Tag Archives: Midland Railway

Some Early Lines Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway – Bourne & Sleaford Railway

Some Early Lines
Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway

Bourne & Sleaford Railway

EPSON scanner imageBillingborough & Horbling Station (remains)
View southwards, towards Bourne; ex-GN Bourne – Sleaford branch. Station and line closed to passengers 22/9/30, to goods 28/7/56 (from Sleaford) 15/6/64 (from Bourne).
© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway, (M&GN) was a joint railway owned by the Midland Railway (MR) and the Great Northern Railway (GNR) in eastern England, affectionately known as the ‘Muddle and Get Nowhere’ to generations of passengers, enthusiasts, and other users.
The main line ran from Peterborough to Great Yarmouth via South Lynn and Melton Constable. Branches ran from Sutton Bridge to an end on junction with the Midland Railway branch from Saxby, at Little Bytham near Bourne, Lincolnshire; from Melton Constable to Cromer; and from Melton Constable to Norwich. There was also a short spur connecting South Lynn to King’s Lynn and its docks.

Bourne and Sleaford Railway

Bourne - BlogBourne Station
Station architecture on the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway at Bourne, which was the junction for the Sleaford and Essendean branches of the Great Northern Railway. Bourne signal box had a huge deflector screen at the corner to prevent the headlamps of cars using the crossing from blinding the drivers of oncoming trains.

The Bourne and Sleaford Railway was a 18-mile (29 km) long Great Northern Railway built single track branch railway line that ran between Bourne, on the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway main line between the Midlands and the Norfolk Coast, to Spilsby, on the Peterborough to Lincoln Line via four intermediate stations, Morton Road, Rippingale, Billingboro and Horbling, and Aswarby and Scredington.

River Nene Crossing - BlogNene River crossing
The view from a train from Spalding to Yarmouth Beach showing the complex arrangements made to take road and rail over the river Nene. The bridge swings open to take river traffic when required, the line being protected by two signal boxes, one at each end. The bridge itself has a box to operate the bridge and signal to ships when the river is clear.

The line was first proposed by the Great Eastern Railway as part of their plan to create a line from Cambridge to York. This plan failed to obtain parliamentary authorisation and was eventually built by the Great Northern Railway, opening in 1872. Although operated by the same company, the line was run separately from the Essendine line, and had its own goods yard. The line closed to passengers in 1930, although the section from Bourne to Billingborough remained open for goods until 1964.

Yarmouth Beach - BlogThe Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway terminated at a place called Yarmouth Beach, an undistinguished terminus at the back of the town.


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1914 – 2-8-0 – Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1914 – 2-8-0 – Somerset & Dorset Joint RailwayNo.81 as originally built with tender cab

No.81 as originally built with tender cab

This railway was jointly owned by the Midland and the London & South Western Railways, and the former was responsible for the provision of motive power. It was not surprising therefore that the locomotives were based largely on Derby practice, and the 2-8-0s introduced in 1914 by Sir Henry Fowler were pure Midland, although, strangely enough, that railway never built anything larger than an 0-6-0 for its own heavy freight traffic. Six engines, Nos. 80-5, came from Derby in 1914, and in 1925 a further five, Nos. 86-90, were built by Stephenson & Co. These latter had larger boilers, but as these were of non-standard Derby dimensions the engine in later years were rebuilt to conform with the original ones as the boilers required replacement.

The S & DJR locomotive stock was absorbed into the LMS in 1930, and the 2-8-0s at first took the numbers 9670-80, but they were soon afterwards altered to 13800-10. On passing into BR hands they became 53800-10.53800

The class remained intact until 1959, when the first one, No. 53800, was withdrawn. The engines were built for working freight traffic over the steeply graded main line of the S & DJR between Bath and Bournemouth, on which route they have spent their entire working life. To assist in coping with the heavy holiday traffic on Saturdays during the summer months they have frequently been called upon to work passenger trains. For a few months during 1918 No. 85 was lent to the parent Midland Railway which used it on coal trains between Wellingborough and Brent, with a view to constructing some for its own use, but nothing came of the idea. Owing to the absence of a large-enough turntable they worked for many years always facing south, and because of the large amount of tender-first running involved, Nos. 80-5 were fitted with cabs to the tenders, but these were later removed.53808

