Midland locomotives

10ft w x 5 ft d x 7ft h shed plans

10ft w x 5 ft d x 7ft h shed plans

The Midland Railway page is something of a problem as it was only thinly addressed in Steam Locomotive Development where it was observed that the Railway was centred on Derby from which routes radiated to the south west, north west, to the Scottish Border, to the east and to London. At that time the only book which appeared to be relevant was Hamilton Ellis’ Midland Railway . Since then there has been a major expansion of the literature mainly due to Summerson, Hunt and former enginemen Essery, the latter frequently aided by the late David Jenkinson. Like the locomotives this literature has a certain not-unattractive sameness and has been well-done. With the exception of the Settle & Carlisle line the infrastructure appears to have been poor and imposed severe limitations on locomotive development. There is a further problem in that late Midland Railway locomotive development, like that on the Great Northern Railway under Gresley, merged into that of the post-grouping company: hence all Fowler “development” will be considered under Fowler..

To KPJ the locomotives have always seemed unexciting, but he would have loved to have seen the Midland singles in their glorious red. Most of the locomotives were small: 0-6-0s and 2-4-0s and 0-6-0Ts and 0-4-4Ts. Later there were 4-4-0s, including the compounds. Boiler sizes grew gradually and sometimes reboilering involved the fitment of a smaller type. There was a brief revolution under Deeley, but that was quickly quelled. Derby’s sole major contribution to locomotive history was standardization. Derby was a very long distance from Swindon or Doncaster or Darlington; and Ashford showed what could be done with small 4-4-0s in a way that never reached Derby, not even after the Grouping.

MR engine summary 1844-1922 (Summerson 1)









































Dewhurst, P.C. Midland Railway: Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev. , 1942, 49, 44-6; 63-4; 76-8; 94-6; 180-3: 1943, 50 , 7-8; 20-1; 127-30; 153-5; 186-8
Pp 7-8: Mather Dixon 2-2-2
Ellis, H. The Midland Railway . London, 1953. Bibliog. (footnote references)
“The Midland was a megnificent railway”: these are the opening words. Then the Author justifies them. The frontispiece is one of the Author’s best paintings and the verso of the title page has a long quoation from one of John Betjeman’s best poems which begins: Rumbling under blackened girders, Midland bound for Cricklewood. ” The Midland Railway was, and still is, loved and the noblest of architectural white elephants still dominates the Euston Road (entirely devoid of trains at present (early 2005)) whilst its utilitarian neighbour, King’s Cross, gets on with the job of running Britain’s best domestic train services.
Essery, R.J. and Jenkinson, D.J. An illustrated history of Midland locomotives from 1883. Volume 1. A general survey. Upper Bucklebury: Wild Swan, 1984.
Long captions plus notes on working on Midland locomotives (Chapter 7) by Essery and liveries (Chapters 4, 5 and 6). Also contains many diagrams. Unfortunately, this work suffers from two very severe limitations: the failure to provide even a skeletal history of locomomotive history prior to the date selected, and its failure to examine much beyond the superficial appearance (no matter how “magnificent”). It would appear to be obvious that Kirtley’s selection of six-wheelers (2-2-2, 0-6-0 and 2-4-0) for tender classes and even more his selection of the 0-4-4T type had a marked influence on future policy, as did the actions of Kirtley’s contemporaries on other railways. Chapter 3 “Design details analysed” is not a critique of locomotive development, but on such items as safety valves, cab layouts, couplings, sanding apparatus, and oil firing in times of fuel shortage. Of greater value are the notes on locomotives fitted with the Westinghouse brake, the very limited application of vacuum-controlled push & pull gear by the MR (No. 1632), and tables of standard boilers..
Hall, Stanley . Railway milestones and millstones: triumphs and disasters in British railway history . 2006.
Highly critical of Company’s small engine policy: page 20 et seq
Hunt, David. Locomotive builders to the Midland Railway. Midland Record , (21), 111-26.
An important source, as all manufacturers are listed and information is given about them (Radford largeley excluded non-Deerby products): the companies concerned were: Benjamin Hick, Kitson, Rothwell, R.B. Longridge, E.B. Wilson, Sharp Stewart, R.&W. Hawthorn, Robert Stephenson, Beyer Paecock, Manning Wardle, Neilson, Yorkshire Engine Co., John Fowler, Baldwin, Schenectady and Armstrong Whitworth. Hunt did not cite his sources, however.
Radford, J.B. Derby Works and Midland locomotives: the story of the works, its men, and the locomotives they built. 1971.
Very important source of material
Rowledge, J.W.P. The Midland Railway 1907 renumbering. Locomotives Ill. , 2007 No. 165. 46pp.
As usual Rowledge brings a lot of clarity into a rather obscure area: one of the major problems with Midland locomotives is that they lack a formal classification and numbers tend to be everything. Furthermore, the power classification was solely an attempt to make operation simpler.
Summerson, Stephen Midland Railway locomotives. Volume 1. G eneral survey. Clophill: Irwell Press, 2000. 154p.
Does not appear to be in BLPC, but available Amazon Books and in stock Luton PL (when its OPAC is up).. The book suffers from the usual limitations of the Irwell Press and its poor production standards, but does include a great wealth of detail, although very little on the Kirtley period. There is a great deal of detail on specifics like braking systems, carriage heating systems, push & pull working, boilers, tenders (Chapter 9) and water troughs, liveries (colour illus. are an obvious lack) and insignia (Chapter 10) and engine shed codes (Chapter 11). Brief bibliography. Summerson noted that so far as is practical, Official Records have been used, supplemented by other information and observations which may be regarded as authentic. The Kirtley period is primarily covered with information from Board minutes, the Committee of Management 1844-49 and Locomotive Committee from 1849 onwards. F.H. Clarke made a copy of the 1849 locomotive list and an official 1860 list has also survived. Other official records surviving from the Kirtley period 1844-73 are sparse. Many were destroyed in the periodic clear out of old material which occurred from time to time, particularly during Deeley’s period of office, 1904-09, and again during the 1939-45 war. Thus, the further back towards 1844 that researches are directed, the less evidence there is remaining. However, a great deal can be gleaned about this period from subsequent records which have been retained and it is also fortunate that F.H. Clarke who worked at Derby from the early 1850s kept meticulous records of his own which eventually passed into the Dewhurst collection. A study of these reveals inter alia , a knowledge of Locomotive Committee decisions which, when compared to the actual minutes indicates that Clarke had access to official material. This adds standing to his records, thereby filling gaps in the formal records. These sources provide a sound base for study and are supplemented by the results of research undertaken many years ago by B Baxter, L Wilson, E Craven and W Beckerlegge. Much of this was published by Stephenson Locomotive Society in its journal and subsequently by D Baxter. G H Daventry was most helpful in a lengthy correspondence in clarifying detail and providing additional information. Therefore, a reasonable outline of pre-1873 history can be given. Johnson produced a numerical classification of the Kirtley engines and this additionally provides a good deal of boiler information not found elsewhere. Importantly, it enables the change from Kirtley to Johnson boilers in the reboilering of the double framed 0-6-0s to be pinpointed. From the Johnson period onward it is fortunate that retained official records are more plentiful. The Locomotive Committee minutes, both Midland and LMS, Registers of 1888, 1901 and 1908 together with the Derby Order books from 1874 provided a substantial primary source of material upon which to build. The 1908 Register is of particular value in that it was clearly constructed from records going back to the Kirtley era which were not shown in thr earlier Registers.
Summerson, Stephen Midland Railway locomotives. Volume 3. The Johnson classes. Part 1. The slim boiler passenger tender engines, passenger and goods tank engines .
Formerly in the stock of the “library service” of Norfolk: presumably since sold off by Ms Beeching in favour of another two hundred poetry anthologies.
Truman, Peter . The Midland Railway Locomotive Works at Derby . Br Rly J., 1987, 2 , 281-9.
Although each of the photographs is carefully credited to the National Railway Museum (where they are housed) but were presumably Midland Railway official photographs the major source of the text is “an article” by C.H. Jones. The author also acknowledges Radford, Williams and Whishaw.
Tuplin, W.A. Midland steam. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1973.
Tuplin has been used for the basis of the section on Kirtley, and to a great extent for that on Johnson locomotives.

