Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era
The LNWR 0-6-0s (17 ins.)
No.3393 is a ‘DX Goods’ class 0-6-0 seen shunting at Ladmanlow on the Cromford & High Peak in the late 1890’s. Descending the steep 1 in 41 from Harper Hill to Hindlow with only six wooden brake blocks on the tender and none at all on the engine must have called for immense skill and very strong nerves. LNWR Society
The 0-6-0 wheel arrangement is almost as old as the history of railways in this country and there were very few companies which were without this type either in tender or tank form during their independent years.
The LNWR was certainly no exception with over 800 designed by Ramsbottom, and a further 809 added by F.W. Webb as gradual replacements for the early type. The Webb engines were of two types, the 17” and the 18” Goods and I propose to deal wit the smaller type first.
As far back as the 1860s Mr. Ramsbottom had introduced his DX goods engines and these formed the basis of the design which Mr. Webb developed in his 17” Goods – in fact, a large number of surviving DXs were modernised to conform to the new type.
Built between 1873 and 1892 there were 500 17” goods locos turned out of Crewe Works and of this total the LMSR took over 227 in 1923 together with a further 45 which had been converted into useful 0-6-0 tanks by Mr. George Whale between 1904 and 1907. Because the LNWR numbering system is a loco historians nightmare I shall use the LMSR numbering for easiness and I am also including the notes on the tank rebuilds with the tender locos for completeness.
Of the 228 locos taken over by the LMSR, 42 were sent overseas in 1914 and 1915 and did not return. At least two were sold to the Manchester and Milfordhaven Railway becoming GWR 1338/41 (scrapped in 1915 and 1906 respectively). Others were sold to innumerable collieries and light railway companies and the rest were withdrawn well before the 1923 Grouping.
Reverting to those taken over by the LMSR, these were numbered 8088 – 8314 (tender) and 7458 – 7502 (tanks).
The principal dimensions of both types as built were:
Cyls 17” x 24”, Pressure 140 lbs, Driving Wheels 4’ 5½”, Total Heating Surface 1,075sq ft, Weight 25 tons or 40 tons 9 cwt tank, Tractive Effort 16,530 lbs.LNWR ‘DX’ No.1799 in West Yard c1908 with outgoing timber from the Poynton estate. © David Kitching 2003
Several were built with the safety valves in the dome and quite a few received Belpaire boilers in later life. So simple was the class in design that one was built from scratch at Crewe Works in 28½ working hours including steaming. One would have thought that a loco built so quickly would have a short life, but in fact the pioneer of the class LMS 8091 was taken over by British Railways and lasted until 1953 with a working life of 80 years to its credit, surely a first class monument to the robust design and craftsmanship put in at Crewe.
The ‘Coal’ engines as they were known were to be found in every corner of the LNWR being extremely useful; because of their light axle load, not only for working direct into the collieries where trackwork was practically nil, but also on branch lines where heavier types were prohibited. Wherever there was a colliery it would be almost sure to have at least two or three of the class nearby for working the traffic away.
In later years after a considerable number had been withdrawn, the last survivors ended up at Crewe Works being employed as yard shunters, a similar fate which happened to the tank rebuilds. The LMS later sold numbers 8108/82/8236 to the Shropshire and Montgomery Light Railway, these being withdrawn by the GWR in 1950.
From 1936 the survivors had 20,000 added to their numbers, and by 1948 when British Railways took over there were still 42 tenders and one tank loco running. The tank number 27480 was allocated the new number 58870 but never carried it.
As already stated, the class was slowly taken out of traffic by the LMS between the Wars when more powerful types were commissioned. Withdrawal dates for tenders were from 1924 to the last ten of a few dozen left after the Second World War, in 1953. Tank locos, with the one exception in 27480, had all gone between 1924 and 1940.LNWR 0-6-0 near Llangefni 1936
Anglesey Branch Lines: Amlwch and Red Wharf Bay,
W.G. Rear, 1993. Page 43