5MT 44658 – 45499 4-6-0 LMS Stanier Black Five

 Black five


Power Classification 5MT
Introduced 1934 – 1951
Designer Stanier
Company LMS
Weight – Loco 72t 2cwt
               Tender 54t 13cwt
Driving Wheels 6ft 0ins
Boiler Pressure 225psi superheated
Cylinders Outside – 18.5in x 28in
Tractive Effort 25,455lbf
Valve Gear Walschaert (piston valves)

In his early LMS days, Stanier designed his 2-6-0 in which he experimented with the GWR school of thought on locomotive design. A number of details in this design he would never use again realising the superiority of details not used on the GWR. Stanier realised that there was a need for larger locomotives. These were to be the LMS version of the GWR Halls but not a copy, as the Hall was too wide to run most places in Britain. They shared similar cylinder arrangement (two outside), internal boiler design and size and 6 foot driving wheel diameters.

 1907 hall 1907 Hall rebuilt 1924, 1928-1943
 modified 1924 1944 GWR Modified Hall
 42900 1933 LMS 2-6-0
 1934 black five 1934 LMS Black Five

After nationalisation Riddles built the BR standard 5MT (73000 class) which was a development of Stanier’s design with a few modifications. These engines never proved as popular with the enginemen as their predecessors. All the Stanier Black Fives remained in service until 1961, and some worked until the very last few days of steam in 1968.

 73000 1951 Standard 73000

In the history of British steam locomotives, no locomotives have ever been as universally popular as the Stanier 5MT class, the Black Fives. They were undoubtedly the most efficient design of general purpose mixed traffic engine ever seen in Britain. Suitable for almost any duty. They could be seen all over the LMS system from Thurso in the far north, to Bournemouth (on the SDJR) in the south.

They were introduced by Stanier in 1934 soon after he became CME of the LMS and they quickly established themselves as a reliable design.

Eventually, no fewer than 842 were built up to 1951, with Crewe building 211, Horwich 120, Derby 54, Armstrong Whitworth 327 and Vulcan Foundary 100. 5000-5471 were built between 1934 and 1938. Then there was a break due to the war, and construction continued in 1943 with 5472-5499 followed by 4800-4999 and so on, working backwards in batches.

The first seventy engines (45000-45069) had domeless boilers, and low temperature 14 element superheaters. The next three hundred and eighty-two engines (45070-45451) were built in 1935-1937 with larger grates, more firebox heating surface and 24 element superheaters. The regulator was in the dome and the top feed on the second ring of the boiler. Engines (44658-44999 and 45452-45499) built after 1938 had 28 element superheaters and top feed was on the first ring of the boiler. There was much swapping of boilers between different types in service.

Very careful design was given to the running gear to ensure trouble-free service. Up to the end of 1939 the locomotives in service were averaging 145,000 miles between general repairs and in the years 1938 and 1939 there were only 54 cases of heated axle-boxes. This latter detail represents a probability of a hot axle-box on a locomotive once every 15 years.

The remarkable thing is that the mileage between general repairs actually increased as the engines got older so that by 1952 they were averaging approximately 160,000 miles between general repairs. There was however, one intermediate repair between general repair

The mileage of the locomotives built built after the Second World War, which had additionally refined axle-boxes with manganese steel liners in the horn guides, did better than the earlier engines.

The engines were universally liked by all involved with them and they were capable of undertaking a wide range of duties. For instance they were capable of hauling a fitted freight of 600 tons between Carlisle and Sheffield at an average speed of 32mph or a express passenger train between St Pancras and Leicester with a load of 300 tons and easily achieve speeds up to 90mph.

The fuel consumption on tests with a dynamometer car attached with 5079 is given below.

