Minister of Transport, Eric Campbell Geddes’ Railways Act of 1921, enacted at the start of 1923, created the ‘Big Four’ regional rail companies of the Great Western Railway, the London Midland Scottish Railway, the London North Eastern Railway and the Southern Railway. Twenty five years later, on January 1, 1948, Clement Attlee's Transport Act of 1947 created British Railways, marking the end of what many regard as the golden age of the railways. With 2017 marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the ‘Big Four’, the ‘Final Day’ collection features a mainline locomotive from each of the regions, in its final regional livery.
A modification of Sir Nigel Gresley’s original A1 design, the LNER’s A3 locomotives were the stalwarts of the East Coast Main Line Express services from the mid-1920s, right up until 1961, when they were replaced by English Electric Deltics. Gresley’s first designs for a large express passenger locomotive were put into practice in 1915 and although the First World War delayed development, in April 1922, 1470 Great Northern became the first A1 to enter service. Following exchange trials with the Great Western Railway, a range of modifications were brought to the A1 Class, eventually resulting in all of the A1s being rebuilt as Class A3 locomotives, with the exception of Great Northern, which was rebuilt by Thompson in 1945 as a Class A1/1.
Smoke lifting experiments during 1932-33 using No. 2751 Humorist were unsuccessful, leading to the fitting of the Kylchap double blastpipe arrangement with a lipped double chimney, but with no smoke deflectors. The softer blast of the Kylchap arrangement meant that smoke deflectors were necessary to lift the exhaust and so small wing deflectors, on either side of the chimney, were fitted in January 1938, eventually being replaced in 1947 by larger Peppercorn style deflectors.
Development of the class continued after Nationalisation in 1948, the remaining right hand drive A3 locomotives being converted to left hand drive between 1952 and 1954, whilst from 1954, A4 boilers were fitted to roughly half of the class because A3 spares were in short supply. Between 1958 and 1959, those remaining A3s without the modified Kylchap arrangement and double chimney were modified, this time using German style smoke deflectors.
The first A3 was withdrawn from service in 1959, the last, No. 60052 Prince Palatine, was withdrawn in January 1966 and all were scrapped except for No. 4472 Flying Scotsman, which was withdrawn in January 1963 and sold into preservation.
108 Gay Crusader was built at Doncaster and entered traffic on June 16, 1923 at Doncaster. Initially numbered 1477, Gay Crusader entered Doncaster Works as No.4477 on December 22, 1942 for rebuilding to Class A3, re-entering traffic on January 30, 1943 at Kings Cross. On December 31, 1947, Gay Crusader, now numbered as 108, was allocated to Kings Cross shed.
SUITABLE ROLLING STOCK R4660, R4661, R4662, R4663, R4664
Maximum curve Hornby 2nd radius + / 438mm+