3P 41928 – 41978 (LTSR 37 & 79 Classes) 4-4-2T LTSR Whitelegg Tilbury Tank

Tilbury Tank


Power Classification 3P
Introduced 1909 – 1930

(Class 1 1897 – 1898, rebuilt 1905 – 1911)

Designer Whitelegg
Company LTSR and LMS
Weight 71t 10cwt (Class 1 rebuilds 70t 15cwt)
Driving Wheels 6ft 6ins
Boiler Pressure 170psi
Cylinders Outside – 19in x 26in
Tractive Effort 17,390lbf
Valve Gear Stephenson (slide valve)


The London, Tilbury and Southend Railway (LTSR) was initially jointly promoted by the Eastern Counties Railway and London and Blackwall Railway and was leased for 21 years to Peto, Brassey and Betts. It ran from Fenchurch Street station in London to Tilbury and Southend. The lease expired in 1875, leaving the LTSR to take over operation itself. The Midland Railway and LTSR jointly constructed the Tottenham and Forest Gate Railway, which enabled through running of trains between St Pancras railway station and Tilbury Docks. In 1912 the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway was purchased by the Midland Railway, though the MR did not assume full control until 1920. At grouping in 1923, the line became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.

The LTSR 79 class is a class of 4-4-2T suburban tank engines. They were designed by Whitelegg, as a development of the earlier 37 Class.

The four locomotives ordered from Robert Stephenson and Company by the LTSR and were numbered 79–82 and named after places in Essex, near the LTSR route. After absorption by the Midland Railway in 1912, they were renumbered 2176–2179 and their names were removed. The Midland gave them the power classification 3P, and later continued construction; an order for 10 locomotives was delivered in 1923, just after grouping.

LTSR locomotives


In addition to those constructed by the LTSR and MR, 35 were delivered to the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) – ten in 1923, five in 1925, ten in 1927, and a final 10 in 1930. The ten delivered in 1923 were to an outstanding order placed by the MR, the remainder were ordered by the LMS. The five delivered in 1925 were built by Nasmyth, Wilson and Company, with the other thirty built by the LMS’s Derby Works. In 1947 the LMS assigned them the numbers 1928–1975, to clear their previous numbers for new LMS Fairburn 2-6-4T locomotives, but none of these was applied before nationalisation in 1948, leaving British Railways to apply the numbers 41928–41975.

Construction of the class, virtually unmodified and without superheater, was resumed in 1923 and continued until 1930.  The construction of non-superheated passenger tank engines as late as 1930 was an anachronism, (although the LMS also built ten 0-4-4Ts two years later).  These were also the last British tank locomotives to be built with coupled wheels as large as 6ft 6in in diameter.

Tilbury table.jpg

The LMS built tanks were the last British tank locomotives to be built with coupled wheels as large as six feet six inches in diameter as express tank locomotives came under a cloud after the Sevenoaks derailment in 1927 when thirteen people died when a Southern Railway River class tank was derailed.

The LTSR locomotives classed as 79 and 37 were known as the Tilbury Tanks. The class 37 engines which became BR numbers 41953-41964 were originally LTSR class 1 locomotives which were rebuilt in 1905-1911 with much larger boilers. The class 1 was a class of 4-4-2T suburban tank and thirty between 1880–1892, by Sharp, Stewart and Company and Nasmyth, Wilson and Company. The original LT&SR 4-4-2T design was actually drafted under Adams, formerly of the Great Eastern Railway, which then had for some years provided the motive power to its neighbour under a long term agreement. It was even on the point of building new locomotives for it, despite comparatively recent court action on the part of the private British locomotive industry to prevent the London North Western Railwa (LNWR) building locomotives at Crewe for other than its own needs. Most British 4-4-2Ts had inside cylinders, although none are preserved, the only other surviving 4-4-2T is also of Adams design, ex-LSWR No.488 of 1885. The locomotives not rebuilt as class 37 engines were all withdrawn by 1935.

LTSR locomotives rebuilt as Class 37

LTSR Name Builder Built MR
LMS 1923
LMS 1930
37 Woodgrange SS 4245 1897 2146 2146 2135 41953 1951
38 Westcliff SS 4246 1897 2147 2147 2136 41954 1951
39 Forest Gate SS 4247 1897 2148 2148 2137 41955 1951
40 Benfleet SS 4248 1897 2149 2149 2138 41956 1951
41 Leytonstone SS 4249 1897 2150 2150 2139 41957 1951
42 East Horndon SS 4249 1897 2151 2151 2140 41958 1951
43 Great Ilford Dübs 3666 1898 2152 2152 2141 41959 1951
44 Prittlewell Dübs 3667 1898 2153 2153 2142 41960 1951
45 Shoeburyness Dübs 3668 1898 2154 2154 2143 41961 1952
46 Southchurch Dübs 3669 1898 2155 2155 2144 41962 1951
47 Stratford Dübs 3670 1898 2156 2156 2145 41963 1951
48 Little Ilford Dübs 3671 1899 2157 2157 2146 41964 1951

These locomotives could be distinguished from the 41910 class by their rounded cabs. All the LTSR engines were fitted with Westinghouse brakes. All of this class later acquired extended smokeboxes.


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