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Eastern Region "A3" Pacific 60052 Prince Palatine is starting away with a Scot Rail rail fan excursion in tow from Waverley station in Edinburgh, Scotland, circa 1965.
Built as LNER "A1" Pacific 2551 in Doncaster Works and entering traffic on the London & North Eastern Railway in November 1924, Prince Palatine was part of the 1924 batch of HN Gresley's "A1s" whilst the world-famous record breaking Flying Scotsman was on display at the UK's Empire Exhibition in Wembley, Northwest London, England. After being modified into the "A3" counterpart in August 1941, the same year that Sir Nigel Gresley passed away two months before retirement of a heart attack.
Edward Thompson took over as the LNER's CME, and set about standardising his railway. Unfortunately, let's just say he got ideas above his station and let his feelings get the better of him. Surprisingly, given that he was the LNER's CME until 1946, the A1s kept being modified into their "A3" counterparts right up until December 1948!
Sometime in 1946 or '47, Prince Palatine was renumbered from 2551 to 52, as a part of Mr. Thompson's renumbering plan. After Nationalization, Prince Palatine was renumbered yet again, this time as 60052. As 1959 dawned, Prince Palatine was fitted with a Kylchap double exhaust blast pipe and the double chimney. This modification reduced back pressure in the engine's three cylinders, making Prince Palatine more free-running. However, like all of the A3s when they were fitted with these, this made a soft exhaust beat whenever she'd puff steam and smoke out of her chimney. Most of Top Shed's remaining A3s were fitted from 1960 to 1962 with German-style smoke deflector plates.
Thanks to the new double chimney and exhaust pipes, the A3s were now every bit as equal to the A4s, which were also fitted with double chimneys to improve performance and to reduce coal consumption. In fact, they were SO equal that Prince Palatine and her sisters were returned to the glamorous top-link passenger runs like "the Flying Scotsman," "the White Rose," the "Yorkshire Pullman," "the Fair Maid," and others right up until Top shed's closure in Summer 1963.
However, when Top Shed finally closed to steam in June 1963, all of Top Shed's remaining engines, even the last remaining A3s--except 60103 Flying Scotsman, who was bought by Alan Pegler--were given one last hurrah, though, being transferred north to Scotland with the Peppercorn-designed A1s and A2s and the last fourteen A4s to work the express passenger runs between Glasgow and Aberdeen, as well as working end of steam rail tours in Scotland. Excluding Flying Scotsman, all of the A3s were gone by January 1966. But thanks to their double blast pipes and chimneys, those fittings ensured that even Prince Palatine, the last A3 to be withdrawn from BR service, ended their lives in fine style.
Note the yellow stripe on the cabsides. That's to notify the crews that Crewe was the limit of their operation due to electrification. These yellow warning stripes were only applied to three A3s: 60100 Spearmint, 60041 Salmon Trout, and 60052 Prince Palatine.
I did not steal this, as I found it on my flash drive at the end of 2015. Any comments saying that I have "stolen" or "used" this without their permission when I've done no such thing will be deleted and dealt with accordingly. That aside, hope you like it and enjoy!