2-2-2  LNWR  Bloomer


Power Classification
DesignerJ E McConnell
CompanyLondon & North Western Railway
Driving Wheels
Boiler Pressure
Tractive Effort
Valve Gear

Bloomer was a name used to refer to three similar classes of 2-2-2 express passenger locomotives designed by James McConnell for the Southern Division of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR). A total of seventy-four were built between 1851 and 1862. The classes were similar in design and layout but differed in driving wheel dimensions.

The name “Bloomer” was at first a nickname, but was quickly adopted officially. The nickname was a topical one in the autumn of 1851 when the first engine arrived on the line, because of the current popular excitement aroused by the appearance of women wearing trousers, as advocated by Mrs Amelia Bloomer. The widespread belief that they were awarded this nickname because they showed more of their wheels than earlier engines makes no sense: most earlier engines on the line had naked wheels.

Another enduring myth is that until 1862 the Bloomers (and other Southern Division engines) were painted vermilion. They were not, although some were painted a very dark plum-red from 1861, before the standard livery reverted to green in the following year, and then changed to black from 1873.

They were a successful design and worked most of the express trains on the line for about twenty years.

New Build

Non-Working Replica

Bloomer replica at the Milton Keynes Museum - April 2017.jpg

An accurate full-size non-working replica was built for static display outside Milton Keynes station in 1991; it represented the type as in 1873–76 condition, was numbered 1009 as if to follow the last of the class, 1008, and was named Wolverton to commemorate the Southern Division Works, although no engine was so named on the LNWR. It was taken into Wolverton Works in 2006 for renovation and repainting. The renovation was funded and carried out by Knorr-Bremse RailServices at Wolverton Works. On 3 March 2017, the replica was moved to its new home at Milton Keynes Museum.

Bloomer replica at the Milton Keynes Museum - April 2017.jpg
Bloomer replica at the Milton Keynes Museum – April 2017
670 at Tyseley – June 2011

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