Nos. 80-5 – Driving wheels – 4’ 8½”, Cylinders (2) 21”x 28”, Boiler diameter – 4’ 9”, Pressure – 190 lb., Tractive effort – 35295 lb., Weight – 64 tons 15 cwt, BR classification – 7F

Nos.86-90 as built – Driving wheels – 4’ 8½”, Cylinders (2) 21”x 28”, Boiler diameter – 5’ 3”, Pressure – 190 lb., Tractive effort – 35295 lb., Weight – 68 tons 11 cwt, BR classification – 7FWSR No.88 No.88 preserved on the West Somerset Railway

Some Early Lines – Neath and Brecon Railway

Some Early Lines

Neath and Brecon Railway

Brecon Term colourBrecon Station on 29th August 1962 with No. 3768 on the 6.20pm return working.  (Peter W.Gray

The Neath and Brecon Railway linked the Vale of Neath Railway at Neath with the Brecon and Merthyr Railway at Brecon and also via a connection from Colbren Junction, it linked to the Swansea Vale Railway at Ynysygeinon Junction (sometimes spelt Ynisygeinon).

The southern section from Onllwyn to Neath is still open to goods traffic, although passenger services ceased from October 1962 and the northern section lifted under the Beeching Axe as the coal industry wound down.

EPSON scanner imageBrecon Station

View westward, towards Neath; ex-GWR Neath & Brecon section. A scene just six months before the whole station and all lines were closed on 31/12/62.   © Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


The railway was authorised by an Act of Parliament on 29 July 1862 as the Dulais Valley Mineral Railway to transport coal from the Dulais Valley to Neath. It was promoted and constructed by the contractor John Dickson. After being authorised to extend the railway to Brecon, it changed its name to the Neath and Brecon Railway. The railway linked itself to the Swansea Vale Railway by promoting the Swansea Vale and Neath and Brecon Junction Railway. This line had a long gestation period due to Dickson’s bankruptcy but eventually when it was opened it gave the Neath and Brecon access to Swansea via running rights. In return, the Neath and Brecon gave full running rights over its system to the Swansea Vale Railway. The Neath and Brecon started operating a passenger service between Brecon and Swansea using these running rights.

An early and unsuccessful purchaser of the new Fairlie locomotive, when in 1863 the railway reached Crynant, coal mining quickly expanded. At Crynant several new mines were opened including the Crynant colliery, Brynteg colliery in 1904, Llwynon colliery in 1905, Dillwyn colliery, and Cefn Coed colliery 1930. These mines led to the expansion of the village.

EPSON scanner imageBrecon Station: activity at the east end

Viewed from the east end of Brecon station, an ex-L&Y 0-6-0, far from its origins ‘Up North’ but now employed on the ex-Midland trains from Hereford, is prominent, while on the left a stopping train leaves for Hereford (hauled by an ex-Midland 0-6-0). However, Brecon station was in the ex-GWR ambit, being the terminus from this (eastward) direction of the ex-Brecon & Merthyr trains from Newport via Torpantau Summit and of the ex-Cambrian Rly Mid-Wales Line trains from Moat Lane Junction, as well as the Hereford trains. Westwards from Brecon ran the ex-Neath & Brecon trains down to Neath. All these lines were closed in 1962 and on 31/12/62 this local metropolis had lost all railway facilities.   © Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


When the railway reached Brecon in 1867, it provided access to the Brecon and Merthyr, the Mid Wales, and the Hereford, Hay and Brecon Railways which were all completed about this time. The initial B&M station at Brecon was at the Watton and the Mid Wales Railway had a station at Mount Street. The Hereford, Hay and Brecon, after belonging to the empire of Savin (originally a draper from Oswestry who became a railway contractor, promoter and operator), was leased and then taken over by the Midland Railway who, by using running powers over the Mid Wales from Three Cocks Junction, gained access to Brecon.

The Midland then leased the Swansea Vale Company’s line from around 1874 and in so doing obtained the use of the SVR’s running powers over the N&B. This enabled them start running trains from Brecon to Swansea. At around the same time the N&B abandoned its Brecon – Swansea service and decided to lease its main line north of Colbren to the Midland in return for an annual fee. This situation remained in force until around 1930 when the LMS (the 1923 successor to the Midland) decided to abandon its through Swansea Brecon services when the N&B line (then part of the Great Western Railway) was taken back by its owners and rather than being a through route, reverted to being something of a backwater.

