The LMS-Patriot Project
The LMS-Patriot Project is a charitable company with the express aim to mark the 100th anniversary of the Great War in 2018 by building a new Patriot class steam engine called “The Unknown Warrior”.
The project began back in July 2007 when David Bradshaw, Project Co-ordinator and key member of Didcot's “County” project, announced that a new locomotive would be built if enough support was shown.
The locomotive will carry the number 5551 or BR No. 45551 (the last of the class) and will be assembled at the Llangollen Railway. The project has been made possible by the discovery of a number of key drawings. The estimated total project cost is around £1.5 million and will take around ten years to complete.
The reasons for building a Patriot class locomotive were also explained at the launch of the project. The new Patriot will fill a gap in the story of LMS express passenger steam locomotives, as all of the Patriots were scrapped by British Railways by 1962. David said: -
“In many ways, the Patriots were the only link between the warring factions at Derby and Crewe. They were also the first truly modern and reliable second string LMS express passenger locomotives, as well as forerunners of the 'Jubilees'. It's a crying shame that none were preserved.”
After high level talks with the Royal British Legion in March 2009 the creation of a new National Memorial engine was endorsed.
The LMS-Patriot Project will work with The Royal British Legion to promote the educational aspects of the project and the important role the railways played in the war effort. A new generation will learn about the importance of Britain’s railways and how Memorial Engines were built by Railway Companies in Remembrance of their employees who fought and died in the Great War.
LMS-Patriot Project Details
More information about the latest stage of “The Unknown Warrior's” build progress and related events can be found on their web site.
Photo by kind permission of The LMS-Patriot Project. Photographer: David Wilcock.