I find this 1950s photo of a steam train to London Euston especially fascinating as I often use Stockport Station and walk along the platform at this exact spot. This image is from the collection of railway author and photography collector Eddie Johnson. See his description below.
No.70032 Tennyson at Stockport with an express for London Euston: After the nationalisation of the British railway system in 1948, locomotive engineers set about producing a range of standard steam locomotives. These new engines were simple and rugged in outline with ease of maintenance and ready component interchange paramount concerns.
Among the first of the standard designs to appear was a class of Pacific engines suitable for express passenger haulage, although in reality all the BR standard engines were designated as “mixed traffic” locomotives. Fifty-five of these big Pacifics were built in three batches at the legendary Crewe locomotive works between 1951 and 1955. At first their appearance caused some thing of a stir, especially the high running plate over the 6ft.dia.coupled wheels, something that had clear overtones of American practice.
Following a long-held tradition, all bar one of the “Britannias” were given names. These were an odd mixture including poets, stars from the world of astronomy, notable historical figures and Scottish Firths. An odd choice was settled on No.70013 which became Oliver Cromwell. Perhaps, after using the names of ruling monarchs for generations of locomotives, someone thought the Republicans should have a turn! Today, Oliver Cromwell, along with the pioneer of the class, Britannia, survive as preserved engines and are currently being restored to working condition. H.A.Bryant/E.M.Johnson collection
Express train to London Euston hauled by No. 70032 Tennyson at Stockport 1950s
Scanned from an original black and white negative
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