Pre-M > The initial three companies which were to form the Midland Railway were: the Midland Counties Railway linking Nottingham with Leicester via Derby, the North Midlands Railway from Derby to Leeds and the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway. From the start the three companies worked together but it was the North Midland company which established the “foundations” of Derby Works and the first locomotive superintendent Thomas Kirtley, brother of the more famous Matthew who was the first Locomotive Superintendent of the new combined company. Shortly after the Midland’s formation the line between Bristol and Birmingham was snatched from the lugubrious Great Western..

Like the LNWR it may eventually be necessary to divide the locomotive history into three/four separate files: these will cover Kirtley and locomotives acquired during Kirtley’s tenure; the Johnson period/Deeley period, and the Fowler period which extended into that of the LMS. For the present the first two will remain combined in one file.

Birmingham & Gloucester Railway
The Birmingham & Gloucester Railway opened in stages in 1840 and at Gloucester “connected” with the broad gauge Bristol & Gloucester Railway . Eventually both lines were to form part of the Midland Railway, but before that the Birmingham & Gloucester was to contribute to loocomotive history. This was partly due to the very steep Lickey Incline, to the use of American-designed locomotives (although these were not acquired for specific use on the incline, and from McConnell being its Locomotive Superintendent. The Bristol & Gloucester Railway was a broad gauge line built partly along the line of former tramroads and might have been expected to become part of the Great Western, but was acquired by the Midland Railway in 1846. In a way the Midland’s primary route was from Yorkshire to Birmingham via Derby and thence to Bristol: Baxter’s British locomotive catalogue (3A) is probably the best source for the locomotives which served these railways..

Radford page 28 noted that Derby Works had a large increase in expenditure and labour on locomotive and carriage and wagon repairs in 1855, when part of the absorbed Bristol and Gloucester stock was converted from broad to narrow gauge, as much as could be adapted being so treated and the cost charged to revenue.

McConnell had been locomotive superintendent prior to his departure for the LNWR (Southern Division). Sekon (Evolution) p. 102 notes that he constructed an 0-6-0ST Great Britain which acted successfully as a banking engine on the Lickey Incline.

Bradley notes that John Jones 0-4-2 Southampton was purchased from London & Southampton Railway in 1839

Sekon Evolution of the steam locomotive and Lowe both give details of tests with Ysabel (Dodds, 1853) on the Lickey Incline. The locomotive was for the Isabella II railway between Santander and Abar del Rey in Spain

Ellis: The Midland Counties Railway started business with four-wheel Bury engines and had seventeen of this type with 12in. cylinders and ten with 13in. cylinders. They became M.R. Nos. 90-117. But additionally there were by now six Midland Counties passenger engines of the ordinary 2-2-2 type, which Mr. Baxter believes to have become M.R. Nos. 45-50, the Birmingham and Derby Junction engines of this type, previously noticed, being M.R. Nos. 33-44, in series after the North Midland singles. Ten 0-4-0 and 0-4-2 goods from the Midland Counties and the Birmingham and Derby Junction were numbered 70-79, and the four North Midland 2-4-0s, Nos. 70-73, were renumbered as Midland Railway Nos. 120-123. The last of these was sold to the Eastern Counties Railway, becoming ECR No. 140.

The locomotive stock was managed by Robert Stephenson from February 1839, but he was assisted by William Prime Marshall a Superintendent of the Locomotive Department until 4 April 1843 when he left to become Locomotive Superintendent of the Norfolk Railway

Ellis: Off the North Western Railway from Skipton to Lancaster came ten passenger engines, all probably single-wheelers, and four goods Ahrons, in The British Steam Railway Locomotive from 1825 to 1925, illustrates an example from this railway in a pretty little inside-cylindered, inside-framed passenger tank engine, built by Fairbairn in 1850. This engine and her sisters worked the ordinary light passenger trains to Lancaster and to Morecambe in preMidland days, and though very diminutive, were notable in having solid welded plate frames. Cylinders were only 9!in. in diameter by 15in. stroke, and the driving wheels were 5ft. in diameter. Similar engines went to Ireland, and in a larger version they worked much of the traffic on the Dublin, WickIow and Wexford Railway. as far as Bray, for many years. The first locomotive to work in Brazil, the Baroneza. built by Fairbairn in 1852, was almost identical with the” Little” North Western engines, apart from the wider gauge and about liin. on the cylinder diameter. The gauge difference would have presented no problems; the design could have been adapted to the 7ft. gauge if necessary. Baroneza has fortunately survived as an historical relic, and also figures in the emblem of the Central Railway of Brazil. She serves us here to illustrate the appearance of the ” Little” North Western passenger tank engines, as originally built. Superficial differences include the shape of the sandboxes which were separate from the splasher on the N.W.R., instead of being combined. On the” Little” North Western engines, Ahrons showed a Y -shaped double step, while Baroneza had this strengthened into a delta shape. In Kirtley’s time, certain of the N.W.R’s Lilliputian locomotives were rebuilt and employed on various remoter branches of the M.R.

