Clans on the Rails

Written by: TrainSim-James

Main image above, copyright Ben Brooksbank.

The Bespoke BR Standard Class 6, from Partner Programme developer Just Trains, is coming soon to Steam!

Following the nationalisation of Britain’s Railways, it was decided that a significant number of future locomotives would be built to a standardised design; easing and reducing the cost of repairs by sharing common parts between a wide range of locomotive types that would serve nation-wide.

Almost all the BR Standards were built for mixed-traffic working, and the 4-6-2 Pacific configuration was chosen for express fleets. One locomotive in particular, the BR Standard Class 6, emerged from Crewe Works in 1951 as a lighter variation of the previous Class 7. A reduction in weight gave the Class 6 an increased route availability, granting access to their Scottish homeland (being based at Carlisle & Glasgow), albeit with a reduction of power to 6MT. The Class 6 was named the Clan Class, carrying names of the various Clans of Scotland.

In total, 10 BR Standard Class 6 locomotives were outshopped with the last entering service in March 1952. More were planned, another 15 in fact, however steel shortages delayed construction, and the publication of the 1955 Modernisation Plan saw the order cancelled. This left the Class 6 as one of the smallest classes in the BR Standard range, and adequate training was proven challenging as a result.

While those that had spent time on the footplate had learned the intricacies of stoking and steaming the Class 6, the many crews that weren’t so familiar with the fleet struggled to get the most out of their potential, and their reception was mixed at best. Perhaps the biggest blow to the Class 6 was when trials took place to test motive power in different regions.

Throughout August 1958, 72009 Clan Stewart spent her days working out of Stratford MPD of the Eastern Region. The issue was, the Class 6 was so similar to the Class 7 that there was early confusion, and the former would often be sent out on Class 7 duties. Credit where it’s due, the Class 6 managed to haul with heavier loads with little issue, but could not keep to the timetable. Sadly, the Class 6 was rejected by the Eastern Region, and despite being the only Pacific suitable for the West Highland Line, the Class was deemed a failure by British Railways.

The Class 6 survived until the end of steam, and like many BR Standard locomotives, were withdrawn long before their usefulness was spent. With such low numbers in service from the get-go, no Clan managed to make it into preservation. The only hope for the Class returning to the rails falls with the Standard Steam Locomotive Company, who are currently in progress of building what would’ve been the 11th Class 6 in the fleet, 72010 Hengist.

Those that had a knack for the Clans really took to the class, regardless of their rushed development issues and poor reputation. Coming soon to Steam, from Partner Programme developer Just Trains, will be the chance to experience what it was like to operate this ill-fated iron horse in its heyday!

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TrainSim-James

10 Comments

  • If this is the JustTrains release of the loco, will this also include the projected 11th member of the class 72010 “Hengist”?

    • Yes it does

    • If it’s the same as the JT Release it will have Hengist.
      Driven it and it’s a great loco far better than the DTG re-release of the IHH loco.
      Ironically it is easier to drive than the one we have on steam, once you’re used to the advanced features.
      It certainly wheelslips a lot less, as I found out going over Beattock with a heavy Parcels train.
      Especially if you start the scenario coupled up to the train.

      There is also that neat little switcher utility so that you can run it in simple and advanced mode.

      It sounds good, though imho the DTG one with the SSS Soundpack sounds a little better, and the DTG one has the better footplate textures, which has been a tradidional weakness of JT kettles, but that has improved with the newer JT Advanced kettles (5MT 2-6-0, Britannia 7MTs (god I love them! 😉 ), LNER V2 and LNER K4.)
      I hope they’ll also get added to steam, so that more people can see those great kettles.

  • Interesting to see a Just Trains loco come to steam. Just wondering is this similar to the MT released on steam already?

    • The Just Trains Standard Class 6 will enter into the Pro Range and has extensive advanced features

    • They are on par with the Meshtools Tanks, about the same realism, although the K4 does push the boundaries of realism in some fields where the meshtools don’t.

      You don’t have to set the lubricator quite like on the Meshtools, but firing is afaik more realistic and you’re getting shovelfulls of coal not the steady trickle that you’re used to from most kettles in this sim.
      Priming is also an issue, if you overfill the boiler.
      You don’t have the manual firing quite as involved as the recent return to Maerdy locos, but it’s good, also there is a thermal simulation of the fire, so little and often, not a lot of coal at once.
      The newer ones, from the 5MT onwards also have a quite competent automatic fireman, called activ fireman.

      I have both Meshtools and JT Advanceds and I wouldn’t want to miss them for anything.

  • Question. First of all there is already the 6MT on Steam made by DTG will the 6MT that is currently on Steam be withdrawn or will it stay? And sexond of all what scenarios will be included as there is 15 scenarios that is included in the JT version of the loco

    • There are no plans to remove the existing 6MT from the store. I believe Just Trains have included 3 scenarios with this version.

      • But we’re still going to get all the locos in the pack steve?

        And are these new scenarios?

        Also it wouldn’t make sense to pull the 6MT as it is the only source of Mk1 sleepers so far.

        • Yes all locos Wulfric and I believe they are all completely new scenarios!

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