Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
BR standard class 4 tank
On nationalisation of British Railways (BR) in 1948, the London Midland Region had a number of ex-London, Midland and Scottish Railway 2-6-4T and the Western Region a number of "large prairie " 2-6-2T types. These tank engines were particularly suited to commuter services and secondary. However, particularly in Scotland and the Southern Region, the situation was not so good with large numbers of pre-grouping types struggling on.
Design and construction
On the decision to built the BR standards, a standard class of class four tank engines was ordered, based on the ex-LMS Fairburn 2-6-4T with some modifications. The Fairburn tanks themselves had been based on the LMS Stanier 2-6-4T which in turn had been based on the LMS Fowler 2-6-4T .
Design work was done at Brighton, the overall programme being overseen by R.A. Riddles. The principle modifications to the Fairburn design involved the reduction of their envelope to enable them to fit into the L1 loading gauge. To do this, the tanks and cab were curved than the Fairburn design, the Fairburn having straight-sided tank. The biggest mechanical change was a reduction in cylinder size, also to reduce cross-section, and a corresponding increase in boiler pressure to compensate. Other visible changes include the reintroduction of a fall plate .
90 of the class of 115 was built at Brighton, 15 (80000-9/54-8) at Derby and 10 (80106-15) at Doncaster between 1951 and 1956. The first to emerge was 80010 from Brighton in 1951. Fifteen that were due to be constructed in 1957 were cancelled due to impending dieselisation, and the last five would have been to had they not been in an advanced stage of construction when the order came to cancel them.
The BR standard class 4 4-6-0s were essentially a tender engine derivative of the standard four tanks.
No significant modifications were made to the design. The tank vent was found to restrict the driver's vision and was moved furtherr forward from 80059. Initially built with fluted coupling rods , these problem on other classes and from 80079 plain section coupling rods were substituted.
The standard four tanks were allocated to all regions apart from the Western Region. They became particularly associated with the London, Tilbury and Southend Line working commuter services out of London until that was electrified in 1962. They were then gradually displaced to further-flung regions.
In the 1960s there was a mass withdrawal of steam types. Older types were withdrawn in preference to the standard fours which all remained intact until 1964 apart from one written off in a collision. The final nine were withdrawn from the Southern Region on 9 July 1967. One, 80002, remained in Glasgow past theend of steam haulage until 1969 where she heated carriages.
No less than fifteen standard four tanks have survived the cutter's torch. These are:
|Number||Home||Notes||Link to UK preserved loco database|
|80002||Keighley and Worth Valley Railway||database|
- A Detailed History of British Railways Standard Steam Locomotives: vol 3 Tank Engine Classes Paul J Chancellor, R K Taylor (Editor), (December 1997) Railway Correspondence & Travel Society (RCTS) ISBN 0901115770
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