Matthew Kirtley’s locomotives

Radford (page 21) observes that “Matthew Kirtley was faced immediately with the problem of bringing some kind of order and standardisation to the great miscellany of locomotive types which he had inherited from the three old companies. Of the good engines available, a considerable number were even then not fit for further use and were immediately laid up, either for sale or breaking up. Of those fit for traffic, several were daily being stretched in capacity hauling the heavier and heavier trains. Kirtley weighed up the various arguments concerning the most suitable number of wheels to be provided on a locomotive and came out in favour of the six-wheeled type, having previously had first hand experience of the unsteadiness of the four-wheeled, single-driver machines whilst working with them on the London and Birmingham Railway. These latter types [four-wheeled] he quickly relegated to unimportant work, and all further orders were for six-wheeled locomotives.” Kirtley also became aware that the use of the locomotive stock was limited not only by the frequent breakdowns, but from delays in obtaining spare parts from the makers. Further, the cost of repairs was considerably inflated when more serious repairs required locomotives to be retuned to their makers, who might be busy with new orders and long delays occurred.

Summerson (Volume 1) estimated that Kirtley was responsible for about 1000 locomotives: using Summerson’s tabulated data it is possible to assert that over three quarters of these were double-frame 0-6-0s..

A sidelight on the state of the locomotive stock in these early days is provided by a minute of the Locomotive and Stores Committee dated November 5, 1850, which authorised Kirtley to accept the offer of Henry Wright of Saltley Works, Birmingham to provide 10 or 12 engines complete with drivers, firemen and cleaners to work trains between Derby and Birmingham at 1s per mile the Midland Company to provide only the coke, Wright providing all other stores. (BTHR Mid 1/167). All these factors convinced Kirtley that the existing complex of workshops at Derby should be further developed into an organisation capable not only of dealing with all repairs, but of also building the new locomotives he so urgently required. In the short term he tried to ensure that all new locomotives delivered were either to his own designs or that he had approved the makers’ plans for new contract-built engines.

Expansion of the workshop facilities began almost immediately. His first request was for more covered engine accommodation, and in his report of December 2, 1845 he recommended that a second roundhouse be erected to house 16 locomotives allocated to the Derby depot for which no shed was available, pointing out that they were being adversely affected by standing out in all weathers during the winter time. This new roundhouse, together with additional repair facilities, was completed and brought into use in mid-February, 1847.

At the half year ending December 31, 1846, Kirtley reported a total locomotive stock of 122, including 10 new engines received in the previous six months. Ninety-five of these were in good working order, and there were 23 engines awaiting repairs, the remaining four engines being laid up for sale. Five new fireboxes, ten complete sets of tubes and nine cranked axles had been supplied in the half year.

Further workshop improvements were put in hand, and provision for warming the workshops “either by steam or hot water under the inspection of Mr Barwell and Mr Kirtley” was also made in December, 1849. The work of the various departments set up for each of the three old companies was rationalised until, by the year 1851, Kirtley was in a position to build his first new locomotive. * Prior to this, since 1848, the major rebuilding of about ten locomotives had been undertaken in conjunction with Messrs E. B. Wilson & Co of the Railway Foundry, Leeds, who became temporary partners with the Midland for work of this nature, and the products of this union were officially regarded as built by “MR Co & Wilson”.

Ellis stated that: It can be imagined that Matthew Kirtley had, from these various railways, about as mixed a lot of bequests in the locomotive line as ever confronted a locomotive superintendent. From the North Midland Railway, which numbered its engines in series according to type, came thirty-two mail and passenger engines, all 2-2-2, and numbered by that company from 1 upwards. There were fourteen goods engines, consisting of ten 0-4-2 (Nos. 60-69) and four 2-4-0 (Nos. 70-73). Mr. R. Baxter considers ( Journal of the Stephenson Locomotive Society , March, 1949) it probable that Kirtley, though a Birmingham and Derby Junction man, appropriated the North Midland numbering system for use in the Midland Railway stock list. This led to difficulties, and consequent need for renumbering, whenever there was an influx of new engines from new construction or further amalgamation. Birmingham and Derby Junction engines had names but no numbers, prior to the amalgamation of the companies.

The first new engines of the Midland Railway were three 0-6-0 goods, which type Kirtley ordered and built exclusively for goods traffic, four-coupled engines being used thereafter only for ordinary passenger traffic, apart from the fastest trains. These goods engines were Nos. 74-76, and replaced three Midland Counties Bury goods with the same numbers. Three Stephenson singles from the Sheffield and Rotherham Railway were added towards the end of the year, when the Midland Railway had 53 single-wheel passenger engines, 14 0-4-2 goods, the three new 0-6-0s, three four-wheeled Bury goods, 27 Bury 2-2-0s, and the four 2-4-0 goods from the North Midland. On page 20 Radford noted that a belt-driven 2-2-2 Sheffield was one of the trophies acquired from the Sheffield & Rotherham Railway..

During the following year (which year? KPJ), three single expresses and three more 0-6-0 goods were obtained. It should be noticed that in his early orders, Kirtley purchased the standard locomotives of various makers, and it was not until some years later that the characteristic Kirtley classes became apparent. To just what extent the Kirtley engines of the Midland Railway were designed by Kirtley, or whether he ever deputed design, like James Holden on the Great Eastern, the present author [i.e. Ellis] is not prepared to discuss. On the Midland, the memorable Kirtley designs appeared during the ‘fifties and ‘sixties, and into the ‘seventies, not right at the beginning.

