BRITANNIA

B.R. STANDARD

CLASS 7 LOCOMOTIVE

The BR Standard Class 7, or Britannia Class, was a class of Pacific locomotives designed by Robert Riddles for mixed traffic work for British Railways. Fifty-five were constructed between 1951 and 1954 to a design meant to take the best from locos of the four pre-nationalization railways, and incorporate labour-saving measures, lowered maintenance costs and various weight-saving measures. All were were constructed at Crewe Works. The class was popular with drivers although in some areas they had difficulties keeping to schedules.

The Britannias took their names from great Britons, former Star Class locomotives, and Scottish firths. The class remained in service until the end of steam in 1968. Two survive into preservation, number 70000 Britannia, and 70013 Oliver Cromwell.

This 3.5” gauge Britannia was constructed by a prolific model engineer and displayed at the 2018 London Model Engineering Exhibition at Alexandra Palace.

It is not difficult to see why the ‘Brit’ has proved such a popular model in every gauge. First was a model designed by LBSC in 3.5” gauge. Riddles was a Curly fan and they had corresponded while the new locomotives were being built in secret, and a set of drawings were sent. On the day that Britannia was unveiled, 1 February 1951, the first installment for the Britannia ‘words and music’ appeared. The grateful publishers at Model Engineer rewarded the scoop with double pay for the serial.

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