The three companies providing services to Brecon consolidated their stations at a newly rebuilt Free Street Joint Station from 1871.

Neath StnNeath Riverside station

In the years before closure, just one daily train departed from Neath Riverside to Brecon. The South Wales main line passes over the bridge top right. The signalbox remains to this day, controlling freight trains from Onllwyn in the Dulais valley.  © Copyright Flying Stag and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


Gradual winding down

In October 1962, all passenger services were withdrawn from Neath to Brecon, leaving only freight services. The line north of Craig y Nos/Penwyllt station closed to Brecon on closure of Brecon station, and remained open south until 1977 to serve the adjacent quarry. The line remains open to Onllwyn, with Celtic Energy using the coal washing plant there through partnership with English, Welsh and Scottish Railway. Some of the old Celtic Energy wagons are now housed at the Foxfield Light Railway.

CradocTaken from the window of the 4.10pm Neath Riverside to Brecon headed by 0-6-0 pannier tank No. 3768, this photograph shows Cradoc station  on 20th August 1962.  By its appearance, Cradoc was then an unstaffed halt and sadly neglected at that, with paintwork peeling and a grass-grown platform.  However, Great Western cast iron letters are still solidly screwed onto the station nameboard.  Once part of the Neath and Brecon Railway, Cradoc passed into Great Western ownership at the 1923 grouping of railways, when one considerable point of interest was its method of working.  In Neath and Brecon days, arrangements had been made from the 1880s for the Midland Railway (who controlled the nearby Swansea Valley Railway) to work all services and this was continued by its successor the LMS until the end of 1930.  In the good or bad old Victorian days, access to the black diamonds of the Welsh Valleys was eagerly sought and the Midland, via Hereford and Brecon, held on tight.  It is reasonable to assume that after 1930 the LMS thought twice for, like its near neighbour the Abergavenny Myrthyr line of the erstwhile LNWR, the Neath and Brecon’s passenger services outlived their freight, closing as from 15th October 1962  (Peter W.Gray.


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era – 1911 – Class 4 0-6-0 Midland Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1911 – Class 4  0-6-0

Midland Railway

No. 4403 in 1928 as newly builtNo. 4403 in 1928 as newly built

Sir Henry Fowler’s standard superheated freight design for the MR.  Two engines, Nos. 3835 and 3836, were built in 1911, but construction on a large scale did not commence until 1917.  Between that year and 1922 there appeared Nos. 3837-4026.  In 1924 it was adopted as a standard type by the LMSR, and by 1928 Nos. 4027-4556 had been constructed.  In 1922 five engines had also been built for the Somerset & Dorset Railway, their numbers 57-61.  On the absorption of that line’s engines into LMS stock in 1930 they became Nos. 4557-61, the similarity of the last two figures being entirely coincidental.  After a period of nine years construction was again resumed, Crewe turning out Nos. 4562-76 in 1937, whilst a final batch, Nos. 4577-4606 came out from Derby in 1939-40.

1The ultimate total of 772 engines for one class has rarely been exceeded in this country.

All became BR Nos. 43835-44606, and none was withdrawn until 1954.  Since then a number have been taken out of traffic, but the great majority were still running in 1959.  Although primarily intended for freight work they have been used on all kinds of duties, and were often to be seen on passenger trains.  Apart from differences of tender design and such details as pattern of chimney they have remained unchanged.

Driving wheels – 5’ 3”,  Cylinders – 20”x 26”,  Pressure – 175 lb.,  Tractive effort – 24555 lb.,  Weight – 48 tons 15cwt.,  MR & LMS classification – 4,  BR classification – 4F.


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1909 – Deeley ‘999’ Class Midland Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1909 – Deeley ‘999’ Class

Midland Railway 

The late 993, renumbered as 803, as running in 1926The late 993, renumbered 803, as running in 1926.

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


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1908 – 2-6-2 Midland Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1908 – 2-6-2

Midland Railway 

1908 2-6-2 MRThe official view of the engine – the only known photograph of it in existence.

This was an experimental engine constructed at Derby in 1908 to the design of the General Superintendent, Cecil Paget, although R.M.Deeley was locomotive superintendent at the time.