Engines thus brought under Midland ownership during 1846 included eight from the Leicester and Swannington Railway, and four new 2-4-0s which had been ordered by the Leeds and Bradford company during its brief independence. From the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway came several single “express” engines, by Tayleur and Forrester, the former 4-2-0 with 6ft. driving wheels, McConnell’s Great Britain tank engine used on the Lickey Incline, and eleven of the Norris type 4-2-0 engines. The Bristol and Gloucester contributed eleven broad-gauge engines, which continued to work on their native line until it was narrowed. Further to those which the Midland company inherited, there were five 0-6-0 goods bought second-hand from the North Staffordshire Railway in 1851.

New Midland locomotive construction, then and for many years to come, was confined to 0-6-0 goods engines, 2-2-2 expresses, and some 2-4-0 ordinary passenger. The last-mentioned type was later to become extremely common, and certain examples were to achieve extraordinary longevity, like some of the goods engines. Certain of the exceptions to the three-type rule, and one unique experimental engine which ran trials on the Midland, deserve mention in their turn. Many locomotives were obtained from Kitson, Thompson and Hewitson, and were generally of that firm’s contemporary standard types. They were of distinctly ornate appearance, especially as to chimney caps and dome casings, though from 1849 onwards Kitsons went to the other extreme, and initiated the smooth, plain engine, with round-topped dome and closed splashers, which was to be recognised the world over, during the succeeding hundred years, as the characteristic British steam locomotive.

Kirtley took up the outline in his own designs, so that during the ‘fifties and ‘sixties, what were then modern locomotives of the Midland Railway had a notably Kitsonian look about them. The notoriously unsteady long-boiler type of locomotive, with all wheels in front of the firebox, sponsored by Robert Stephenson and built by several other firms during the eighteen-forties, had its representatives on the Midland. A Kitson” long boiler,” built in 1845 for the Midland, was illustrated in The Engineer of November 23, 1923, and may be briefly described as representative of a larger specimen of this unpleasant design. It had 15in. by 22in. cylinders, 5ft. 6in. driving wheels and a wheelbase of only lIft. 3in. under a boiler barrel 13ft. long. Total heating surface was 874 sq. ft., and working pressure about 651b.

Radford page 28 et seq Kirtley had reported in July, 1849 that he had 120 engines on hand and of that number one half were required to be in perfect condition to meet all contingencies, leaving 60 for repairs. At that time 58 wanted repairs including those light engines laid up for sale. He had previously had 60 engines considered too light for use on his hands and of these 37 had by then been sold or otherwise disposed of, leaving a further 23 still on hand of no further use. He gave some indication of engine repair costs: in the six months ending June 1849 £21,796 had been spent of which £2,490 had been expended on new tubes, fireboxes and boilers and £19,306 on general repairs. A fair estimate of the length of time the following items would last had been arrived at over the previous years. Boiler tubes gave an average 75,000 miles run in service, fireboxes 150,000 miles and boilers 300,000 miles, this working out at ¾d per mile depreciation to cover the deterioration of these components.

An unfortunate accident was reported by the Midland chairman on 26 February 1856 when Kirtley recorded the exploding of the boiler of an old ex-Midland Counties four-wheel coupled engine at Kegworth. As a result all were immediately taken out of service to be “renewed” (as was the Midland phrase for practically brand new locomotives at that time) as passenger locomotives of a modern type for use on the Leicester to Hitchin line. The term “renewed” in Midland parlance generally referred to a new locomotive built to replace an old one and charged to revenue account.

In 1857 the first length of steel track ever used commercially was laid down at the north end of Derby station at a place where heavy traffic had formerly required the replacement of the iron rails every six months or so. It was produced as a casting, with manganese introduced into the melt to act as a de-oxidiser, to a modified Bessemer process invented by R.F. Mushet. This length of rail remained in use for 16 years when it was considered worn out and removed for scrap. The Midland Company were therefore pioneers in a new field, for it was not until five years later that the LNWR and the NER introduced them for use in similarly arduous conditions. , On the other hand the Midland were somewhat tardy in introducing “steel tires” for their locomotives, for it was not until 1861, some two years after the LNWR, that they were tentatively used. They soon showed their merits for on heavy engines they lasted 120,000-150,000 miles as against 50,000-60,000 for the iron types, being 2 3/8 in thick as new.

Ellis noted that in 1848, Kitson, Thompson and Hewitson delivered two remarkable 4-2-0 Crampton express engines, of a variety not, as far as Ellis knew, repeated for any other railway. They somewhat resembled what came to be known as the French Crampton type in having double frames, with the cylinders and valves supported between inner and outer frames, but the driving axle at the rear had outside bearings, with return cranks to the axleboxes. The intermediate carrying wheels had inside bearings only. The valve gear was inside, and some drawings suggest that it was of Dodds’ wedge type, which was certainly used on some early Midland engines. The very deep outside frames gave the engines a peculiarly massive appearance, which the low-pitched boiler, common to the Crampton patent engine, rather emphasised. There was a vague resemblance to a battleship of later Victorian years, having a very low freeboard, quaintly accentuated in these locomotives by the tall chimney and the dome having a high bellmouthed funnel extension to the safety-valve casing on top. Kitsons had not yet abandoned their earlier convention of ornateness. Driving wheels were 7ft. in diameter, the largest yet used on the Midland Railway; cylinders were 16in. by 22in., and total heating surface 1,062 sq. ft. The grate area was small-Cramptons had short, narrow fireboxes-and amounted only to 13.9 sq. ft. Presumably these loaocomotives are included in P. Dewhurst’s survey The Crampton locomotive in England. Trans Newcomen Soc ., 30 , . 99-139.

Summerson Volume 1 considered Kirtley boilers and the switch to coal burning. The earliest engines had boilers with fireboxes raised above the boiler barrel. The change to boilers with flush fireboxes was made in two stages, initially on goods engines. The first Derby-built double framed 0-6-0s of 1857/58 led the way and all subsequent goods engines followed suit, but passenger designs continued with raised fireboxes until 1869, when the 0-4-4 back tanks built for working to Moorgate appeared. These had flush fireboxes which then became standard for all new construction.

