Coronation Scot Coaches 28/03/2020

Hornby have shared some early sample images and art work of the 2020 range Coronation Scot passenger coaches!

Pre-order here

One of three long-term projects that came to fruition with the January range announcement, archival research on the Coronation Scot coach sets began in earnest during January 2016, with the first of several visits to the Railway Museum’s ‘Search Engine’, as well as subsequent visits to the National Archives at Kew in the following months. As the year wore on, circumstances at Hornby led to the project being trimmed to concentrate solely on the 4-6-2 Princess Coronation locomotives and research into the Coronation coach sets was put to one side. During the winter of 2018/19, with the Princess Coronation locomotives now part of the Hornby range, the Coronation Scot coach project was revived, and research was resumed, with new sources having come to light that provided information on the Thermotank forced air ventilation in particular.

Unlike the LNER’s Coronation sets, which were created as new vehicles, most of the coaches for the Coronation Scot were selected from the latest new batches of Stanier’s Period III stock, the exception being the FKs and BTKs which were built new for the service. The coaches selected were sent to the LMSR’s Wolverton works where they were converted for the Coronation Scot; the Lot numbers remained the same but new works’ drawings were created for the modifications.

Outwardly, the vehicles were largely unaltered across the body and underframes, however the interiors were completely refitted to a luxurious standard befitting the service. Apart from the RKs, pressure heating and ventilation systems were installed for the passengers’ comfort, with the coaches’ roofs featuring boxed ventilation shrouds. Lighting was improved, bell pushes added for steward service and the coaches were finished in a Caledonian Blue and Silver striped livery to match the five streamlined Stanier Coronation Pacific locomotives chosen to haul the Coronation Scot.

On 29 June 1937, on a test run between Euston and Crewe, an eight car Coronation Scot hauled by 6220 Coronation set a new world record speed for a steam train of 114mph, briefly seizing the initiative from the LNER by just 1mph. Full service of the Coronation Scot, with the complete nine car formation, commenced on 5 July 1937 and continued uninterrupted until 3 September 1939 with the outbreak of the Second World War. The full nine car Coronation Scot train formation (from the London end), was made up from a Brake Corridor First (BFK), Corridor First (FK), Restaurant Open First (RFO), Kitchen (RK), Restaurant Open Third (RTO), Restaurant Open Third (RTO), Kitchen (RK), Restaurant Open Third (RTO) and Brake Corridor Third (BTK). Three sets of coaches were to be provided for the Coronation Scot, with any two sets operating at one time, with the other being spare. Unlike other services, the entire train was turned at each terminus so that the First Class section was furthest from the locomotive, probably so that First Class passengers had the shortest walk to convey their luggage to the train. At the outbreak of war in September 1939, all three sets of coaches were moved into storage, with two sets at Horwich and one at Lostock Hall and this proved to be the last time that the coaches were combined together as full sets. When the coaches were reintroduced to service in 1947, they were repainted into LMS maroon and put into ordinary service ‘on the best passenger trains’, the LMSR being unable to reintroduce high speed working at that time due to the rigours of war-time working on the permanent way structures. It had been suggested that some of the First Class vehicles could be converted into three-a-side seating, however H.G Ivatt, the new CME of the LMSR, discounted this based on the costs involved.

All of the Coronation Scot coaches were eventually scrapped, bar one, with the first examples being withdrawn from service in 1962. The sole survivor from the Coronation Scot was an RK vehicle; 30088, which along with another standard RK, 30106, was converted into an Inspection Saloon. Both of these coaches survive to this day as preserved examples with 30088, renumbered as TDM 395279 in February 1958 to become an Operating Department Instruction Saloon, now in the hands of a private owner, being used as a ‘Summer House’.