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When the London Midland Scottish Railway came up with its initial standard designs in 1947, it was considered that there was no call for a mixed traffic Class 4, 4-6-0 locomotive. The duties for which the 4-6-0 design were suited to were amply covered by existing traction types and it wasn’t until Nationalisation, in 1948, that the Western Region of British Rail felt that this type of locomotive was required for use on its secondary route services.
The restricted axle loading for the coastal routes to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli precluded the use of the heavier Standard Class 5, whilst an update on the GWR Manor design was not feasible because of gauging issues on the other British Rail regions, who were also looking to replace their ageing locomotive stock. Robert Riddles, British Rail’s Head of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, set about designing a new locomotive, principally from BR’s Brighton Works, as a solution to this problem.
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