, were capable of sustained high speeds with moderate loads, and were pushed hard throughout their lives. They ranked among my favourite classes during my schoolboy locospotting years alongside the West Coast Main Line more than six decades ago, and I must have ‘classed’ them several times over.
Unlike the taper-boiler Stanier ‘Jubilees’ that succeeded them, their namings were spread out over a very long period. Most of them were unnamed when new, but from 1937 onwards, and particularly during the Second World War, many morale-boosting ceremonies took place as they were bestowed with regimental name
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