London, Midland and Scottish Railway, Crewe (1935)
Rebuilt Crovans Gate (1952)
Princess Royal 1952
Purchased by NWR
A locomotive with a chequered past. Built as the ‘Turbomotive’ in 1935, before being rebuilt as a standard ‘Princess Royal’ class loco in 1952, this engine was involved in a horrendous crash in 1952 and written off. The frames, wheelsets and a spare boiler (the other parts having been used to repair another Stanier pacific involved in the collision) were purchased by the NWR.
The loco that emerged from Crovan’s Gate in 1953 was effectively a new build, utilising spare parts obtained from Swindon works, which by this point had begun breaking up early rebuilt ‘Castles’. The front bogie is similar to that used by the GWR King class and resulted from Hatt’s experiments to improve riding at speed by altering the swinging link set-up.
The most powerful passenger loco on the NWR, this quickly became the flagship engine (no mention was made of her origins at the time, presumably to avoid bad press).
This was built using a Hornby ‘Princess’ as a base, and used parts from an old tender-drive Hornby ‘King’. The tender is a Hawksworth body mounted on Collett frames.