Tag Archives: F.W.Webb

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1874 – F.W.Webb’s 2-4-0 ‘Precedents’ London & North Western Railway

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1874 – F.W.Webb’s 2-4-0 ‘Precedents’

 London & North Western RailwayIllustration:  No.790 Hardwicke as running in 1927, before withdrawal for preservation.

Undoubtedly F.W.Webb’s most successful passenger class.  Although he himself seems to have been fat more interested in his subsequent experiments in ‘compounding’, the  ‘Precedents’ were the only really reliable express engines that the North Western possessed until Whale’s ‘Precursor’ appeared in 1904.  The latter indeed may be regarded as a very much enlarged version of the ‘Precedents’.

The class consisted in the first place of ninety engines built between 1874 and 1882, but subsequently, between 1887 and 1894, 96 engines of an older class of 2-4-0, built by John Ramsbottom from 1866 onwards, the ‘Newtons’, were entirely renewed in conformity with the Webb engines.  It was not until later years that the sterling worth of these remarkable locomotives came to be realised, and some of their prodigious feats of haulage, considering their small size, have probably seldom been equalled anywhere.  As was to be expected, their coal consumption was high when greatly overloaded, but nevertheless they were capable of ‘doing the job’ when called upon, as they frequently were.

Two of the best known were No.955 Charles Dickens, which put in a total mileage of over 2,300,000 between its construction in 1882 and withdrawal in 1912, and No. 790 Hardwicke, which distinguished itself in the 1895 race to Scotland.  This engine has been preserved.

Eighty of the class survived to be absorbed into the LMS at the grouping, and were allocated Nos. 5000-79 in the LMS list, although about half of them did not last long enough to carry these numbers.  The last in service was No. 5001, as the new Class 5 4-6-0s were then beginning to appear, and were taking the numbers 5000 upwards.

Driving wheels – 6’ 9”,  Leading wheels – 3’ 7½”,  Cylinders – 17”x 24”,  Pressure – 140 lb. (later 150 lb.),  Tractive effort 10918 lb.,  Weight – 35 tons 12 cwt.

LNWR 2-4-0 Precedent class No 514 ‘Puck’ is seen standing at Platform 2 in company with an unidentified LNWR 4-4-0 Precursor class locomotive standing at Platform Three. The single lamp in the centre of the bufferbeam is the code for a light engine which together with a full tender of coal indicates the locomotive has only just reversed on to the train. Built at Crewe works in 1880 and rebuilt in December 1895, No 514 was named ‘Lawrence’ in December 1895 which it carried until August 1913. Following the change of name to ‘Puck’, No 514 remained in service until August 1926 when the locomotive was finally withdrawn from service without receiving its allocated LMS number. C1920 – Warwickshire Railways.com

Webb Coal Tank 1054 – Latest News

1054 arriving at Hednesford – 14-4-1961

Barry Bull has recently found a leaflet asking for funds towards the cost of preserving this locomotive.  We offered it to the Bahamas Locomotive Society Ltd who are restoring the engine at their Ingrow Loco Museum on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in Yorkshire.  I’m pleased to say that they accepted the offer and sent us their latest press release about 1054, which is reproduced here.

From the Bahamas Locotive Society Ltd.

PRESS RELEASE                    4th November 2010

New Cylinders for LNWR Coal Tank

A new cylinder block has been fitted to the National Trust’s LNWR Coal Tank No.1054 by members of the Bahamas Locomotive Society. The block was lowered into the engine frames on Friday 29th October, the casting having been delivered to the BLS’s Ingrow Loco workshop on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway the day previous.

The new cylinder block was manufactured based on a Crewe drawing obtained from the Search Engine archive at the National Railway Museum at York.  The drawing, dated 1888 and thus the same age as 1054 itself, was also for used for the LNWR Special Tanks and DX Goods.

To aid the patternmaker in manufacturing the wood patterns and core boxes, a further drawing was prepared by the Society’s Engineering Manager, Steve Allsop, The patterns were produced at Forward Pattern Co of Aston, the casting was undertaken by Boro Foundry at Stourbridge, and the machining carried out at Multi-tech of Featherstone.  Steve Allsop commented, “It’s been an interesting project, and not just having the job done, but also meeting the various people involved to achieve the result.  It is both remarkable and pleasing that such work can still be achieved in the UK.”


Following the installation of the cylinder block, the boiler was lowered into place for trial fitting.  This 1921 LNWR boiler has been the subject of extensive repairs at the Ingrow workshop, and has included new half sides, throatplate and doorplate inserts to the steel outer firebox, as well as a new smokebox tubeplate.

Completion of the engine, which has benefited from funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is expected during the late Summer of 2011.

Additional Information

The LNWR Coal Tank was completed at the LNWR’s Crewe Works in 1888.  Withdrawn from service in 1939 the engine was returned to traffic following the outbreak of the Second World War, and was the last example of the 300-strong class, finally withdrawn in 1959.

The engine was saved by a group of enthusiasts headed by J M Dunn, former shedmaster of Bangor MPD, and was the first steam locomotive to be preserved in the UK by public subscription.

The engine was subsequently presented to the National Trust for display at Penrhyn Castle in North Wales.

Since 1973, the engine has been in the care of the Bahamas Locomotive Society, based at their Ingrow Loco Museum on the 5JR Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in Yorkshire.


Simon Bryant, who was elected  Chairman of the Bahamas Locomotive Society in 1974, handed over ‘the regulator’ to Mark Winderbank at the BLS’s AGM at Ingrow in June

Simon’s 36 years as Chairman included a very tumultuous period which involved the Society’s enforced departure from the old MS&L shed at Dinting and the transfer of its main artefacts to Ingrow Loco which became the new workshop and home of the Society from 1990 with strong support from the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.

The BLS’s ‘Jubilee’ 45596 “BAHAMAS” moved to Dinting Railway Centre after its purchase and repair in 1967/68 and was subsequently joined there by several other engines thanks to the provision of undercover accommodation and DRC’s status as a ‘Return to Steam’ operating base.


Following the closure of the DRC, under Dr. Bryant’s leadership the Society established at Ingrow a visitor experience which became recognised nationally having been registered as an Accredited Museum by the Museum, Libraries & Galleries Commission. “BAHAMAS” is currently on view at the southern end of the KWVR inside Oxenhope Shed.

Dr. Bryant continues as a Committee Member & Director of the Bahamas Locomotive Society Ltd.

For further information, please contact John Hillier, the Society’s Press Officer

01572 747706 / 0771 200 3105 –  jrh@johnhillier.co.uk

Web sites: www.bahamas45596.co.uk and www.coaltank.co.uk

Trial fit of boiler

Photographs:  Copyright: Peter Skellon, 22 Windsor Street, Barrow in Furness.

LA14 4JR

Where it all started:

This excerpt was taken from the RPS Newsletter No.3.1 January – April 1961

From a letter to the owners in July 1963 from J.M.Dunn about the transfer to Penrhyn Castle, Bangor, North Wales.


Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era The LNWR 0-6-0s (18 ins.)

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

The LNWR 0-6-0s (18 ins.)

Casey Jones

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