There were eight cylinders, 18”x 12”, in two groups of four, placed between the first and second and the second and third driving axles.  The middle axle had four inside cranks, two driven by the pistons of the front group of cylinders and two by the rear ones.  The fore and aft coupled axles each had two cranks, driven by the remaining two cylinders of the adjacent group.  The movements of pistons and cranks were arranged so that all were balanced.  The valves were of the sleeve type.

Owing to the need for as much space as possible for the cylinders and connecting rods, the frames were placed outside the wheels.  The boiler was also unusual in design, with a wide firebox extending the whole width of the frames.

The engine ran only a few trial trips, much leakage trouble being experienced with the sleeve valves.  When it did get going it was said to be very fast and powerful, and attained 82 mph on test on one occasion.  However, the authorities apparently soon lost interest in it, and for a long time it remained in Derby works covered by sheeting and no visitor was permitted near it.  It was quietly cut up in 1919.

For many years no details or drawings of the engine or of its trials were allowed to be published, and No. 2299, as it was numbered, remained a sort of legendary myth to the railway enthusiasts of those days.  It was not until after the grouping that details were finally forthcoming, and the official photograph released for publication.  Until that time very few people had more than the vaguest idea of what the engine looked like, and some even expressed doubts as to whether it had in fact ever existed.

Driving wheels – 5’ 4”,  Leading and trailing wheels – 3’ 3½”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Weight (approx) 77 tons.

Some Early Lines Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway (Including the Battlefield Line, Shackerstone)

Some Early Lines

Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway

(Including the Battlefield Line, Shackerstone)


A Midland train behind a 2-2-2 locomotive at Market Bosworth station, close to the site of the Battle of Bosworth Field  (spellerweb.net

The Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway was a pre-grouping railway company in the English Midlands. Construction began in 1869 and the railway was opened in 1873. The railway was built to serve the Leicestershire coalfield. It linked Moira and Coalville Town with Nuneaton.


Until the 1923 grouping the railway was jointly owned by the Midland Railway and the London and North Western Railway. It then became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, which withdrew passenger services in 1931.Nationalisation in 1948 made the railway part of British Railways, which closed the line to freight traffic in 1971.


Midland Railway train behind 0-4-4 tank No. 2081 at Market Bosworth in around 1905   (spellerweb.net


BattlefieldPart of the line between Shackerstone and Shenton has been re-opened as the Battlefield Line Railway, a heritage railway.

DSCF9046Shackerstone Station.

Your journey starts from this wonderful authentic example of a Victorian country station which houses a museum of rare and interesting artefacts, with a special emphasis on the area’s railway history.  Step into the quaint station booking hall where you buy your tickets and on colder days you can enjoy the warmth of a real coal fire.

DSCF9051While you’re waiting for the next train, visit the Victorian Tea Rooms and the ‘Fund Stall’ shop on platform 1, or the souvenir shop on platform 2.  Whilst on board why not sample the ‘on train’ buffet serving meals or snacks, with a variety of hot and cold drinks.


Once the guard blows his whistle, the train leaves on its five mile journey, running for most of the way alongside the Ashby canal, meandering its way past small villages and farms to the newly re-opened Market Bosworth Station.  This picturesque small market town, in the heart or rural Leicestershire, is a walk from the station, and hosts a range of antique shops and galleries.

2013_07090143The award-winning Shenton Station is the southern terminus of the line and the platform building you see once stood at Humberstone Road, Leicester, from where it was demolished and transported to Shenton and rebuilt, brick by brick.

Shenton StationShenton Station, Leicestershire

Shenton Station is located in the centre of Bosworth Field, the site of the last great medieval battle in 1485,and the final battle of the War of the Roses.

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved] © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1902 – 4-4-0 Compounds Midland Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1902 – 4-4-0 Compounds

Midland Railway

No. 1000 as restored in 1959No.1000 as restored in 1959

To meet the need for increased locomotive power at the beginning of the twentieth century Johnson had, in 1900, produced his large Belpaire 4-4-0, but at the same time he was also considering a still larger engine based on the compound principle.

Amongst the various experiments in compounding which had been taking place on the railways, he was particularly impressed with an engine on the North Eastern, which had been rebuilt with three cylinders, one high pressure inside and two low pressure outside, to the patented design of William Smith, locomotive draughtsman of the NER.  The main principle of this system was that the engine could at the will of the driver be worked if desired as a 3-cylinder simple, to give maximum, power on starting, and by means of controlled valves going over to the semi-compound or full compound expansion.  Johnson therefore put in hand an engine of his own embodying this system which duly appeared in January 1902 as No. 2631.  Four more were built before his retirement in 1903, Nos. 2632-5.

