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LONDON MIDLAND & SCOTTISH: Britain’s Greatest Railway

The London Midland & Scottish Railway, the LMS, Great Britain’s largest from 1923-1947, has been extensively chronicled, but an update is long overdue. This unique work achieves it – and much more, combining detailed information scattered over books and magazines through decades, into a concise overview of what the company was about, and how it worked.

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The London Midland & Scottish Railway, the LMS, Great Britain’s largest from 1923-1947, has been extensively chronicled, but an update is long overdue. This unique work achieves it – and much more, combining detailed information scattered over books and magazines through decades, into a concise overview of what the company was about, and how it worked. Its analyses of locomotive-stock provide a further insight into methods of operation. The LMS pioneering work in both steam and diesel traction, plus that in other fields, put it ahead of Britain’s other three railways, and for this it is here accorded the recognition it deserves. Fascinating, amusing, anecdotes give an insight into the staff’s work-ethic and into contemporary social conditions. Key decisions by the LMS Executive to overcome the rivalry of its two largest constituents resulted in the appointment of an engineer who would create, not only modern, efficient locomotives and rolling-stock, but also an effective and unified design-team which would actually outlive the company and provide the spine of the four nationalized railways from 1948. The technical details, such as wheel notation (4-4-0 etc), boiler-pressures and valve-gears, are well within the ambit of railfans and complete the picture of this, Britain’s greatest railway.