In the Preface to John Clay’s book, “Jubilees of the LMS”, he says; ‘The Jubilee story is the story of an ordinary class of medium-sized express engine in which a share of good and bad had been mixed. They could, at times, cause great suffering and near despair to those who toiled on their footplates……’ However, it has to be said that they were being ‘improved’, even as they were being built, in some cases.
In my own, albeit limited, experience, that 3rd cylinder came at a price, they ate more coal and drank more water than the Black 5s, for very little noticeable improvement in performance. Speaking of performance, according to Clay, the highest authenticated speed for a Jube was 97.5mph, achieved by engine No.(4)5579 Punjab on a St.Pancras – Kettering run in the late 50s. In trials conducted in the 1930s, No.(4)5660 Rooke, with a load of 305tons, covered the 48.4 miles from Carlisle to Ais Gill summit in 48mins 36sec. To put that in context, the Fellsman / Waverley service of today, like the one photographed above, is given between 48 and 51 minutes to reach the water stop at Appleby.
The quirkiest little snippets I came across while reading Clay’s book concerned engines No.(4)5573 Newfoundland and No.(4)5659 Drake. In 1946, No.(4)5573 Newfoundland ran in an experimental Blue / Grey livery, and, in 1955, No.(4)5659 ran, in service, in pink undercoat – bet that caused a stir.
The photograph shows No.45690 Leander, close to Aisgill summit, with the return working of the ‘Waverley’ the York – Carlisle – York steam hauled excursion.
If you have enjoyed my blogs – I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it: