Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era
1909 – Deeley ‘999’ Class
A series of ten 4-4-0s constructed by R.M.Deeley, said to have been designed mainly for the purpose of testing simple propulsion against the compounds. Little in the way of actual comparative trials appear to have taken place, and the engines worked almost entirely between Leeds and Carlisle, which was no one of the principal domains of the compounds, although they were not unknown on that difficult road.
These locomotives were fitted with a valve gear of Deeley’s own design not unlike the inside-cylindered Walschaert pattern, although there were essential differences. The boilers were originally pressured to 220 lb., but this was reduced to 200 lb. when the engines were superheated between 1912 and 1914, and the cylinders enlarged from 19” diameter to 20½”.
As they spent the whole of their working life on the wild Settle and Carlisle road they were comparatively unknown, and were rarely, if ever, seen in London, the furthest south they ever got being Derby on their periodic visits to works. One, however, was tried out for a short time on the Somerset and Dorset in the early 1920s. They did not have a particularly long life, and all were broken up between 1925 and 1929. For the last two or three years Nos. 991-9 ran as 801-9 (No. 990 had been scrapped in 1925 and was not renumbered) in anticipation of their numbers being required for new compounds, construction of which was proceeding apace, but as it turned out the new engines never reached these numbers.
Original dimensions – Driving wheels – 6’ 6½”, Bogie wheels – 3’ 3½”, Cylinders – 19”x 26”, Pressure – 220 lb., Weight – 58¼ tons, MR & LMS classification – 4