1F 41660 – 41895 MR Class 1377 0-6-0T Johnson Half Cab

Half cab


Power Classification 1F
Introduced 1878 – 1899
Designer Johnson
Company MR
Weight 39t 11cwt
Driving Wheels 4ft 7ins
Boiler Pressure 140psi (150psi with Belpaire boiler)
Cylinders Inside – 17in x 24in
Tractive Effort 15,000lbf (16,080lbf with Belpaire boiler)
Valve Gear Stephenson (slide valve)

This was Johnson’s first design after coming to the Midland Railway in 1873 where he replaced Kirtley who had built 0-6-0T engines to work trip freights to goods depots in east London.

Between 1874 and 1876 forty 0-6-0T engines were built which had most of the features of the 1377 class locomotives.

Between 1878 and 1899 this class of 240 engines was built at Derby and by outside contractors. These were the Midland Railway class 1377. Compared with the 1874 design they had larger coal bunkers and a reduced water capacity. The frames were extended although the wheelbase length was unchanged. The majority were fitted with open-backed cabs and hence they were nicknamed half cabs. Forty of the class however were equipped with full cabs including five built in 1883 for use on the Worth Valley branch.

In 1907 they were renumbered in the series 1620-1899. A further sixty locomotives were built by Vulcan Foundry to slightly enlarged design in 1899-1902. These were numbered 1900-1959, and they became 47200-47259 and were the Midland Railway 2441 class.

 2441 class Midland Railway 2441 class – 47200-59
 johnson half cab Johnson Half Cab with Belpaire boiler and full cab.

Some engines in the class were fitted with totally enclosed cabs, others were fitted with open backed half cabs (even after rebuilding).

The engines were taken over by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) at the grouping in 1923. Ninety-five locomotives passed into British Railways ownership in 1948 and they were numbered within the range 41660-41895.

This class was the standard Midland Railway shunting engine, and they were a familiar sight all over that system for 90 years.

Of the 280 engines build, the first was withdrawn in 1920 and ninety-five came into BR stock. Of the seven engines still in service at the beginning of 1964, 41708 was the oldest engine still running on BR. It has since been preserved. It was a half cab fitted engine, and in preservation it has been fitted with a removable cab back, to provide extra protection in winter.

One of the locomotives of the class (number 1831) was supplied the frames and the wheels in 1932 for a diesel shunter which was the direct forerunner of the standard 0-6-0 diesel shunters which were built by the LMS and BR. The conversion took place at Derby Works using a Davey Paxman engine and a hydraulic transmission from Haslam & Newton. Like the use of the frame from 1831 this was a cost saving measure, the capital cost of electrical transmission equipment would have rendered the project uneconomic. It went into services at the Toton yard near Nottingham but various transmission failures led to modifications and improvements. It was the destruction of the hydraulic transmission sometime late in 1936 that led to the storing of the locomotive at Derby, although official withdrawal did not take place until 1939. The Second World War brought a new lease of life to 1831, not as a shunting locomotive, but as a mobile generator. It moved to Crewe for rebuilding in 1940 and was released from there later that year. In its rebuild, the locomotive, now renumbered MPU3 kept its Davey Paxman engine, but now direct coupled to an electric generator. It spent some time at Coventry in 1940/41 before returning to Crewe, later being seen at Derby between late 1945 to early 1948. During 1949 it was noted at Crewe and appeared to remain there until broken up at Crewe Works in the latter half of 1955.

During the Second World War five members of the class were lent to the War Department who deployed them on the Melbourne Military Railway in Leicestershire. They were fitted with Westinghouse air brakes to allow the Army footplate crews to become familiar with its operation. The loan period lasted from early 1940 until December 1944.

One hundred and twenty-two engines were rebuilt from 1919 onwards with Belpaire boilers and pop-safety valves. The boiler pressure was increased to 150psi. 41835 was the last engine in service to retain the original round topped boiler.

Engines from 41846 onwards had a slightly longer wheelbase.

In 1866 the Staveley Coal and Iron Company of Derbyshire signed a 100 year agreement with the Midland Railway to supply shunting locomotives. This agreement was honoured by British Railways and Johnson 1F 0-6-0T locomotives were supplied by Barrow Hill shed at Staveley. As a result five engines of this class remained in service until replaced by diesels in 1965. Interestingly 41835 was fitted with a new boiler as late as September 1961.


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