5MT 42700 – 42944 2-6-0 LMS Hughes & Fowler Horwich Crab

crab

 

Power Classification 5F reclassified 5MT 6P5F in 1948
Introduced 1926 – 1932
Designer Hughes and Fowler
Company LMS
Weight – Loco 66t 0cwt
               Tender 42t 4cwt
Driving Wheels 5ft 6ins
Boiler Pressure 180psi superheated
Cylinders Outside – 21in x 26in
Tractive Effort 26,580lbf
Valve Gear Walschaert (piston valves)

In 1923 Hughes (from the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway) became the first Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LMS and he designed the class of engine which were built at Horwich in 1926.

The starting point was for the design was a proposal, already designed in considerable detail, by the erstwhile Caledonian Railway for a powerful two cylinder 2-6-0 mixed traffic locomotive. With horizontal 21in x 28in outside cylinders this would have been incompatible with the loading gauges of other sections of the LMS, and Hughes would not countenance any increase in boiler pressure above 180lb in order to permit a reduction in cylinder diameter. Also the axleload of 20 tons would have severely restricted route availability. Several schemes were worked out by Cox (who 25 years later would be the true architect of the British Railways Standard steam locomotives).

The design incorporated a number of advanced features for the time such as long travel valve Walschaerts valve gear in the interests of fuel economy and free running characteristics. Also compensated brake gear, a new design of tender and a new boiler, the latter based on the one fitted to Hughes’ four-cylinder Baltic tank locomotives built at Horwich.

By the time they were under construction Hughes had left and the 245 locomotives were built under the supervision of Fowler.

Fowler tried to have the design altered to use standard Derby components. However the design process and pre-production were sufficiently advanced to prevent the fitting of a smaller Derby pattern boiler, and the cylinders and motion also remained as designed by Hughes. A new tender was originally designed for these engines which would have matched them as regards their cab overall width, but Fowler, late of Derby, substituted a Midland Railway pattern flat-sided 3500 gallon standard tender.  Standard Midland Railway boiler fittings and brake equipment were also substituted, and the class became something of a hybrid design.

They were excellent modern mixed traffic engines and performed rather well in most circumstances and gained a strong reputation in some areas, especially in Scotland, where they became the preferred locomotive for heavy unfitted mineral work on difficult routes, even after the introduction of the Stanier mixed traffic 4-6-0s.

Initially numbered 13000–244, as standard locomotives they were given the lower numbers 2700–2944 in the LMS 1933 renumbering scheme. After being taken into British Railways stock an additional 40000 was added to their numbers, becoming 42700–42944.

The very high running plate was unusual at the time but it was destined to become common practise in future locomotive design. The cylinders were set very high and at a sharp angle to the footplate. This was necessary to keep the dimensions within the Midland loading gauge. The height of the cylinders earned the engines the nickname spiders, but they later became more generally known as crabs. In some areas they also received the nickname frothblowers from their tendency to prime easily when the boiler was overfilled, or the feedwater contaminated.

Five of the locomotives (13118, 13122, 13124, 13125 and 13129) were rebuilt with new cylinders and Lenz rotary cam poppet valve gear in 1931. This proved to be of no advantage over the piston valve fitted engines. In 1952-54 these engines were again rebuilt with Reidinger poppet valve gear. This proved inferior to both other forms of steam distribution.

Stanier produced a modified version of these engines with taper boilers in 1933 – the 42945 class.

 crab Hughes & Fowler Crab introduced in 1926
 42900 Stanier modified version introduced in 1933

Number in Service.

Built Withdrawals No. in Service
BR Numbers Quantity
1926 42700-6 & 42730-5

13

    13

1927 42707-29 & 42736-99

87

  100

1928 42800-7

  8

  108

1929 42808-29

22

  130

1930 42830-924

95

  225

1931 42925-34

10

  235

1932 42935-44

10

  245

1933-60

  245

1961 42864, 42893  &42930

    3

  242

1962

  61

  181

1963

  52

  129

1964

  54

    75

1965

  48

    27

1966

  25

      2

1967 42727 & 42942

    2

      0

  • 42700-29 and 42810-49 were built at Horwich with the rest being built at Crewe.

Most of the locomotives of this class were to be found on the Midland Region where they tended to be concentrated in Lancashire. At the end of 1960 of the 245 built 189 were allocated to Midland Region depots and a further 17 to Eastern Region sheds that had been part of the Midland Region until September 1956. Of the Midland fleet, 107 were deployed at Lancashire sheds.

Lancashire Agecroft

9

Aintree

7

Birkenhead

15

Bury

6

Fleetwood

10

Gorton

14

Lancaster

4

Longsight

4

Lower Darwen

4

Newton Heath

12

Rose Grove

8

Stockport Edgeley

13

Wigan Springs Branch

1

107

 

Other Midland Region Burton

18

Carlisle Kingmoor

23

Crewe South

3

Mold Junction

2

Nuneaton

7

Saltley

12

Stoke

9

Willesden

8

82

The Eastern Region engines were largely based at the same sheds as in 1960 but one (42904) was allocated to Spital Bridge at Peterborough in 1951 but was moved the same month to Sheffield. Spital Bridge was also a Midland Region depot until 1950 when it transferred to the Eastern Region.

Eastern Region Farnley Junction

7

Leeds Holbeck

2

Manningham

2

Sheffield Grimsthorpe

3

Wakefield

3

17

The Scottish based locomotives were mainly to be found in the south west of Scotland four (42742, 42743, 42800 and 42801) spent time at Perth in the 1950s and two (42733 and 42866) were briefly allocated to Dundee Tay Bridge in the early 1950s. The Scottish based crabs assisted with the seasonal sugar beet traffic to Cupar. Carlisle Kingmoor, despite being in England, was included as part of the Scottish region from January 1949 until February 1958 when it was transferred back to Midland Region control. Dumfries and Stranraer were briefly part of the Midland Region before transferring to the Scottish Region along with Carlisle Kingmoor. The other Scottish sheds noted below transferred directly from the LMS to the Scottish Region in 1948.

Scottish Region Ardrossan

3

Ayr

13

Dalry Road

1

Dumfries

6

Grangemouth

5

Greenock Ladyburn

2

Hamilton

3

Hurlford

3

Polmadie

2

Stranraer

1

39

The first three withdrawn, in July 1961, were 42864, 42893 (based in Sheffield Grimesthorpe) and 42930 (Rotherham). 42727 and 42942, both of Birkenhead, were the last to go in 1967.

Accidents and Incidents

  • On 23 February 1937, an express freight train hauled by locomotive 2765 was derailed at West Hampstead, Middlesex.
  • On 19 May 1957, locomotive 42806 was derailed at Parkhouse, Ayr.
  • On 21 January 1960, in the Settle rail crash, a freight train hauled by a locomotive of this class was derailed following damage to the track from a failed connecting rod assembly on a passenger locomotive (70052 Firth of Tay) on the adjacent track. The derailed locomotive struck the stopped passenger train, killing several five passengers.
42919 at Ayr-1966.jpg

42801 at Ayr-1966.jpg

42919 at Newton on Ayr-July 1966. The locomotive was withdrawn from service in October 1966 and scrapped in April 1967.

 

 

 

42801 among classmates, and a Standard class 4MT 76073, in a line of locomotives awaiting the scrapyard at Ayr shed-July 1966. 42801 had been withdrawn from service the previous month and was scrapped in October 1967.

Preservation

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