John Austin - City of Stoke-on-Trent - B.R Duchess (W)
Railway Train Steam Locomotive Birthday Card featuring Duchess Class 4-6-2 46254 City of Stoke-on-Trent from a painting by John Austin GRA
One of the artist’s favourite locomotives, Sir William Stanier’s Princess Coronation Pacific was a development of the earlier Princess Class of 1933. With Stanier’s sweeping changes to LMS motive power it became clear that a second large express passenger locomotive was needed to fend off the challenge of the new LNER A4 entering service in 1935.
Crewe completed work on the first engine in 1937, outshopped in a striking blue and silver livery and bearing the ‘Coronation’. A few weeks later, 6220 Coronation would secure the World Speed Record and the class’ place in history was secure.
Though the first batch were streamlined, the second, named after Duchesses and Cities were not and the name ‘Duchess’ stuck as a way of identifying them from their streamlined sisters.
Post-war all engines were converted into non-streamlined form and became the back-bone of West Coast mainline trains for the next twenty years until replaced by diesel traction in the mid 1960s.
This is 46254 “City of Stoke on Trent” during the later years of her life.