Stamps celebrate the age of steam engines

GWR King Class engine Great Western Railway's King Class locomotive King William IV near Teignmouth in 1935.

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Royal Mail has published a new set of stamps to celebrate British steam engines.

The six stamps have been released to mark 50 years since the last steam engine was built by British Railways, the precursor to British Rail.

The final engine, the Evening Star, rolled out of Swindon in 1960, ending 130 years of steam locomotive building for Britain's mainline railways.

Other engines featured on the stamps include a Coronation Class locomotive.

"These latest stamps feature six steam engines which powered their way along the UK's railways," said Royal Mail spokesman Philip Parker.

"It's great to get these wonderful locomotives on the move again as they travel on letters to millions of homes across the UK."

The Evening Star was operated by British Railways, which was established in 1948.

The other five featured engines were run by the "big four" private railway companies that operated most of Britain's train network from 1923 to 1948.

They were Great Western (GWR), Southern (SR), London & North Eastern (LNER), and London, Midland & Scottish (LMS).

The other five stamps feature pictures of the following engines: GWR King Class, LNER Class A1, SR King Arthur Class, LMS NCC Class WT, and LMS Coronation Class.

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