From the late 1840s the fireboxes of the smaller designs – the Jenny Lind type 2-2-2s (1847-56), the small well tanks (1871) and the 50 class 2-4-0s (1862-64) – were 4ft 3in long, with a boiler diameter of 3ft 9in. On virtually all the other designs, boiler diameter was 3ft 11in-4ft 1in, while fireboxes were lengthened over the years. This was invariably carried out in three inch increments. The 6ft 8in singles of the 136 class (1857-58) had boilers with 4ft 6in fireboxes, but the other 2-2-2s and 2-4-0s of 1852-62 had boilers with 4ft 9in fireboxes – as did the standard straight framed double frame goods 0-6-0s of the same period. In 1861 a further lengthening of fireboxes, to 5ft 0in was made for the last thirty of the straight framed goods and this became the standard for the five 2-4-0 classes: large 70, 80, 170, 230 and 156, as well as the 30 class 2-2-2s, all built between 1862 and 1868.

A larger increase was deemed necessary for subsequent new classes and the 5ft 6in firebox boiler was introduced in 1869. This was fitted to the last seven 480 class double frame goods and all the subsequent 700 class, while the 780 class 0-4-4 back tanks and those 800 class 2-4-0s built in 1870 also had these boilers. Subsequent passenger designs all had boilers with a shorter 5ft 3in firebox: the final six 800 class and final five 156 class 2-4-0s; with the 890 class (except six) and 1070 class (the final members of which did not appear until 1875, after Kirtley’s death).

Many of the early 2-2-2 and 2-4-0 classes had been produced in small numbers were not extensively rebuilt and were replaced rather than reboilered. Consequently, few boilers were built in Kirtley’s time for passenger engine replacement purposes – four 5ft 0in firebox boilers in 1870/71 for two of the 120 class singles and two of the ‘large 70’ class 2-4-0s. However, fifty-three more of the earlier designs were reboilered by Johnson with serviceable Kirtley boilers from the 800 and some of the 890 classes, which were given new Johnson boilers in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Additionally, six further engines – Nos.133, a Stephenson 2-2-2 of 1852, two 136 and two 1 class singles plus 156 class 2-4-0 No.75 were given new Kirtley boilers in 1874-79. These were flush topped 5ft 3in firebox boilers with 148 tubes. Circumstantial evidence suggests that they may have been manufactured for 890 class engines, which had received Johnson boilers from new. Now being surplus, they were then used under Johnson to reboiler earlier engines, as was done with similar second-hand boilers. Thus the last new Kirtley boiler was not used until 1879, some six years into Johnson’s superintendency.

With the goods engines, it was different: ninety of the earlier straight framed goods engines received new 5ft 6in firebox boilers between 1869 and 1874. As they wore out, the Kirtley boilers were replaced by Johnson designs on engines retained for further service and the last Kirtley boiler to be carried by a locomotive was a 5ft 0in firebox boiler of August 1871, on ‘Poplar’ tank No.885A, retained until replaced by a Johnson ‘A’ boiler in December 1897.

Boiler design and an understanding of the causes of corrosion advanced considerably during Kirtley’s term of office. These factors and the painstaking investigation of the Board of Trade Railway Inspectorate into boiler explosions, their causes, and consequent recommendations, gradually eliminated basic weaknesses in boiler design.

The provision of fusible plugs in fireboxes was an early matter of concern. On 19 November 1850, a letter was read to the Locomotive Committee from the Commissioners of Railways regarding boiler safety. Kirtley reported ‘that the engines of this Company were all provided with at least one, and most of them two, soft plugs made of composite metal which will melt at a temperature of 350 degrees’.

Nevertheless, it took time to (virtually) eliminate the problem and there were five explosions on MR locomotives after this date which came to the formal notice of the Locomotive Committee.

Whether they were barrel or firebox failures was not recorded. The first was on an 0-6-0 built by Rothwell of Bolton in May 1846 which exploded at Birmingham, on 5 March 1857 and the second concerned a small inside framed 0-6-0 built in 1851 which exploded at Finedon ballast pit in December 1864. The other three occurred in 1864-67 on straight framed double frame 0-6-0s. In the first case there was a fatality and in the second the fireman was reported as slightly injured, but in two ofthe three later cases no personal injuries were recorded.

The Board of Trade report on this last episode, by Captain Tyler, is of considerable interest and significance and in view of its importance is examined below. The engine involved was straight framed 0-6-0 No.356 of January 1854. It had worked from Leeds to Colne, arriving about 2am on 5 May 1864 and was about to commence its return journey later that night when the boiler exploded, killing the driver and seriously injuring the fireman. An elderly lady, who was in bed in a cottage about a quarter of a mile from the spot, received a leg injury from a portion which fell through the roof . The boiler ‘was blown away in sixteen larger and a number of smaller pieces’.

The explosion took effect on the barrel of the boiler; of plate a little under half an inch thick, it had had its pressure increased from 1201b to 1401b sq.in. in November 1863. Extensive corrosion had taken place above a horizontal seam below the water line and also vertically, adjacent ot the smokebox ring, so much so on the horizontal seam that the boiler had been nearly eaten through in parts. Capt. Tyler noted: ‘This is one of three cases of the same description which I now have under report, which occurred in the month of May on the GN, Midland and LNW Railways. It has also been my duty to report on four other cases in the last three years, two on the LNW, one upon the North Eastern and one upon the Great Western, in all of which the barrels have been similarly eaten through.

‘These seven cases represent a more serious amount of risk than would appear at first sight, that is daily incurred by the officers and servants of railway companies as well as by the public. Of the 6,500 locomotive engines and upwards which are in use on the railways of the United Kingdom, a large proportion are affected by corrosion to an extent which is more or less dangerous. For every engine that explodes there are a greater number of others which have been much weakened from this cause, and which are constantly working with a less margin of safety than ought to be preserved between ordinary pressure and bursting pressure. There are several measures which may be adopted to remedy this state of affairs:

1. Boiler barrels should be made more perfectly cylindrical by the use of butt joints and cover strips in place of the lap joints more commonly used.

2. The longitudinal joints should be placed in all cases above the water line instead of below it, so as to prevent the risk of corrosion.

3. The boiler should be firmly attached to the framing at one end only, the other end being allowed to slide backwards and forwards to allow for expansion and contraction, as is now frequently, but by no means always, done’.

4. The barrel should be strengthened at the vertical (or transverse) joints and at intermediate intervals, either by the addition of belts or by plates rolled thicker in the middle as well as at the edges. A locomotive boiler thus reinforced would leak when the plates had been eaten through by corrosion, but could never explode.’

These last comments would have been especially noted, as many of the earlier double framed engines were constructed with the inside frames stopping at and attached to the firebox front, as in this case, giving the undesirable rigidity referred to by Captain Tyler. As noted above, there were more explosions on the MR after this episode, but a combination of vigilance and improved design eventually put an end to this hazard.

