Category:London, Midland and Scottish Railway

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London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) The London, Midland and Scottish Railway was the largest of the 'Big Four' railway companies formed in the 1923 grouping. This railway was formed of the London & North Western Railway, the Caledonian Railway, the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, and the Midland Railway. It was never as profitable as the other companies but it was a big venture: the British Empire's biggest commercial enterprise, the UK's second largest employer and, at one point, the largest transport organisation in the world. Based at Euston, the LMS operated up the west coast of England, through the Midlands, over the Pennines and up past Glasgow.

Pre-1923 ancestors

  • Caledonian Railway (CR)
  • Furness Railway
  • Glasgow and South Western Railway
  • Highland Railway
  • Lanacashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR)
  • London and North Western Railway (LNWR)
  • London, Tilbury and Southend Railway
  • Maryport and Carlisle Railway
  • Midland Railway (MR)
  • Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway
  • Cleator and Workington Junction Railway
  • Glasgow and Paisley Joint Line
  • Knott End Railway
  • Leek and Manifold Light Railway
  • Stratford-on-Avon and Midland Junction Railway
  • North Staffordshire Railway
  • Wirral Railway
  • North London Railway (NLR)

1923 overview

The London Midland and Scottish Railway, the largest British system (see map), is made up principally of

the London and North Western, including the Lancashire and Yorkshire, and the Midland railways in England, and of the Caledonian, Glasgow and South Western and Highland railways in Scotland. This great network, with its lines extending into Wales, and across to the East Coast, ramifying throughout Scotland except the South Eastern portion, and possessing extensive running powers over other systems, covers the larger part of Great Britain, except the South of England, though even here it throws out a tentacle through its joint ownership with the Southern railways of the Somerset and Dorset line. The North Staffordshire and Furness, and a number of subsidiary and joint lines, complete the system in Great Britain, and in addition the company at present owns a considerable mileage in the north of Ireland. Its total route mileage in this country is about 8,000 miles. The system also includes about 350 miles of canals.

The company owns a considerable fleet of steam vessels and a number of important docks and harbours. It runs steamship services to Ireland through Holyhead, Liverpool, Heysham and Stranraer, and to the Continent through Goole and Hull. Steamers also navigate the Clyde, the Scottish locks and the English lakes. In addition to the harbours named, the company has docks and wharves at Alloa, Ayr, Barrow, Bristol, Fleetwood, Garston, Gourock, Grangemouth, Largs, Morecambe, Renfrew, Troon, Wemyss Bay, Widnes, on the Thames, and at other places.

The famous locomotive, carriage and wagon works at Crewe of the old London and North Western are now supplemented by works belonging to other constituents at Derby, Horwich, St. Rollox (Glasgow), Kilmarnock, Inverness, Stoke-on-Trent, Barrow, Wolverton, Newton Heath (Manchester) and elsewhere. Doubtless these will be reduced in time, as will also the establishments of the other three companies, by the economies consequent on amalgamation. The company claims to be the largest railway hotel proprietors, controlling some 34 establishments.

The company's main traffic routes serve the majority of the large manufacturing and industrial counties of the Midlands and the North. Apart from its Irish and Scottish services, it also provides through services with the West and South, and besides connecting industrial centres, serves a number of holiday resorts on the Welsh and North West coasts, Isle of Man, Lake district, and in Scotland. A few leading statistics may be of interest.

The company has a capital of about £385 millions. For 1921, the gross receipts from railway operations only were £110,750,000 ; the total expenditure on railway working, £94,600,000 ; and the net receipts, including all items, £20,020,000. The total passenger traffic for the year, apart from holders of season tickets, of which 322,000 were issued, was 338,687,000. The freight traffic included general merchandise, 19,300,000 tons ; coal, coke and other fuel, 47,000,000 tons ; other minerals, 16,150,000 tons; and live stock, 6,937,000. The year 1921 was of course still affected by trade depression.

The rolling-stock owned by the company includes 10,400 steam locomotives, 27,000 coaching vehicles, 315000 freight vehicles, and 22,300 service vehicles. There is also an electric locomotive and 550 electric motor and trailer cars. Considerable increase in the electric rolling-stock of all four companies may of course be expected as electrification proceeds. In 1921 the total engine mileage run, including shunting, was 178,380,000 miles.

The fleet of the company comprises 14 turbine vessels, 51 screw steamers, 7 paddle steamers and a number of smaller boats. The company also owns over 1,000 road vehicles.

The principal headquarters of the company are at Euston Station, London, and it also owns many other fine stations both in London and the provinces and in Scotland. The question of organisation will be referred to later, when the other three systems have been briefly described.


In the beginning, the LMS favoured smaller, lighter locomotives, such as the L&YR’s 0-6-0s and Henry Fowler’s "Compound" 4-4-0 and "Jinty" tank engine. This way they could run smaller trains more frequently, and larger ones could be double-headed if needed. But this did not prove cost-effective, and even two of these locos struggled over the steep inclines of the Settle-Carlisle line and Beattock Summit. So some the slightly larger 4-6-0 "Patriot" and "Royal Scot" classes emerged. But when William Stanier became Chief Mechanical Engineer in 1932, the LMS became a competitor in locomotive power. A former works manager for the Great Western Railway, Stanier designed the railway’s first 4-6-2s: the "Princess Royal" and "Princess Coronation". The "Coronations" in particular were more powerful than the diesels that replaced them. Stanier’s locos were fast too. The original loco "6220 ‘Coronation"” achieved a land speed record of 114 mph on a press run in 1937.


The LMS ran a large number of passenger services to Scotland. "The Royal Scot" was inherited from the LNWR, and ran from Euston to Glasgow. The "Coronation Scot", commissioned in 1937 to commemorate the crowning of George VI, was noted for its use of streamlined "Coronation" locos, with an art deco blue and silver cheat-striped livery.


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