Fitted Freight

Express Passenger

Coal Consumption

·         lb per mile

·         lb per dhp/hr






Water Consumption

·         gal per mile

·         lb per dhp/hr







·         lb of water per lb of coal




Only four engines were ever named. 45155 also carried the name The Queen’s Edinburgh but for only two years during the Second World War. Some sources have noted that no photographic confirmation of this naming is extant, although this is neither unique to the class, nor unexpected given restrictions on photography during wartime. The evidence for the naming of the locomotive is set out in full in various sources. All five locomotives were originally based at St Rollox depot in Glasgow.

BR No.

Name Date named

Name removed

45154 Lanarkshire Yeomanry 1937 1966 (withdrawal from service)
45155 The Queen’s Edinburgh 1942 1944 (remained in service until 1964)
45156 Ayrshire Yeomanry 1936 1968 (withdrawal from service)
45157 The Glasgow Highlander 1936 1962 (withdrawal from service)
45158 Glasgow Yeomanry 1936 1964 (withdrawal from service)

Most were of identical design but this was to change in 1947, when HG Ivatt, who succeeded Stanier, set about building new locomotives to modified designs in order to keep them abreast of modern developments to produce an increase in availability and periods between general overhauls and to also lessen the work of maintenance, servicing and inspections.

To that end, Caprotti valve gear and Timken roller bearings were chosen as two major fitments likely to produce substantial benefits. All engines had the latest fitments, such as manganese axlebox liners, rocking fire grate, self-emptying hopper ashpan, self-cleaning smokebox and continuous boiler blow down. Six locomotives, including 4767, were fitted with double chimneys and electric headlights. To make a proper trial, Ivatt included the standard Walschaerts valve gear, but for the first time in almost 100 years, one locomotive, 4767, was fitted with an experimental set of outside Stephenson motion.

The comparative trials were well thought out with a lot of investment in drawing office design and materials from specialist manufacturers. The drawing office was given a free hand to produce the best designs, even if it meant moving away from the standard Black Five of which a vast number, 732, had already been built at that time. To fit the Timken bearings, the trailing axle centres were moved back by 4ins and the boiler raised by 2ins with an increase in locomotive weight of three tons.

Of all the new designs, that for the valve gear of 4767 was the most unusual. The former head of the Crewe works development section, Landridge, wrote the following in 1974 whilst on a visit to Steamtown at Carnforth.

‘The Stephenson Class 5 came about through a remark from Ivatt that his GWR counterpart said its 4-6-0s with (inside) Stephenson’s valve gear were so much better than the LMS with Walschaert’s. So Ivatt said let’s see what we can do to get Stephenson’s gear on the outside of a Class 5. Ivatt thought it would be doubtful if it would fit, but the development section worked it out. So that is how this Stephenson Black Five came about. It all started following a remark from the GWR!’

Details of the none standard engines are given below.

  • 44738-44757 were built in 1948 with Caprotti valve gear. They were also fitted with low running plates which gave them a distinctive appearance.
  • 44686 and 44687 were the last two engines to be built and they were fitted with outside Caprotti valve gear. They were also fitted with very high running plates which was in accordance with BR practice.
  • 44686-44687/44755-44757/44765-44767 were fitted with double chimneys. This was found to give only marginal advantage.
  • 44718-44727 were built in 1949 with steel fireboxes.
  • 44678-44687 were fitted with Skefko roller bearings.
  • 44668-44677 were fitted Skefko roller bearings on the driving coupled axle only.
  • 44767 was built in 1947 with outside Stephenson valve gear. This engine was unique in that Stephenson valve gear was normally fitted between the frames on an engine. The last time outside Stephenson valve gear had been
  • 44748-44767 were fitted with Timken roller bearings.
  • 44688-44697 were fitted with Timken roller bearings on the driving couple axle only.

In addition, 44738-44757/44826/44827/44829/44830/44844, were converted to burn oil during the coal crisis after the Second World War. They were later converted back to coal burning.