The Stockton & Darlington Railway had burned coal from the very beginning, but most other railways employed coke to reduce smoke and improve combustion, but work on firebox design (a combination of a brick arch with a deflector plate inside the firebox door) developed by Charles Markham with the encouragement of Kirtley led to a successful system. This is described in a Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs paper and much (inncluding the key diagrams) is reproduced in the first volume of Summerson (pp. 48-51).

One major difficulty emerges with all of Kirtley locomotives, namely establishing what was what and different “authorities” draw lines at different dates: as with Fletcher’s locomotives on the North Eastern renumbering was endemic and rebuilding kept the locomotives in service. Furthermore, Kirtley’s basic frame construction ensured long lives. A few Kirtley locomotives entered Briotish Railways stock. Hunt observes that to the Midland Railway there was no such thing as a 240, 480 or 700 class and thesee notations have been developed by enthusiasts in an attempt to impose some order.

179 class: 1845
Tuplin stated that class consisted of eleven locomotives

240 class : 1850-1863
Hunt, David. The Kirtley ‘240’ Class standard goods engines. Midland Record (18)

480 class: 1863-1869
Hunt, David. The Kirtley ‘480’ Class standard goods engines. Midland Record (20) 27-61.
The first (No. 480) was supplied by R. Stephenson and formed the first of a batch of twenty. Subsequent batches were constructed at Derby, R Stepehsnon, Kitson, Sharp Stewart, Dübs and the Yorkshire Engine Co.

700 class : 1863/74
James, Fred, Hunt, David and Essery, Bob . Midland Engines No.4 — The Kirtley 0-6-0 goods engines of the 700 Class . Didcot: Wild Swan, 2003? 102 pp.
Hunt, David. Further information on Midland engines. Midland Record (19), 38-42.

137 class: 1846
Tuplin stated that four constructed.

50 class: 1862-4
Tuplin stated that ten double-frame 0-6-0s constructed with 5ft 8in driving wheels

70 class: 1862/3
Tuplin stated that fourteen double-frame 0-6-0s constructed with 6ft 2in driving wheels.. According to Ahrons ( Locomotive and train working V. 2) the majority of. Kirtley’s four-wheels coupled engines built during the period 1862 to 1868 had 6 ft. 2t in. coupled wheels. All of them were 2-4-0 engines with double frames and outside cranks, and most of them had raised fireboxes. The earliest of these were Nos. 70 to 79 and 86 to 89 built at Derby in 1862-3 with 16 in. by 22 in. cylinders. With the exception of Nos. 76, 87 and 88, which received newer Kirtley boilers and cabs, none of these were rebuilt, but were broken up during the earlier years of Mr. Johnson’s superintendency. They were usually to be found on local passenger trains in the Nottingham and Birmingham districts. The boilers of several of them must have been made of good material, for No. 74A was running at Lincoln until 1883 with the old 1862 boiler, and engine No. 86 lasted at Birmingham with the 1863 boiler until 1888.

80 class: 1862/3
Tuplin stated that six double-frame 0-6-0s constructed with 6ft 2in driving wheels. According to Ahrons ( Locomotive and train working V. 2) engines Nos. 80 to 85 were, of a larger pattern, and were built specially to run the 1862 Exhibition specials between Leicester and King’s Cross. These had the usual 6 ft. 2t in. wheels, but the cylinders were 16½ in. by 24 in. and the boilers had flush fireboxes, being of the same design as the standard goods engine boilers. Nos. 80 to 84 were all rebuilt and during many years worked the passenger train service between Birmingham, Redditch and Evesham until they were scrapped during the 1890s.

101 class: 1866
According to Ahrons ( Locomotive and train working V. 2) engines the next 2-4-0 class was an enlargement of the 70 class, and like the latter had the hornplates connected by longitudinal tie-bars, but the cylinders were increased to 16½in. by 22 in. Four of these were built at Derby in 1866, viz. Nos. 101, 118, 119 and 162.

156 class : 1866-74
Tuplin stated that 29 double-frame 0-6-0s constructed with 6ft 2in driving wheels. According to Ahrons ( Locomotive and train working V. 2) they were succeeded by a similar class in 1866 to 1868 of the same general dimensions, but with solid cut-out framing of a greatly improved pattern. These may be termed the “156” class and consisted of engines Nos. 156 to 159, 115 and 117 built in 1866, Nos. 102 to 113 in 1867, and Nos. 114, 116, 160, 161, 163 and 164 in 1868. The frames of five more of the class were made, but were not erected until Mr. Johnson had succeeded Mr. Kirtley. They were then built in 1873-4 with Kirtley flush boilers, and cabs, and received the Nos. 75, 150, 153, 154 and 155, so that in all there were 29 of the class. They have certainly been amongst the hardest worked engines on the line, for no less than 22 of them were still in service when Ahrons wrote his Railway Magazine article as Nos. 1 to 22, (since the 1907 re-numbering). They have been twice rebuilt and now have 18 in. by 24 in. cylinders. No. 156, the first of the class, put in an almost unparalleled record of service at one locomotive station: Bradford. It was stationed there early in 1873, and may have been there even before that date. In that year it was fitted with the Westinghouse brake-which was about to be tried on the Midland-and was one of the first engines in this country to be so supplied. For some years it ran a Westinghouse-fitted train between Bradford and Leeds. About 1881, No. 156 left Bradford for Mansfield, but after remaining at the latter place for about three years, returned to Bradford in 1884 and “was there until two years ago”. No. 156 is the oldest passenger engine on the Midland, but has changed its original number (in 1907) and is now No. 1. A few years ago it was quartered at the North Eastern shed at Starbeck (Harrogate), under the Bradford district, to run the Midland trains between Harrogate and Leeds. (1 hear that about two years ago No.1 (old 156) left Bradford and was transferred to the Birmingham district.) Bradford has always had a large number of the “156” class, which used to form the “backbone” of the tender passenger engines at this shed. Others in their earlier days were at Nottingham, Birmingham, Buxton and Burton-on-Trent, and the last

named station still has, a few of them. They are now scattered up and down the Midland system, though a few remain in the Bradford district. Two of the class, Nos. 3 (old 159) and 20 (old 153), may regularly be seen at St. Pancras, where they run local trains from St. Albans. As a class they have always been very great favourites with the drivers ,and I can truthfully say, from a long experience and many journeys behind them, that for their size there are no better engines in this country to-day. I frequently timed many of the class on the Bradford-Leeds expresses at maximum speeds of 65 miles per hour through Apperley Bridge.Only about four years ago the present No. 12 was working in turn the fastest Midland express from York to Sheffield with a load of about 150 to 170 tons. This train was timed to pass Swinton Junction, 36 miles, in 45 minutes, and No. 12 could generally be relied upon to be at least one minute to the good at Swinton. The boiler pressure of all these engines has always been 140 lb. per sq. in.

