Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1896 Drummond 0-4-4T London & South Western Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1896 Drummond 0-4-4T

London & South Western Railway

One of the earlier M7 batch in SR days.

Dugald Drummond’s first design for the LSWR after his appointment as CME to that line in 1895.  It closely followed the lines of fifty somewhat similar engines built by his predecessor, W.Adams, but differed in detail, the most noticeable being the chimneys, with an ornamented flared type in place of Adams’ austere ‘stovepipe’ design, and the Ross ‘pop’ safety valves mounted on the dome replacing the previous Ramsbottom type on the firebox.  Certain of the dimensions were also increased.

Although primarily intended for suburban service, some of them were at first put to work on main line trains between Exeter and Plymouth.  Following a derailment at speed near Tavistock they were taken off these duties.

In all, 105 of the class were built, the first 55 between 1897 and 1900.  The later fifty, which all came out between 1903 and 1911, were slightly different in detail with a few minor improvements, the chief being the provision of steam reversing gear.  The numbers of the whole class were 21-60, 104-12, 123-33, 241-56, 318-24, 328, 356-7, 347-9, 479-81, and 667-76.  Until the electrification of the LSWR suburban lines the majority were to be found in the London area, although there were always a few scattered over other parts of the system.  As the electrified area was extended they gradually drifted to the country districts, and many of them were fitted with pull-and-push gear for motor train work on branches.  The only major alteration ever made was to one solitary engine, No.126, which was rebuilt in 1921 with a superheater, extended smokebox, and somewhat higher-pitched boiler.  As such it was a rather ungainly machine, and was never greatly liked.  It was cut up in 1937.  The second casualty to the class was No.672, which in May, 1948 accidentally fell down the lift shaft to the City tube at Waterloo.  The task of recovering it whole was not considered worthwhile, and it was cut up on the spot.  Apart from these two engines, the whole class survived to be absorbed into BR stock and to be renumbered 30021, etc., and no further withdrawals took place until 1957.

These engines are somewhat unique in that (with the exception of No.126), in spite of the design being over sixty years old, they have hardly changed in appearance, apart from one or two minor details such as additions to the number of bunker coal rails, and of course, inevitable changes of style of painting under their three successive ownerships.  Even the pattern of chimney has remained unaltered; this in itself is distinctly unusual as this particular feature of a locomotive is one about which locomotive superintendents generally have their own distinctive ideas, which they more often than not apply to their predecessor’s engines.

Driving wheels – 5’ 7”,  Bogie wheels – 3’ 7”,  Cylinders – 18½”x 26”,  Pressure – 175 lb.,  Tractive effort – 19755 lb.,  Weight – 60 tons 4 cwt.,  LSWR classification – M7 (first 55 engines),  X14 (the final 50 engines),  Power classification – LSWR & SR – K,  Power Classification BR – 2P

LSWR Drummond M7 0-4-4T locomotive no. 30053 in BR unlined black livery, on display at the Woking 150 Open Day, 29 May 1988. The locomotive had returned from a museum in the USA (Steamtown in Pennsylvania) the year before, and is still a star attraction of the Swanage RailwayAuthor michaelday_bath / photo on flickr View portfolio on foter.  License  Attribution-NonCommercial License

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