In 1953 following a fracture on the crank axle of 35020 Bibby Line whilst running at 70mph the whole fleet of Merchant Navy class locomotives was withdrawn from use on the Southern Region until they were rebuilt. During this period the Southern Region was short of motive power and so Standard class Britannias, ex-LMS Class Fives, ex-LNER V2s and B1s, were despatched to both South Western and South Eastern Divisions of the Southern Region.

Number in Service.

Built Withdrawals No. in Service
BR Numbers Quantity
1934 45020-65



1935 45000-19 & 45066-224



1936 45225-98



1937 45299-451



1938 45452-70



1943 45471-91



1944 45492-99 & 44800-60



1945 44861-920 & 44932-43



1946 44921-31 & 44944-91



1947 44758-99 & 44992-99



1948 44698-717 & 44738-57



1949 44658-69 & 44718-37



1950 44670-85 & 44688-97



1951 44686-7





1961 45401
























  • 44658-44667, 44718-44782, 44826-44931, 44967-44981, 45000-45019, 45070-45074 and 45452-45471 were built at Crewe.
  • 44668-44717, 44783-44799, 44932-44966 and 44982-44999 were built at Horwich
  • 44800-44825 and 45472-45499 were built at Derby.
  • 45020-45069 and 45075-45124 were built at Vulcan Foundary.
  • 45125-45451 were built by Armstrong Whitworth. This was the largest single order ever placed with an outside contractor and was worth £2.7m.


The End of Steam

By the end of 1967 steam was concentrated in a relatively small part of the BR network. All of the Western Region steam had all gone by 1965, apart from three narrow gauge locomotives on the Vale of Rheidol, and there were no Southern Region locomotives in use after 1966. The last Eastern region locomotives were withdrawn in 1966, apart from two B1 class service engines that were based at Staveley Barrow Hill. Despite being relatively new engines only 52 standard class locomotives were still in service at the end of 1967. Of this 52, 23 were standard class 73000 locomotives, which were largely based on the Black Five, and 10 standard class 75000 engines which were a smaller version of the 73000 class.

There were still 307 locomotives operating on the Midland Region at the end of 1967. Of these 151 were Black Fives and 150 Stanier 8F 2-8-0 locomotives. The remaining 6 were Ivatt 4MT 2-6-0 locomotives (43000 class). There were no tank engines anywhere on the network. Of the 151 Black Fives still in existence 46 were withdrawn in August 1968 when steam operation ceased. The allocation and date of withdrawal of the last Black Fives is shown below.

end black five

The last timetable steam hauled passenger service was the 9:25pm train from Preston to Liverpool on the 3rd August 1968. It was hauled by 45318 which was based at Lostock Hall. The engine was formerly withdrawn from service on the 8th August 1968 and cut up at Drapers in Hull the following year.

The Fifteen Guinea Special was so named because of the high price for tickets on the railtour (15 guineas = £15 15s 0d in pre-decimal British currency). Ticket prices had been inflated due to the high demand to travel on the last BR steam-hauled mainline train.

The railtour, on the 11th August 1968, started at Liverpool Lime Street and was hauled by 45110 to Manchester Victoria. 45110 was replaced with 70013 Oliver Cromwell for the run up to Carlisle. For the first part of the return leg 44781 and 44871 double-headed the train back to Manchester Victoria. Re-joining the train at Victoria station, 45110 then worked the remainder of the journey back to Liverpool Lime Street.

45305 was allocated to the original train back in 1968 but failed the night before with a collapsed firebox brick arch and was replaced by 45110.

Of the locomotives involved in hauling the special only 44781 has not been preserved. Although 45305 was unavailable to take part it was subsequently preserved. 44781 was used for filming of the film The Virgin Soldiers at Bartlow in Essex, for which it was derailed and hung at an angle for visual effect. After filming was completed, an enthusiast purchased it, but was unable to find the amount quoted by BR to recover the engine and re-rail it. So 44781 was then sold for scrap to A.King & Sons Ltd, Norwich and cut up on site in 1968.