170 class: 1867
30 double-framed locomotives built with 6ft 2½ driving wheels and extremely strongly built.. Ahrons British steam railway locomotive noted that built to meet steeper gradients on Derby to Manchester and Bedford to St Pancras lines. Rebuilt by Johnson in 1895-9, in which form some entered LMS stock: According to Ahrons ( Locomotive and train working V. 2) these were of the same general dimensions as the 156 series, having 6 ft. 2t in. wheels, 16½ in. by 22 in. cylinders, and 140 psi boiler. pressure, but in many of their constructional details they were vety different. These were Nos. 170 to 199, all built in 1867 by Beyer, Peacock & Co. The frames were of a partial “sandwich” pattern, with oak blocks placed between the plates, and the valve spindles, instead of working in guides carried by the slide-bars as in the 156 class and most of other Midland engines, were suspended from swing links carried from the motion plate. In their early days many of the 170 class worked the Derby-Manchester trains until they were replaced in 1874-75 by the larger’1080 class. They were all rebuilt by Mr. Johnson in 1880-3; but with the exception of No. 198, which was again rebuilt in 1892 with 18-in. by 24-in. cylinders, none of them had their power increased, and all are now broken up. They were very fast-running engines, but never seemed to be quite as powerful as the 156 class, even when the cylinders of the latter were of the same size. After 1880, Nos. .170 to 179 were always stationed at Bradford, Nos. 180 to 188 at Gloucester, Nos. 189 to 192 at Worcester; seveql of those between 193 and 199 were, at Kettering, and one or two, such as No. 199, worked St. Albans local trains to St. Pancras.

800 class: 1870/1
48 double-framed locomotives built with 6ft 8in driving wheels: 18 were constructed at Derby in 1870/1 and 30 by Neilson in 1870. Ahrons British steam railway locomotive p. 189 noted that the 17 x24 in cylinders were replaced by 18 x 24in cylinders by Johnson when rebuilt in 1875/6 and eleven received 18 x 26in cylinders. All received larger boilers for working on the Settle and Carlisle line. Figures 244 and 245 show locomotives in original condition and as rebuilt. Summerson 1 Chapter 5 noted that the Le Chatelier brake was fitted to the Neilson-constructed members of this class and possibly to other members as well. These locomotives were rebuilt by Johnson from 1887.

890 class: 1871-5
62 locomotives built with 6ft 8½ driving wheels. Ahrons British steam railway locomotive page 190: and Fig. 245: 20 built by Neilson and 36 at Derby between 1872 and 1874 Ellis stated that last locomotives constructed with flat double doors to smokebox and first with cabs. Summerson 1 Chapter 5 notes that Nos. 896 and 899 were fitted with Clark’s hydraulic brake. Nos. 132 and 138 were fitted with Barker’s hydraulic brake which was found tob powerful and very relaible..

Residual locomotives on LMS
These were always considered as “Kirtley 2-4-0s”
Weston, W.P . The Midland 2-4-0s, L.M.S.R. Rly Mag., 1942, 88 , 135.
Small residual stock: illus. on p. 169 of No. 20008 at Watford.

Jenny Lind type
Radford records that the first passenger engines were basically Derby versions of the ‘Jenny Lind” type, many of which had been supplied by E.B. Wilson not only to the Midland but also to the LB&SCR and others. David Joy is given much of the credit for the neat and successful original design. The secret of its success was stated to be the then relatively high pressure of 120psi to which the boiler was pressed. The first one turned out, for the LB&SCR, bore the name Jenny Lind . She did trials on the North Midland line, greatly impressing Kirtley, who immediately put in an initial order for six at £2,350 each, the total quantity eventually delivered being 20. There is a story that the original engine, with name removed, was bought by the Midland as a result of the trials, but this is not true.

There is a drawing of an engine bearing the name Jenny Lind carrying a builder’s plate showing it to have been Wilson’s 132nd of 1848 and which hung for very many years in the works Managers office at Derby. However the first engine delivered to the Midland Company in September, 1847, was given the running number 45. Driving wheels were 6ft diameter and the leading and trailing wheels 4ft diameter on a total wheelbase of 13ft 6in (7ft + 6ft 6in). The boiler pitched 5ft 9in above rail level carried 124 2in diameter tubes 11ft long, giving a heating surface of 720ft 2 to which the firebox added a further 80ft 2 . The inside cylinders were 15in x 20in providing a calculated tractive force, at 65 per cent boiler pressure, of 4,876Ib. Working weights were: engine 24 tons 1cwt (of which 10 tons were on the driver) and tender, carrying 800gal of water and 2½tons of coke, 15tons 13cwt. Coke consumption was officially rated at 36.2lb per mile at tests carried out in May, 1848, between two of these engines and two Sharp Bros 2-2-2 engines on the route from Derby to Masborough, at which both Matthew Kirtley and William Marlow were present and apparently very impressed by the “Jenny Lind’s” performance.