No. 2632 as builtNo. 2632 as built

These five engines put up some fine work on the mountainous Settle-Carlisle line, and Deeley, who had succeeded Johnson, decided to build more engines of the same general design but with important differences, the chief of which was the provision of a patent regulator by which the engine always started non-compound and automatically changed over to full compound with the advance of the regulator.  There were also some external differences in appearance, the running plates being raised clear of the coupling rods, whilst the rectangular rear splasher gave way to a quarter-circle blended into the cab side sheets.


Thirty of the new Deeley engines appeared in 1905-6, numbered 1000-29.  At the 1907 renumbering the original five Johnson engines took the numbers 1000-4, and the Deeley engines were increased by five, becoming 1005-34.  A further ten engines, Nos. 1035-44, came out in 1908-9.

No more were built in Midland days, but the design with slight modifications was adopted as a standard type early in the grouping, and no less than 195 further engines were turned out between 1924 and 1932, numbered 1045-1199, and 900-39. Still more were to have been constructed, but the order was cancelled when W.A (later Sir William) Stanier came on the scene, as he had very different ideas on the subject of locomotive power.

Nos. 1000-4 were eventually rebuilt in line with the Deeley engines, and at the same time were superheated, Nos. 1000 and 1004 in 1914, 1001 and 1003 in 1915, and 1002 in 1919.  No. 1040 had already received a superheater in 1913, but it was not until 1919 that it was decided to superheat the remainder of the class, commencing with No. 1009.  The LMS-built engines were, of course, superheated from the start.


The class as a whole did magnificent work; possibly their greatest achievements were on the Caledonian and G&SWR main lines in the intermediate post-grouping years.  They also did remarkably well on the LNWR two-hour expresses, but were probably not quite so happy on the other LNWR main lines owing to an instinctive distrust of Compounds by North Western men inherited from the Webb days.  No. 1054 made history by running non-stop from Euston to Edinburgh, a distance of all but 400 miles in May 1928.  This was the quiet answer of the LMS to the LNER’s announcement that it would run the ‘Flying Scotsman’ non-stop between the two capital cities by use of a corridor tender whereby the crew could be relieved en route.  The LMS reply was to divide the Royal Scot into two portions, one running non-stop to Glasgow and the other to Edinburgh.  The performance was not repeated, but it effectively stole the limelight from the LNER performance.

With the decline in maintenance standards which set in during the war and has remained since, the Compounds gradually fell into some disrepute, as they required more attention in this respect than they received.  Moreover, they were largely put to work on local trains, duties for which they were unsuitable, and in consequence got a poor reputation through no fault of their own, as they were magnificent engines when kept in proper trim and well handled.  Probably they were the only outstanding successful compound design this country has seen.


The beginning of the end was inevitable.  All passed into BR hands at Nationalisation in 1948.  No.1002 was scraped shortly afterwards in the same year, and all of the Midland ones had been withdrawn by 1952.  A start was made on the LMS batch in 1953, and by the end of 1959 less than a dozen remained.  All except  a few of the early MR engines lasted long enough to have 40000 added to their numbers.

The original No.41000 was fortunately kept in store at Crewe for a number of years and in 1959 was fully restored to its rebuilt 1914 condition in Midland colours for preservation and for working special trains.

Nos. 1000-4 as built – Driving wheels – 7’ 0”,  Cylinders – 1 HP 19”x 26”, 2 LP 21”x 26”,  Pressure – 200 lb.,  Tractive effort – 21840 lb.,  Weight – 59½ tons,  MR & LMS classification – NA,  BR classification – NA

Deeley 1905 design – Driving wheels – 7’ 0”,  Cylinders – 1 HP 19”x 26”, 2 LP 21”x 26”,  Pressure – 200 lb (originally 220 lb.).,  Tractive effort – 21840 lb.,  Weight – 59¾ tons,  MR & LMS classification – 4,  BR classification – 4P

