The New ‘L’ Class 0-6-2T of the North Stafford Railway
These locomotives were an improved version of the earlier ‘L’ Class, which had been developed by Mr. Adams, the CME for working the heavy traffic – particularly coal – into Stoke, from various pits served by the railway.
The first to appear in 1908 was number 98 and so successful was the design that a further twenty-seven followed, the last four appearing after grouping. The class was the largest taken over from the North Stafford Company by the LMSR and was renumbered by the new owners 2246 to 2273.
Building dates were:
1908 – 2246/9, 1909 – 2250/3, 1913 – 2254/61, 1920 – 2262,
1921 – 2263/7, 1922 – 2268/9, 1923 – 2270/3.
During their early years the class were not only used on the heavy freight turns but also on express passenger turns between Stoke and Manchester-London Road. The North Stafford kept them in immaculate condition in the deep madder lake livery, and they could turn in quite a good account of themselves, being extremely free running machines.
Unfortunately their new owners relegated them to goods work, hump shunting and other menial tasks, so that it was not long before the first found their way to the scrap heap.
Some were sold upon withdrawal to collieries – numbers 2253/7 were sold to Walkden Colliery. Numbers 2262/4/70/1 were also sold upon withdrawal and one of these – old NSR No.2 was loaned by the National Coal Board and restored to its NSR condition for the City of Stoke-on-Trent Golden Jubilee Celebrations in 1960.
It is still at work and is scheduled for preservation when taken out of traffic by the Coal Board. (Last heard of at Shildon).
Withdrawal dates were:
1928 – 2247, 1934 – 2250/2/4/8/60/9, 1935 – 2256/67/72,
1936 – 2246/9/51/3/5/9/63-6/8, 1937 – 2248/57/61/2/70/1/3.Pic by H C Casserley at Waterhouses