In one of the lanes, Midland Spinner 673 can be found. As you can see from the pictures above, this locomotive is extremely elegant, it’s beautiful lines that speak of an age when railways were at the forefront of engineering magnificence. There’s no doubt why this locomotive has such a prominent spot in the museum.
Sitting beside the Spinner is a steam locomotive that shares a similar livery, but not quite the same aesthetics! The prototype Hughes “Crab” class 2-6-0 is a hugely significant machine, but is it beautiful? The nickname of Crab came from it’s crab-like looks; a result of it’s running board, a portion of which was especially high to accommodate the large high-angled cylinders. This aided access for maintenance and therefore was a practical measure.
Described by some as “ungainly”, there is no doubting that the Crab lacks the grace and elegance of the Midland Spinner. However, I’m quite fond of it’s chunky looks and believe that a mechanical beauty can be found, as with most steam locomotives, even the Southern Q1 class! What do you think? Feel free to comment!
To read about other exhibits to be found in the National Railway Museum during this visit in 2013, please click here.