Tag Archives: North Stafford Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1922 – 4-Cylinder 0-6-0T North Stafford Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1922 – 4-Cylinder 0-6-0T

North Stafford Railway

The engine as first builtThe engine as first built

This was an experimental locomotive built by J.A.Hookham in 1922, and was the only 4-cylinder tank engine to run in this country.  The cranks of the inside and outside cylinders were set in such a way that the engine gave eight exhausts to every revolution of the driving wheels in place of the customary four (this arrangement was later adopted on the SR by Maunsell in his ‘Lord Nelson’ class).

The purpose of the new No.23 was quick acceleration with suburban trains, but it does not appear to have been greatly successful in this capacity, and it was in 1924 converted to an 0-6-0 tender engine and used on freight work.

On being absorbed into LMS stock in 1923 it was allocated No.1599 in the tank series, but never carried this, as on conversion to a tender engine it became No.2367.  Again renumbered 8689 in 1928, it was cut up later in the same year.

Driving wheels – 4’ 6”,  Cylinders (4) – 14”x 24”,  Pressure – 160 lb.,  Weight – 56¾ tons


Hookham’s 4-cylinder 0-6-0T No. 23 of 1922, designed to speed up services by accelerating suburban passenger trains rapidly between stations. To ensure an even torque on starting the cranks were set to give 8 exhausts for each revolution of the driving wheels. A revolutionary design whose worth the LMS failed to appreciate.


The New ‘L’ Class 0-6-2T of the North Stafford Railway

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