FAIRBURN TANK ENGINESMichael Parkes has written:
I am currently reading a book entitles The Southern Since 1948 by G. Freeman Allen published in 1987 by Book Club Associates by arrangement with Ian Allen Ltd. Mention is made of 42198/9 in the spring of 1948 on trials in the Eastern and Central Sections of SR. 42199 made some non stop trials between Ashford and Victoria. So 42198 must have been borrowed by Nine Elms when the picture was taken.
Tim Crowley sent this:
On skipping through the pages of a book titled "Memories of Steam" by Tom Quinn I came across a picture of a Fairburn tank locomotive approaching Chislet Colliery Halt. I did work some of the miner trains as a fireman whilst at Ashford, the locomotive was usually a H Class tank. This picture must be early 50's as I had gone from Ashford by then. The item mentioned previously whereby one of the locomotives in question was observed at Ashford operating bunker first This is understandable, they would have been ideal for the Maidstone Branch services.
Dave Bryce has written:
I have just been looking through a book called 'The Golden Years of British Steam Trains. Southern Railway.' by Colin Garratt on the work of The Rev. A.W.V.Mace. and one of the photos is of 42199 leaving Asford (Kent) bunker first towards London. The caption reads " Between April & June 1948, two L.M.R. 2-6-4-Ts, No's. 42198/99, were loaned to the S.R. for trials, largely between Waterloo and Basingstoke and Victoria and Tunbridge Well West" so that could be the reason why 42198 is seen at Waterloo.
Barry Lewis (ex 73A Stewarts Lane) has added his observations on the Fairburn engines:
I wondered if my notes on working with the class at the time might prove of interest to your readers who may not have had the opportunity to work on them?
Very poor injectors, need constant watching in case they knock off. Poor feed through ‘cotton reel’ type clack valves that ‘stick’ up. No amount of hammering will shift them. A stuck valve will quickly empty the boiler and the fire will need to be thrown out. A normal fire made up under the door and back corners may not always work. A thin fire can be used to good effect on occasion.
We have received the following comment from Michael Parkes:
May I suggest why 42198 was at Waterloo and Nine Elms in 1948. It may have been used at Nine Elms whilst enroute to or from Brighton so they could have a look prior to building a batch of these locomotives themselves. 42198 went to Scotland after building at Derby but may have been diverted to Brighton.
Shedmaster's note: 42198 was shedded at 63B Stirling by August 1950
A rather interesting photograph recently received from an old Nine Elms Engineman, Fred Whittle, is of a former 1945 built LMS 4P, 2-6-4T tank engine, No. 42198 seen at Waterloo. These engines were a Fairburn development of an earlier Stanier design. Fred is seen seated looking out of the Fireman's side window whilst his unidentified Driver stands behind. The date is possibly sometime in 1948 going by the rather new looking British Railways insignia on the side tank. Perhaps this particular locomotive was on trials at the time it was captured here? Certainly other members of the same class were eventually used on the 'Brighton' section of the Southern Region regularly working out of Victoria. The smoke-box shed code plate 11A indicates that previously it was based at Carnforth depot.
Brian Gregory has emailed:
During the period 1950-58 Fairburn Loco's 42070-42079 and 42095-42109 were all allocated to Southern Region Depots, mainly on the South Eastern and Central Sections. They were allocated quite widely from Brighton and Tunbridge Wells to Bricklayers Arms, Ashford and Ramsgate. It would seem from various readings that crews were not happy with them for a few different reasons and Enginemen seemed better pleased when they were swapped with the LMR for Standard Class 4 80xxx Tanks during the latter part of 1958 and early 1959. These Standard tanks were becoming surplus to requirements on the Tilbury Line. Several of these Loco's ended their days at Nine Elms after the Kent lines were electrified in 1959-61.
If you have any further information about this locomotive's visit to Nine Elms please email the Shedmaster Nine Elms.
Article copyright 2008 Jim Lester
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