In the mid-1930s, eminent locomotive engineer Sir Nigel Gresley produced plans for the A4 Class Pacifics, which were specially built to work a new high-speed express, the ‘Silver Jubilee’. From the start, the class caused a sensation and immediately secured the admiration of the general public.
Gresley’s A4s captures these world-famous locomotives throughout their life, with over 300 excellent colour and black and white images present in this collection, which is arguably the greatest ever assembled on the class.
Photographs of every locomotive in the LNER and BR periods are included. Over a dozen A4s feature in a chapter dedicated to the 1946 renumbering, which lasted only two to three years, making pictures of them particularly rare.
The A4s are shown at major centres on the East Coast Main Line, such as King’s Cross station, Peterborough, Grantham, Doncaster, York, Darlington, Newcastle and Edinburgh Waverley. Also, images taken during the twilight years in Scotland are included. The surviving engines are seen at several locations in the country – Aberdeen, Glasgow and Perth.
A number of images are from the lineside at various points, or wayside stations and water troughs. Some class members have been photographed at sheds when being serviced, or under repair at workshops.
Many of the famous trains worked by the A4s are presented, such as the ‘Silver Jubilee’, ‘Coronation’, ‘West Riding Limited’ and ‘Flying Scotsman’, then later the ‘Capitals Limited’, ‘Elizabethan’, ‘The Talisman’, etc. The class members were often selected to head special trains and there are several examples of this in Gresley’s A4s.
The pictures are accompanied by interesting and informative captions that provide details from the history of each locomotive, as well as the class.