Alan Crossfield’s


Regular visitors to model engineering shows will know that Alan Crossfield is a builder of some of the finest model locomotives in recent years. Latest is the LMS Patriot class The Royal Army Ordnance Corps. 

It has been fascinating to see the progress of the final stages of the loco in the past couple of years. Anyone could have been forgiven to think that this was a fast build. Not so. Work actually started in 1981.

There were no drawings for 5” gauge models of the Patriots at that time. There still aren’t. Martin Evans did describe the larger boilered Royal Scot along with the whole family of Fowler 4-6-0s in the 1970s. Alan obtained the drawings, but needed to produce his own design. Only the inside cylinder casting and frame steel were used from the available materials. That was in 1981. The project lost momentum and did not take off again until 2009. The reason was that the design Alan was working to was not accurate and did not include inclination of the outside cylinders and valve gear. He did consider redesigning it, but lacked accurate information to produce a finished model “that I would be completely satisfied with.”

He adds: “Combining the latter issues with my own limited experience highlighted the fact that, at the time, I was out of my depth. The initial phase of construction ground to a halt in 1982. One factor in reviving the project was the availability of Tony Allcock’s Galatea drawings. The other was the news that it was hoped to build a full-size Patriot.

The 3-cylinder LMS Patriot class was introduced towards the end of Sir Henry Fowler's reign as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LMS. The first two were produced from the remains of two Claughtons badly damaged in accidents.

After 1937 they were re-designated as a small boilered version of the Royal Scot, utilising a similar chassis and a Derby designed boiler used on the rebuilt Claughtons.

The class had three 18” x 26” cylinders (identical to the Scots), 6’ 9” driving wheels and a boiler operating up to 200psi. The last five were built with taper boilers and became the first of the Jubilees.

All the Patriots, often referred to as ‘baby Scots’, were painted out in LMS crimson lake livery with pale yellow and black lining when first built and carried 'LMS' lettering on the tenders. From 1946 most were painted out in LMS lined black with straw and maroon lining. Some Patriots kept this style of livery into BR days with the name British Railways written in full on the tender. All of the class were later painted out in British Railways standard express passenger green with orange and black lining with the BR 'lion and wheel' logo or later BR crest on the tender.

The class was an immediate success, displaying consistently good performance. The class was withdrawn over a two year period between 1960 and 1962 having all covered around 1.3 million miles each.

Sadly, all were scrapped.

However, now there is the possibility of a new Patriot being built as a new National Memorial Engine, named The Unknown Warrior. The hope is to complete it in time for the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice in 2018.

The engineering skills and facilities necessary to produce a new steam locomotive in the UK are in place and proven with other recent build projects and restorations. Many original LMS drawings have been obtained and new drawings are being created using CAD techniques where the original drawings cannot be found.

Work on the The Unknown Warrior began in 2009 led by Dave Owen, Chief Mechanical Engineer at the Llangollen Railway Works. Other workshops around the UK are now involved including the Boro Foundry, The South Devon Railway, L.N.W.R Heritage and Tyseley Locomotive Works. A  Fowler tender has been acquired from the Vale of Glamorgan Council. The frames and wheel sets will be restored, and a brand new tender body will be built.
Fundraising for a new boiler  began in 2012. LNWR Heritage at Crewe, the Company founded by Pete Waterman, will build the new parallel boiler. The project is endorsed by The Royal British Legion, and 45551 will carry a Legion crest above 'The Unknown Warrior' nameplate.

The Unknown Warrior is being built for mainline running. That would require the locomotive to be built to a height of 13'1”, 1 ½” less than the original design. The design of the chimney and cab would be affected by the reduced height requirements and additional items that are required for mainline running. See