LMS 1924 design – Driving wheels – 6’ 9”,  Cylinders – 1 HP 19”x 26”, 2 LP 21”x 26”,  Pressure – 200 lb.,  Tractive effort – 22649 lb.,  Weight – 61¾ tons,  MR & LMS classification – 4,  BR classification – 4P

No. 1000

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1900 – Johnson Class 3 Belpaire 4-4-0 Midland Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1900 – Johnson Class 3 Belpaire 4-4-0

Midland Railway

No.730 as running in 1920No. 730 as running in 1920

In 1900, S.W.Johnson, who had been locomotive superintendent of the Midland Railway since 1873, introduced this design of 4-4-0 engine for main line work.  It was a considerable advance on his previous express types, some of which were inclined to be under-boilered.  The new engines were provided with a much larger boiler, and also, for the first time on the Midland Railway, a Belpaire firebox.  By Johnson’s previous standards, they were comparatively plain in appearance, the decorative curved splashers of the earlier days being no longer in evidence, but nevertheless a most neat and sturdy design evolved.

The new engines soon proved themselves very capable machines, and for many years they performed a major share in express working over the old Midland system, to a greater extent perhaps than the compounds which followed them, and if only for that reason that there were more of them.  Some of them were used at first on the mountainous Leeds and Carlisle road, but later they were usually to be found on the main lines between London and Leeds, London and Manchester, and on the West of England line between Derby and Bristol.


In all, eighty of the class were built between 1900 and 1905.  In 1907 they were renumbered into one series as 700-79, and thereafter became generally known as the ‘700’ class.  From 1913 onwards they began to be rebuilt with superheaters and extended smokeboxes, and nearly all received this treatment.  About 1925 it was decided that no more rebuilding should be done, and the seven engines still unconverted were scrapped.  These were Nos. 737, 742, 749, 751, 772, 778, and 779.  The class thereafter began to fall into some disfavour, and they began gradually to be taken out of service.  The process was slow, however, and 22 survived to be absorbed into BR stock at Nationalisation in 1948.  These were Nos. 711, 715, 720, 726-9, 731, 734-6, 739-41/3/5/7/8, 756-8, and 762.

Under the BR renumbering scheme their numbers were increased by 40000, as 40711, etc., but in many cases the engines were scrapped without actually carrying their new numbers.  The last one in service was No.40726, withdrawn in 1952.

No. 40726

They were very fine engines, fast and steady running, but had a tendency to be heavy on coal.  This was probably the reason that they did not meet with a great deal of favour after about 1925, when much attention was given to the question of economy of coal consumption, even at the expense of providing locomotives of adequate power for the needs of the day.

Driving wheels – 6’ 9”,  Cylinders – 20½”x 26”,  Pressure – 175 lb.,  Tractive effort – 20065 lb.,  Weight – 55 tons 7 cwt.,  LMS power classification – 3P.


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1899 – American 2-6-0 Midland Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1899 – American 2-6-0

Midland Railway

One of the Baldwin engines, MR 2506, later 2205, which was broken up in 1913.

About the turn of the 19th/20th century there was a considerable demand for more engines by many of the major companies which could not be immediately met either in their own workshops or by the various private firms of locomotive builders.  As a temporary expedient, therefore, three railways, namely the Midland, the Great Northern and the newly formed Great central, ordered some 2-6-0s from the Baldwin and Schenectady works of the USA, forty for the Midland Railway and twenty each for the other two lines.

Although of the same general design, they differed slightly in detail, some having two domes, as in the example illustrated above.  The 2-6-0 type, which had long been used in America, was almost, but not quite, new to this country, the Great Eastern having had some very unsuccessful examples built in 1878 to the design of W. Adams before he went to the LSWR; the small Midland and South Western Junction Railway also acquired two of an Australian design from Beyer Peacock in 1895-7, one of which later survived at a colliery in Northumberland until the 1940s.

The new 2-6-0s did not have a very long life on any of the three lines which acquired them, and all disappeared between 1909 and 1915.  They had several features, in particular the bar frames, which were common American practice but alien to the standards of this country.

The Midland engines, at first numbered 2501-40, became respectively 2200-9, 2230-9, and 2210-29 at the 1907 renumbering.

Driving wheels – 5’ 1½”,  Pony wheels – 3’ 0”,  Cylinders – 18”x 24”,  Pressure – 175 lb.,  Weight 45 tons.

No.2516 – Howden Boys Book of Locomotives, 1907