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Amongst the finest steam locomotives ever to have operated on Britain’s main line railways, the classic Pacific locomotives of the LNER were to have their final golden years in the decade or so after the end of World War 2. Moreover, the existing pre-war classes were to be supplemented by new classes – most notably the Peppercorn ‘A1’ type – that saw construction through until the end of 1949. However, the careers of many of the later locomotives were to be curtailed following the adoption of the Modernisation Plan of 1955, which resulted in the introduction of diesel locomotives over the East Coast main line from the early 1960s.


In this album, which draws largely upon the impressive collection of images held by the Online Transport Archive, we travel back to the 15 years from 1945 to 1960 when the various types of East Coast Pacific were still largely unchallenged on services from Scotland, the north-east and Yorkshire to London. The book incorporates a superb series of images recalling steam’s swansong years on the main line north from King’s Cross in classic black and white photography.


This volume appears in our Unique Archives series, denoting the very best in unseen transport photography.

East Coast Pacifics - The Postwar Years by Peter Waller