Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era
The LNWR 0-6-0s (18 ins.)
To complete the picture of LNWR goods locos designed by F.W. Webb this article deals with the most ubiquitous goods class ever to run on the Premier Line, namely the 18” Goods or ‘Cauliflowers’ as they were more widely known. Apparently the nickname derived from the appearance of the Company Coat of Arms on the driving wheel splasher, which at a distance resembled the well-known vegetable.
‘Cauliflower’ 0-6-0 No.34, or ‘Crested Goods’, photographed with a rather dour–looking crew. Built April 1887, No.34 is in fully lined livery, with red lining inside grey on black. The nickname came from the cauliflower–like company crest on the central splasher. LNWR Society
The prototype No. 2379 appeared in 1880 and incorporated the ‘Jumbo’ boiler, 5’ 3” driving wheels, 18”x24” cylinders, 150 lbs. per sq in pressure, a total heating surface of 1084 sq ft, a grate area of 17½ sq ft and a tractive effort of 15,800 lbs.
Between 1880 and 1902 the whole class was turned out of Crewe Works at regular intervals, and with the exception of two all were taken over by the LMS in 1923, being renumbered 8315-8624, incidentally numbers 8328/9 were left blank for the two withdrawn before the Grouping.
The cauliflowers were always classed as mixed traffic locos in spite of the wheel arrangement and like their predecessors the ’coal’ engines were extremely simple in construction and easy to maintain. There are many fine runs credited to the class over the West Coast main line for it was not unusual to see one of the class working an express passenger train or semi-fast out of Euston. With Mr. Webb’s Compounds failing right, left and centre it was a good thing that he had at the disposal of the Motive Power Department a stud of well built simple steam locos in which the Department could place complete faith.
‘18” Goods Engine’ (aka ‘Cauliflower’ ) 0-6-0 No.422 with a slow passenger train near Hampton-In-Arden, July 1921. Their larger wheels and power made the ‘Cauliflowers’ quite useful on passenger as well as goods trains. The train is composed of four cove-roof coaches normally coupled as a set. LNWR Society.
Under the LMSR several later received Belpaire fireboxes and some had the cylinders lined up to 17 or 17½ inches. A large number were taken out of traffic during the thirties, and in 1936 the survivors were put on the Duplicate list having 20,000 added to their numbers. In their declining years after the Second World War, most of the survivors had congregated at Stoke, Nuneaton, Carlisle, Penrith and Widnes.
Those at Penrith were used on the Keswick branch where they regularly clocked up speeds of 76mph and over, Carlisle had two equipped with large snow ploughs, one being fitted at Crewe and the other at Rugby Workshops. Of the Nuneaton ones, number 28611 was quite a regular visitor to Stafford on the pick-up freight.
The last of the class, number 58427 was stored for a long time at Trafford Park depot, from whence it moved to Crewe in 1955 for breaking up. However, it received a slight reprieve for it was decided to restore it to LNWR livery. Thus it was shunted about to odd corners of the works until 1957 when a review of the original decision to restore was made and it was finally decided not to carry out the work and so after two years grace, old 58427 was cut up. The pioneer of the class was cut up in 1951 with a record of 71 years of service, rather more than any Webb Compound, which only lasted 15 years on average.
In the late 1890’s ‘Cauliflower Goods’ No.683 trundles a mixed goods out of the tunnel through Handsworth Wood station, north of Birmingham. The safety valves must be about to close for only a trickle of steam escapes. LNWR Society