Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era – ‘Skye Bogies’

Highland Railway L Class – ‘Skye Bogies’

One of my favourite classes of locomotive, based on looks alone – they always put me in mind of a greyhound smoothly galloping along.  Not the best way to judge engines I suppose, but that’s my opinion.

While I am giving my opinions, it is surprising how many times I look at a photograph, say I like it, and find that it was taken by H.C.Casserley – a master of his craft!A view of the Highland Railway at Inverness looking over the Moray Firth.  In the foreground is Skye Bogie No.14279.  Photo taken in June 1927 by H.C.Casserley

The Highland Railway Jones L Class 4-4-0s were more commonly known as ‘Skye Bogies’ due to their association with the Kyle of Lochalsh Line. They were essentially mixed traffic versions of the earlier F Class. The 17-by-24-inch (432 mm × 610 mm) cylinders, valve gear and motion were common to the two classes, but they had smaller 5-foot-3-inch (1,600 mm) driving wheels and higher pressure 150-pound-force-per-square-inch (1,030 kPa) boilers.

Nine were built at Lochgorm Works over the period 1882 to 1901. Listed in order of construction:

They were never named.

Eight passed to the LMS in 1923, but had gone by Nationalisation.Former Highland ‘Skye Bogie’ 4-4-0 No.14277 is turned at Dingwall: these locomotives were normally used between Dingwall and the Kyle of Lochalsh – H.C.Casserley

Highland Railway L class
Power type Steam
Designer David Jones
Builder HR Lochgorm Works
Build date 1882-1901
Total production 9
Configuration 4-4-0
Gauge 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm)
Locomotive weight 43 tons 0 cwt (96,300 lb/43.7 t)
Boiler pressure 150 lbf/in² (1.03 MPa)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 17 in × 24 in (432 mm × 610 mm)
Tractive Effort 14,037 lbf (62.44 kN)
Career HR – LMS
Class HR: L
Power class 1P
Number in class 1 January 1923: 8
Nicknames Skye Bogies
Retired 1922-1930
Disposition All scrapped

HR Number Built LMS Number Notes 70 (later 67)

1882 14277 Swapped numbers with 67 c.1916 85

1892 — 86

1893 14279 87

1893 14280 Withdrawn before renumbered by the LMS 88

1895 14281 Withdrawn early 1926 before renumbering by the LMS 5 (later 32)

1897 14282 6 (later 33)

1897 14283 7 (later 34)

1898 14284 48

1901 14285Highland Railway ‘Skye Bogie’ No.14279 at that most delightful of railway outposts, Kyle of Lochalsh in June 1927 – H.C.Casserley.

3 responses to “Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era – ‘Skye Bogies’

  1. Do you know anyone who has scale drawings of the Skye Bogie?

    • Hi, I asked a modeller who visited our museum if he could help, as he said that he builds his models (in matchsticks – see my latest ‘Museum Post’) from drawings. He has sent the following information. I hope that it is of some help. Regards, John cws
      hi john at the museum asked me if i knew where to get a skye bogie diagram. here is the information. i get my diagrams from skinley diagrams. address:phil brice, the sussex modeller, 20a rowe avenue, peacehaven, east sussex, bn10 7pf. Tel:01273 581265.
      email skinleydrawings@rowe-avenue.freeserve.co.uk

  2. I came across a wonderful 2nd. hand book -‘The Skye Railway’ by John Thomas (published in 1977 by David and Charles) in which the Skye Bogies are described as ‘well loved little engines —— waddling round the curves like fat, friendly ducks —-‘. I was intrigued therefore to read your description of one as a’greyhound smoothly galloping along’. No plagiarism there, then!

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