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As can be seen from the photograph 70025 was constructed without a tender step (item 10) and without the little cover plate to the mechanical lubrication unit (item 18); also the flexible cab sheets (item 9) were not thought to be a requirement as yet.(Below) Measuring 47" long, with the front repainted though unpolished, a nameplate from BR Standard Class 7 Britannia 4-6-2 No 70025 Western Star went under the hammer for £10,800 at a Great Central Railwayana Auction on 11 October 2014.

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Likewise, the ATC (Automatic Train Control) (item 20) and its relative parts were removed, but 70025 had the BR version, the AWS (item 20), fitted at Crewe at the end of 1962.

It transpired that a total of 14 Britannias did not have the AWS equipment fitted, and of these, 12 were ex-Western engines, also 70025 did not have a speedometer (item 13) fitted, not ever, and was one of 14 locos that was not so equipped, showing yet again how non-standard the Britannias had become.

This is because the list of modifications diminished as they were put into the building programme and only half of these changes were required on later batches.

Nevertheless there are many more photos of these later builds, primarily because enthusiasts began to realise that extinction was on the horizon, so perhaps the additional photos will remedy the imbalance...' Upon nationalisation of the 'Big Four' railway companies in 1948, the Railway Executive of the British Transport Commission (BTC) announced its preference for developing future steam motive power rather than dabbling with unproven diesel traction.

At this juncture I should mention that the tender step (item 10) fitted to 70025 was of the LMR type (reference to above notes) and not, as might be expected, the Western Region (ie Swindon) variety, which had more support in the centre of the step than Crewe's version, ie support at either end only.

These were seen to change from time to time or, at least, the tenders were changed when going through Works, although 'Western Star' did manage to keep the LMR type step all the way through its service history.

70025 was destined for the Western Region, but her arrival was delayed due to a spell spent at Rugby Testing Station (as mentioned above); the loco was completed just under a year after 70024 due to steel shortages.

Built with Western Region lamp irons (item 2): two raised sand box lids (item 16) on each side: Western Region Automatic Train Control equipment (item 20), with Battery Box and relevant pipework: front regulator rod support bracket (item 5) and plain Coupling Rods (item 14) which was part of the Axle modifications.

No 70025 went new to Rugby Testing Plant on 13 September 1952 and its first shed in May 1953 was Cardiff Canton where it remained for eight years.

Its later sheds were Aston, Crewe North, Crewe South, Llandudno Junction and Kingmoor from where it was withdrawn during the week ending 3 December 1967 and sold for scrap to Campbells at Airdrie.

Their willingness to participate in its construction with no prospect of financial gain, just the satisfaction of being involved, is bloody marvellous.


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