The end of steam-hauled trains on British Railways was a turning point in the history of rail travel in Britain. The BR steam ban was introduced the day after the railtour, on 12 August 1968, making the Fifteen Guinea Special the last steam-hauled passenger train to be run by BR on its standard gauge network (though BR would continue to operate three steam locomotives on the narrow gauge Vale of Rheidol line until it was privatised in 1989). After this point all trains in Britain would be hauled by diesel or electric power, with the exception of privately owned heritage railways and privately run charters that are now able to run on the mainline provided that the steam locomotive has received necessary certification. The only steam locomotive to which the ban did not apply was Flying Scotsman due to a clause in the contract in when it was purchased from BR in 1963.

Accidents and Incidents

  • On 13 October 1939, locomotive 5025 was hauling an express passenger train from Euston to Stranraer (pilot to Royal Scot class engine 6130) when it was in collision with locomotive 9169 (LNWR 0-8-0 class G2A) which was attaching a van to the rear of an Inverness train at Bletchley, Buckinghamshire. Four people were killed and more than 30 were injured.
  • In 1941, locomotive 5425 was severely damaged in a Luftwaffe air raid. It was subsequently repaired at Crewe Works.
  • On 19th April 1945, locomotive 45210 was working the 6.15am Bradford – Liverpool Exchange express passenger train when it came into violent collision with a stationary brake van and 0-6-0 goods locomotive No. 12117 standing on the mainline at Dale Lane, Kirby. The accident took place at 9.37am under clear signals with the express running at 60mph in misty conditions, visibility was about twenty to thirty yards. Both drivers were killed, two drivers learning the road on 45210 and a shunter in the brake van were also killed. Both fireman, the passenger train guard and nineteen passengers were taken to hospital, thirty other passengers suffered minor injuries and shock. The brake van was destroyed, the goods engine was driven forward a distance of 80 yards ending up on its side. 45210 also ended up on its side with considerable damage, all six passenger coaches sustained damage, particularly the leading two coaches. Primary blame lay with the goods guard and the signalman with regard to the actual location of the goods engine and brake van.
  • On 1 January 1946, the Lichfield rail crash, in which locomotive 5495 was hauling a freight train that was derailed at Lichfield Trent Valley station, Staffordshire due to faulty points. The train collided with a passenger train, killing twenty people and injuring 21.
  • On 23 January 1955, locomotive 45274 was hauling an express passenger train that was derailed due to excessive speed on a curve, in the Sutton Coldfield rail crash. Nineteen people were killed and 64 were injured.
  • On 28 August 1961, locomotive 45401 was hauling a southbound freight from Liverpool past Warrington Dallam shed when it was in collision with Jubilee class 45630 Swaziland coming off the shed. Both locomotives were extensively damaged and withdrawn later that year.
  • On 4 February 2006, locomotive 45305 Alderman A. E. Draper collided with a rake of six carriages at Loughborough Central, damaging the locomotive and one of the carriages. Two people were injured. An investigation by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) found that the driver was not wearing spectacles at the time of the accident, despite it being a requirement on his medical certificate to do so when driving. No testing was carried out by the GCR on the train crew for drug or alcohol use. There was no first aid kit carried on the locomotive, although this was recommended by Her Majesty’s Railway Inspectorate for all locomotives.
  • Making a final trip over the Somerset & Dorset Joint in the last months of the LMS regime, an observer noticed, as the Pines rolled into Bath, that the leading vehicle, an open third, was reserved for a party of schoolboys returning to an establishment in Dorset. Black Five No 4945 came on the other end of eight, for 243/260 tons, and they were off over the Mendips, with the open third now on the rear.
    • First booked stop should have been Evercreech Junction, but it was not to be. Breasting Masbury Summit at 22mph – slower than usual because of pw lower down the ascent – acceleration was cut short by furious whistling and a fierce brake application; Shepton Mallet distant and home had been reversed against the train for “Stop and Examine”. As it ground to a halt in the platform, the signalman (complete with red flag) was standing outside his box well up the embankment on the down side, shouting “They say there’s a body on the buffers!”.
    • True, as was discovered when they cautiously inspected the front end of 4945, there were lots of bodies on the smokebox door, but merely those of flying insects. Meanwhile, the signalman was explaining that he had never said “body”, it had been “boy”, a member of the school party, whom the bobby at the box in the rear had seen climbing out of the door on one side of the open third, across the buffers, and back through the door on the other side! The guard (who one might have expected to refer to “them three young varmints” but didn’t) nipped smartly into the open third: “Roll yer trews up to yer knees, hands on the table, palms up!”. (Somewhere an echo of parade grounds) Dirt revealed. Culprits discovered, names taken. District manager writes, more in sorrow than anger, “Dear Headmaster…..”.
44816 at Crewe-August 1965.jpg 44816 at Crewe-August 1965. The locomotive remained in service until July 1968 but was scrapped in April 1969.
44795 at Carlisle March 1966.jpg 44795 at Carlisle-March 1966. 44795 spent all of its working life based at Carlisle Kingmoor from where it was withdrawn in July 1967. It was scrapped in December 1967.
44898 at Milnthorpe July 1966.jpg 44898 passes Milnthorpe heading for Shap-July 1966. Another engine that spent all of its working life based at Carlisle Kingmoor. It was withdrawn in October 1967 and scrapped in March 1968.
45404 at Sheffield Midland-July 1966.jpg 45404 at Sheffield Midland-July 1966. It was withdrawn from service at Trafford Park a year later and scrapped in November 1967.
45282,44896 & 45003 at Farnley-July 1966.jpg 45282, 44896 & 45003 on Farnley shed-July 1966. farnley shed closed in November 1966. 45282 remained in service until May 1968 when it was withdrawn from service at Edge Hill. The other two were withdrawn in 1967.
44845 at Manchester Victoria July 1967.jpg 44845 at Manchester Victoria-July 1967. Apart from a few months 44845 was based at Manchester for all of its working life at Belle Vue and later Newton Heath. It was withdrawn in June 1968.
45447 at carlisle August 1967.jpg 45447 on Carlisle Kingmoor shed August 1967 45447 lasted until the final days of steam as it was withdrawn from Rose Grove in August 1968.



