80079, BR Standard Class 4 2-6-4T
Photographed in the Engine House, Highley, Shropshire, on 8 March during the Severn Valley Steam Gala.
This class of tank engine built by British Railways was based on the ex-LMS Fairburn 2-6-4T with some modifications. The lineage of the class could therefore be tracked through the LMS/BR Class 4 2-6-4T locomotives back to the Fowler design of 1927.
Design work was done at Brighton, the overall programme being overseen by R.A. Riddles. The principal 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 made more curved than the Fairburn design, the Fairburn having a 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 plating ahead of the cylinders.
130 of the class of 155 were 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.
The BR standard class 4 4-6-0 was essentially a tender engine derivative of the Standard Class 4 tank.
No fewer than 14 of these locomotives have survived the cutter's torch. This is the highest number for any preserved BR standard class.
Picture added on 14 March 2009