British Railways ‘Britannia’ Pacifics

British Railways ‘Britannia’ Pacifics


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Alan C Butcher

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Well it was a valiant effort! Designed as a ‘one size fits all’, the BR designs of steam locomotives incorporated all that was seen as ‘best practice’ of the Big Four railway companies that formed British Railways at Nationalisation. When the class leader, No 70000 Britannia, emerged from Crewe Works early in 1951 few people would have imagined that it would have a service life of just over 15 years and that one of the class would share the working of the last rail tour marking the end of standard gauge steam on the main line network. Really appreciated by the footplate crews on the Great Eastern section of the Eastern Region – and equally disliked by Western Region crews – the ‘Britannias’, and like the rest of the Standard designs, were victims of the run down of BR steam, never really being given the chance to prove themselves and being withdrawn well before their intended life span. This book follows the ‘Britannia’ class around the Regions from its introduction in 1951 to final withdrawal in 1968.

Preview Pages



Additional information

Weight 540 g
Dimensions 27.3 × 21.5 cm









273 x 215 mm



2 reviews for British Railways ‘Britannia’ Pacifics

  1. 5 out of 5

    John Warr

    I am of an age that favours the Standard designs of BR steam locomotives and the Britannia Class were top of the tree, they looked stunning and were always good to travel behind or watch from the line-side, so when this book was published I immediately ordered it. When it arrived a couple of days later, I was not disappointed to see such a great array of locomotives and locations in top quality images as I have found in all Transport Treasury publications. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

    PS – I tried to give a 5-star rating, but the website did not appear to accept it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    George McKie

    I bought this book to complement others on the Britannia Pacifics that I have. It is well written and there are photos of the class that are new to publishing. My interest in these locos was from trainspotting days being the only class with a full complement of locos as built. They were anything but standard having many alterations during their lifetimes, whic are so many to list. I have only a few of my own photos taken with a Kodak Brownie 127. Luckily, I sent them to David Heys before he died and they were included in his website and are now archived in the National Archives. The book covers all the areas of operation and finally on the LMR, which is where I am based. I collect 00 models and have carefully matched 26 of the class carefully changing names and numbers. Books like this help tremendously with accuracy but even then I had to accept the nearest model to use as a base. Sometimes I found, that some in their earlier life, were virtually perfect for altering, then into the late 50’s and early 60’s modifications were made. Using book’s such as this makes life easier. We always had, what we called, the half eight flyer and the half seven mail which were nearly always Britannia hauled. A very nice book, well written and illustrated and a must for Britannia followers.

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