LMS CLASS 3F (JINTY) 0-6-0T No.47406

No.47406 belongs to a prolific class of LMS Class 3F locomotives mostly referred to as Jinties although the origin of this nick name is not certain. Their origins lie some 135 years ago in the then fast changing world of Midland Railway (MR) locomotive practice. While the first commercial railways in the 1830s had sourced their locomotives from specialist builders, the ensuing decades saw the larger companies increasingly cater for their own needs in specification and design, with many locomotives actually being built in their own workshops. Such railways soon developed a locomotive house style, often inspired and personalised by a powerful Locomotive Superintendent, as they developed equipment for their particular needs. Nationwide this led to a great diversity of design and while not all was of great quality or optimum performance, railway enthusiasts both then and since have consequently had plenty to observe and study.

From its origins in the merger of three provincial Midlands railway companies the MR became a giant operating four strategic routes as well as serving some of Britain’s most industrialised areas. Of all the business sectors it served the most important in turnover and profitability terms was haulage of coal and other minerals. A huge fleet of 0-6-0s provided motive power for this considerable traffic.

In 1874 for the short haul freight transfer and shunting aspects of this work as well as for more general purposes Johnson introduced a new class of 0-6-0 tank. Weighing 39 tons 11 cwt, with 17” x 24” cylinders, an A type boiler at 140 psi and 4’ 3” wheels these engines had a tractive effort of 20,836 lb. Eventually the class numbered 280, and while there were detailed variations between batches they became known either as the Johnson 17” 0-6-0T, or 1102 class after the first class member. Later they were known as the 1F and happily one, No.41708, is preserved.

Increasing workloads saw the need for a larger version of the class and so in 1899 appeared the first of 60 locomotives, weighing 48 tons 15 cwt, with 18”x 26” cylinders, a C1 type boiler at 160 psi and 4’ 7” wheels. Tractive effort was 20,836 lbs. Logically these became known as the Johnson 18” 0-6-0T.

Johnson retired in 1903. His next but one successor was Henry Fowler who took office in 1910. The MR built no further 0-6-0Ts after Johnson’s time but Fowler began, in 1919, to replace the 18” locomotives’ round top fireboxes with the Belpaire type. Thus essentially came about the Jinty 3F as we would recognise it.

As far as requirements for ubiquitous 0-6-0 tanks were concerned, the MR 3F tank more or less met LMS needs. With an increasing urgency to replace engines that were wearing out and to rationalise some of the numerous diverse designs inherited in 1923, the stage was set to resume production of the 18” 1899 design, albeit in a slightly modified form. Changes included some bodywork alterations and an extended smokebox.

The first LMS Class 3 0-6-0Ts appeared in 1924 and over six years a total of 422 were built almost all by external builders. The leading dimensions were largely the same as the 18” engines but they were marginally heavier at 49 tons 10 cwt.

This huge class of locomotives naturally spread across the entire LMS network, including joint lines such as the Somerset & Dorset and Midland & Great Northern. For over forty years they busied themselves shunting, on goods trip workings between yards, and on empty stock runs. Later and despite widespread introduction of diesel shunters in the 1950s and a corresponding reduction in steam shunting locomotives, some Jinties lasted almost until the end of steam on British Railways. Earlier years even saw them performing saw some quite challenging passenger work including working trains from Broad Street up the GNR northern heights lines in the 1920s and 1930s.

No.47406, original LMS number 16489, was built by the Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows in 1926 at a cost of £3,330. It spent a few weeks nearby at Warrington, before moving to Crewe South shed, from where it mainly worked Basford Hall sidings and the carriage sheds. In October 1928 the engine moved to Carnforth where it spent almost 32 years. It was allocated No.7406 in the general LMS renumbering and under British Railways’ ownership became No.47406. From 1960 No.47406 changed shed a number of times. From 1960 to 1963 it was at Warrington (Dallam), 1963 to 1965 at Manchester (Gorton – the former GCR shed), and finally from 1965 to 1967 at Liverpool (Edge Hill).

It was withdrawn in December, 1967, and ended up in Barry scrapyard the following July. Ironically this was almost certainly the furthest it had ever travelled from itsNorth Westorigin and haunts.

Seven LMS 0-6-0 Jinty tank engines were sent to Barry. Being small popular locomotives they were ideal restoration projects and some were amongst the earlier engines to leave. Two, Nos.47327 and 47357 left in July, 1970, and with less than four years exposure to the elements and people seeking spares one can imagine it took little to return them to use. No.47406, the last Jinty to leave Barry, was not so fortunate and was systematically stripped for spares. When it eventually moved away all that was left was the frames, cylinder block, wheels, boiler and some platework.

It had been bought by the Rowsley Locomotive Trust, and moved initially to the Peak Rail headquarters in Buxton in June, 1983. When Peak Rail moved from the Buxton centre, the locomotive was sold to Roger Hibbert. It arrived at Quorn & Woodhouse on 21st December, 1989. In 1990 it was moved into storage behind Loughborough shed, whilst Roger completed the restoration of LMS 8F No.48305. Upon completion of the 8F work No.47406 was moved into the shed.

Reports in Main Line have chronicled the huge amount of work undertaken on No.47406. That culiminated in 2010 and the locomotive was returned to traffic on 30th January, 2010.

In GCR terms No.47406 is a very useful addition to the locomotive fleet. Though small, it is authentic BR, and although not GCR or LNER it represents a locomotive class that for nearly 40 years was ubiquitous across the Midlands. It will not consume as much coal as some of its shedmates, will have enough power to do any duty the GCR is likely to require of it, and most of all will look good and help attract the crowds.

In preservation terms its restoration, or more properly rebuild, represents a milestone amongst those surviving engines that at one time would have been considered impractical.

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