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Designed by Robert A. Riddles, BR's Standard Class 5MT 4-6-0 design was developed from the well-known 'Black Five', introduced prewar by the LMS. Built from 1951 at Derby and Doncaster, these 172 locomotives were destined never to fulfil their true potential as, in 1955, the Modernisation Plan foreshadowed the complete elimination of steam traction from Britain's railways. Construction of the class continued until 1957, but by this date it was clear that the class was destined to have a relatively short life and, by the end of main-line steam in August 1968, most had already been withdrawn, many after barely a decade in service. In this volume author David Clarke examines the development, history and operational career of the 'Standard Fives', illustrated with a comprehensive selection of colour and mono photographs and detailed line drawings. As such the book will be essential reading for all those interested in the development of BR main-line steam after Nationalisation as well as for those involved in preservation or in modelling the period from 1951 to 1968.
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