Of the 18 preserved (including 44901 and 45293 which have still to be restored) half were withdrawn in the last month of steam on BR (January 1968) and purchased for preservation. Three others (including 45000 which is part of the National collection) were purchased upon withdrawal for preservation. 6 (including 44901) were recovered from Barry scrapyard.

  • Withdrawn August 1968 – 44806, 44871, 44932, 45025, 45110, 45212, 45231, 45305 & 45407
  • Others purchased upon withdrawal – 44767- December 1967, 45000 – October 1967 & 45428 – October 1967
  • Recovered from Barry – 44901, 45163, 45293, 45337, 45379 & 45491

Boilers currently fitted to preserved locomotives

Engine Boiler Number First Loco when new Description – ( sloping throatplate unless otherwise stated )
44767 12870 4790 28 element with dome on second ring, and top feed on front ring
44806 9349 5229 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
44871 9478 5358 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
44901 11322 Spare 28 element with dome and top feed on second ring, manufactured 5/42, first used on 5455 7/43
44932 10344 5457 28 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45000 9030 5100 21 element domeless, vertical throatplate
45025 9018 5088 21 element domeless, vertical throatplate
45110 8963 5183 21 element domeless, vertical throatplate
45163 9459 5339 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45212 8682 5065 24 element, vertical throatplate with dome. Originally 14 element domeless, re-built to 24 element
45231 9358 5238 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45293 9514 5394 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45305 9515 5395 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45337 12136 4932 28 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45379 9455 5335 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45407 9509 5389 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45428 9567 5447 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45491 12823 4778 28 element with dome on second ring, and top feed on front ring

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