Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era
1912 – Fowler 4-4-0
The pre-grouping members of this class were nominally rebuilds of much earlier Johnson engines, but here they are treated as a new class originating in 1912.
The first of the original Johnson engines to be taken in hand for this complete modernisation was the old’1667’ class, a series of ten 7’ 0” engines built in 1885, numbered 1667-1676, which became Nos. 483-93 under the 1907 renumbering scheme. No. 483 was the first to be treated, and not only were the others of this batch, but also the whole of the series numbered between 483 and 562, completed by 1914, as well as many of the earlier engines in addition.
Conversion of these proceeded until 1922, after which no more were done, and those still remaining in the second ‘intermediate’ rebuilt stage were gradually taken out of service. All of the new ‘483’ class, 157 engines in all, numbered between 332 and 562, together with five others taken over from the Somerset and Dorset in 1930 as Nos. 322-6 (the original Johnson engines bearing those numbers having by that time been scrapped), came into BR stock in 1948. They nominally had 40000 added to their numbers, but withdrawal commenced in 1948 and in a few cases the new numbers were never carried. Toward the end of 1959 some thirty of these engines were still in traffic.
After the 1923 amalgamation the class was adopted with slight modifications – the principal of which was a reduction in the diameter of the driving wheels from 7’ 0” to 6’ 9” – as a standard design, and a further 135 engines were built for the LMSR, together with three others for the Somerset and Dorset, between 1928 and 1932.
The LMS engines were 563-632 and 636-700, whilst the S&DJR engines, at first 44-6 in their own system, became 633-5 on their absorption in 1930. Nos. 591 and 639 had very short lives, as they were involved in a collision in 1934, and were so badly damaged that they were scrapped. The remainder all became BR 40563-40700 and withdrawal did not commence on any considerable scale until 1959. Many of these LMS-built engines were put to work on the Glasgow and South Western section in Scotland where they replaced the various G&SWR 4-4-0s which did not long survive the grouping.
MR engines – Driving wheels – 7’ 0”, Cylinders – 20½”x 26”, Pressure – 160 lb., Tractive effort – 17585 lb., Weight – 53 tons 7 cwt, MR classification – 2, LMS & BR classification – 2P
LMS engines – Driving wheels – 6’ 9”, Cylinders – 19”x 26”, Pressure – 180 lb., Tractive effort – 17730 lb., Weight – 54 tons 1 cwt, MR classification – N/A, LMS & BR classification – 2P