Roger H. Middlebrook - Stanier's Workhorse - Black 5 Card (W)
British Railways Stanier Black 5 Railway Blank Card by Artist Roger H. Middlebrook GAvA
While his Duchesses and Princesses may have been more prestigious, the “Black 5” became the backbone of LMSR workings. Designed by Stanier as a “Do Anything, Go Anywhere” type of locomotive to replace older and less successful designs then in service, the first of the class rolled out of the Vulcan Foundry in August 1934. Economical, reliable and simple they were an owners and engineman’s dream and were extremely popular from the moment they entered traffic.
The locomotives proved to be capable of high-speed passenger running, hauling heavy freight and produced some displays on the Perth-Inverness line that, at the time, had been unheard of. In constant production from 1934-1951 a total of 842 were built and with the coming of B.R could be found the length and breadth of Britain. With the coming of diesel and electric traction withdrawal began in 1961 and two locomotives, 45212 and 45318 had the distinction of hauling the last regular service by BR steam on the night of 3 August 1968.
As popular with enthusiasts as with the crews, 18 engines have been preserved. In this Railway Art painting by Roger H. Middlebrook a loco stands prepared for yet another duty, simmering with the layer of dust and grime so associated with these engines