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Based on the chassis of the Royal Scot class, with the boiler from the large Claughton class, the Patriot class of locomotives was the London Midland and Scottish Railways approach to building a Second Division 5X designation locomotive at the beginning of the 1930s, a role that would later be mainly fulfilled by the Jubilee class.In October 1930, the Locomotive Committee of the LMS gave the goahead to Sir Henry Fowler for the rebuilding of two Claughton locomotives, Nos.5971 and 5902, into a new class by utilising new frames, spare tenders and an existing type of boiler.
Because the rebuilt locomotives kept the numbers of the Claughtons that they replaced, the numbering system was messy and it was not until 1934 that the LMS renumbered the class in the 55xx range. Two of the original Claughton class bore the name Patriot, with its deep symbolism and in 1937, with public and private support, the LMS decided that locomotive 5500 should have the name passed to it, allowing the class to be referred to as the Patriots.In August 1945, the LMS authorised the rebuilding of eighteen Patriots to 6P classification to meet the postwar needs of accelerated express passenger services. This was achieved by the fitting of 2A taper boilers and necessitated the replacement of the 3,500 gallon Fowler tender with a 4,000 gallon type.
The opportunity was also taken to replace the rather narrow cab with a wider Stanier type.In all, fiftytwo examples were built and whilst there were changes and improvements during the latter Stanier period and into the Ivatt, the introduction of BR Standard types was to force the classes withdrawal, particularly where the unconverted Patriots were concerned. Withdrawal commenced in September 1960 with 45502 Royal Naval Division, the last of the class, 45530 Sir Frank Ree, being withdrawn in December 1965.
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