B4 0-4-0T LSWR Adams & Drummond

b4

Power Classification 0F reclassified 1F in 1953
Introduced Adams – 1891 – 1893

Drummond – 1908

Designer Adams and Drummond
Company LSWR
Weight Adams  33t 9cwt

Drummond  32t 18cwt

Driving Wheels 3ft 9.75ins
Boiler Pressure 140psi
Cylinders Outside – 16in x 22in
Tractive Effort 14,650lbf
Valve Gear Stephenson (slide valve)

 

These dock shunting engines were designed by Adams in 1891 and twenty were built at Nine Elms up to 1893. They were initially needed because of the growth of traffic in many small yards of the LSWR, particularly around the Plymouth area. Prior to the use of the B4 tanks, some of these yards had even been using horses for their shunting needs. This first batch of twenty was spread fairly evenly around the system, and although they had a cramped and dirty footplate, with limited coal suplies, the little locomotives were powerful and became popular with their crews.

Drummond built a further five engines in 1908 which had “lock-up” safety valves on the domes and smaller diameter boilers. These were classified as K14, but they were later re-classified by Drummond’s successor as B4 as they were considered so similar. Over time boilers of the surviving locomotives were interchanged (for example 30088 later carried a Drummond boiler).

Southampton Docks were purchased by the LSWR in 1892 and within a year, three B4 locomotives were transferred there. By 1900 a further 10 had been deployed at Southampton Docks. These were all painted in dark green livery and given names generally associated with ports on the Continent with which the LSWR had connections. The dock engines had open sided cabs , carrying names of cross channel ports and often running without numbers. They were used exclusively for dock work, having their own sheds within the docks perimeter and for many tyears being maintained by the dock workshops.

In 1907, further locomotives were required by the Docks Department and Drummond built his 5 locomotives to his own version of the class the following year at Nine Elms. These 5 were nominally class K14 and had different cab roofs, the Drummond chimney and did not have toolboxes on the tank tops as well as having “lock-up” safety valves on the domes and smaller boilers. Only 2 of the five went to Southampton Docks with the other 3 going to Eastleigh.

One curious feature of the B4 class was the lack of power braking when built. Most, if not all, were fitted with vacuum brake ejectors though the earlier engines transferred to Southampton Docks had these removed and relied purely on the hand brake for stopping. In later years the vacuum brakes were replaced on the Southampton locomotives.

All of the class passed to Southern Region control in 1923. For most of their pre-war life they were confined to LSWR metals although for a brief period two of them worked the LBSCR Deptford Wharf branch. In 1941 two of the class were loaned to the GWR for six months for service in Pembroke Dock, but by 1945 14 of the class were at work at Southampton Docks.

Because the cost of heavy overhauls was considered by Bullied to be unjustified, he decided to purchase redundant USA Army tank engines for the Southampton Dock duties. 11 were sold to a number of purchasers around the UK and 3 scrapped.  11 survived into British Railways ownership where sales for industrial use continued.  By 1964 there were just 2 of the 25 B4’s left in existence, but both have been preserved.

 B4 small B4 class introduced by Adams in 1891
 USA tank USA War Department Tank Engine

 

Preservation

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