Tests of Jenny Sharps versus E.B. Wilson Jenny Linds : Derby to Masborough and return 4-6 May 1848

Sekon, G.A. Evolution of the steam locomotive 1899.
Sharp engines Nos. 60 and 61 and Wilson engines Nos. 26 and 27. Sharp No. 60 took the first train driven by William Huskinson in the presence of Kirtley, Marlow (Assistant Locomotive Superintendent), Harland (Carriage Superintendent), E.B. Wilson and Fenton and T.R. Crampton. The 18 mile ascent at 1 in 330 was covered in 25 minutes 12.5 seconds. The load was about 100 tons. 16 cwt of coke was consumed and 10,290lb of water was evaporated.Wilson No. 27 was driven by William Carter. With about the same load 13 cwt of coke was also consumed and the first 18 miles occupied 22 minutes 44.75 seconds, or nearly 47 mile/h. Further tests confirmed the superiority of the Wilson type in terms of fuel consumption and speed, but Kirtley viewed the second test as unsatisafctory as the Wilson locomotive arrived at Masborough with an adquate fire. Also covred on page 159 of Ahrons British steam railway locomotive

Evolution from Jenny Lind type (see also North Midland Railway).
Radford noted that nine more of the basic “Jenny Lind” type passenger engines were joint products of Derby and E.B. Wilson & Co. completed at Derby Works to the beginning of 1854: namely, Nos 5, 12, 13 and 101 with 14in x 20in cylinders and 5ft 6in driving wheels, No 105 with 15in x 20in cylinders and 6ft driving wheels and Nos 116-19 with 14½in x 20in cylinders and 6ft driving wheels together with an odd couple of Derby-built singles Nos 102 and 103 with dimensions the same as No 5. Many parts for these engines were supplied by the contractor to Derby Works where erection was carried out.

In seven years the class acquitted themselves so well that, with a few of his own modifications, Kirtley began to turn them out as a basic design from Derby in 1854, starting with No 3 in August. These continued with Nos 4, 7, 8, 10, 14, 16, 104, 106-9 in 1855 and 110-15 in 1856, the last (115) emerging in June (Radford Plate 5 reproduces an early photograph of this as No. 1010). These Derby engines all had 6ft driving wheels and 15in x 20in cylinders. Later some of this class were to become 0-6-0WTs and one, No 8, lasted in this form until September, 1920.

By the end of 1855 Kirtley was able to report that 33 new engines had been completed in the companies’ shops during the previous four years, and 16 supplied by contract with outside firms, leaving 14 new engines to be completed during the next year, and 8 engines the following year. This total includes all engines previously mentioned in this chapter, and excluded only the rebuilding of a Fenton 2-2-2 of March, 1841, which was turned out from Derby in October, 1855 under its old No 17, using only the firebox of the old engine. This was former North Midland No 35, and had cylinders I4in x 20in and 5ft 6in driving wheels. She was withdrawn from service in December, 1859.

Hunt, David. The genesis of Midland Railway passenger locomotives – the Kirtley ‘Singles’. Part one. Backtrack , 2003, 17 , 191-200.
Brief biography of Matthew Kirtley. Description of the development of the 2-2-2 on the Midland Railway.Note 2 is subject of correspondence from Kevin Crosado (page 534) in New Zealand concerning steel firebox plate quality. Illustrations: Midland Jenny Lind type as No. 1010 in about 1870; another Jenny Lind at Chesterfield in 1867 or 1868; engraving of Sharp single of 1847; Sharp Stewart 120 class No. 124 probably at Bristol; Stephenson 130 class No. 131, and 135A in early 1880s; 136 class No. 33 as rebuilt by Johnson in late 1880s (which caption notes was “the most delightful engine ever to grace a railway”); unclothed (no boiler lagging) No. 1 class, and as lagged, and as 1A with Johnson chimney. Excludes the Crampton type.
Hunt, David. The genesis of Midland Railway passenger locomotives – the Kirtley ‘Singles’ – Part two. Backtrack , 2003, 17 , 335-43.
The Sharp singles of 1847; the Jenny Linds; the ‘Hybrid Jennies’; the ‘Derby Jennies’; the ‘120’ and ‘130’ classes; the ‘136’ class; the ‘1’ class and the ’30’ class, and replacement Kirtley and Johnson boilers. Illus.: 28 (30 class) with ‘drummer’ cab in 1870s; 29 (30 class) between 1880 and 1887; cab of 30 class 141A off-road in 1881; 35 as rebuilt Johnson between 1887 and 1892; 1499? (149) c1893; 133A at Leicester in 1893; 39 with 2000 gallon tender between 1881 and 1892; 16A with wide-tank Johnson tender at Derby in September 1892; 29A (Derby official in workshop grey) in 1888.

130 class : R. Stephenson: 1852
Works numbers: 860-5. Running numbers 130-5.

Hunt, David . The Stephenson ‘130’ class. Midland Record , (22), 42-50.
Illustrations from William Johnson’s Imperial Cyclopaedia of Machinery (1852): these were steel engravings which included plan, sections and side elevation. Notes the influence of Edward Snowball, Chief Locomotive Draughtsman at R. Stephenson. .

136 class: 1856-61
Ahrons British steam railway locomotive p. 113 (and Fig. 134) notes that the standard type from 1856 to 1861 had 6ft 8in driving wheels, a 15ft 6in wheel base (equally divided) and 16in x 22in cylinders. The locomotives had sandwich frames and raised firebox casings. These relatively weak locomotives had a life of fifteen to eighteen years. Ellis notes that Nos. 136 and 137 were built at Derby in 1856; Nos. 138-49 followed in 1857-8 and Nos. 1-24 in 1859-61.

No. 1 class . 1859-62
Baxter’s British locomotive catalogue . Vol. 3A (pp. 52-4) noted that type developed from 130 class

30 class: 1865-6
Ahrons British steam railway locomotive p. 147 (and Fig. 184) notes that these were much stronger engines, with slotted-out plate frames and some lasted in service until 1904. As in the case of the 0-6-0 design Ahrons places this Kirtley design immediately following Cudworth’s 2-2-2s (the famous Mail engines) for the South Eastern Railway. Ellis noted that these were the last 2-2-2s to be constructed for Midland Railway. Baxter’s British locomotive catalogue . Vol. 3A (pp. 52-4) noted that type worked Midland expresses from King’s Cross via Hitchin and Bedford..

Summerson notes that Kirtley left only a handful of six-coupled tank engines (which he has still to describe in detail): twenty-four well-tanks of differing dimensions and ten “Poplar” 0-6-0Ts. He fails to observe the interesting nature of some of these earlier locomotives.

Back-to-back 0-6-0WTs for Lickey Incline: 1860-3
Ahrons (p. 159) mentions double-frame 0-6-0BT (probably Radford’s Nos. 222; 320; 223 and 221 No. 320 is shown in Plate 17) with 16¾ or (Ahrons) 16½ x 24 inch cylinders and 4ft 2in driving wheels and 140 psi boilers. According to Ahrons on test one hauled 140 tons up the bank .

Poplar type
Reboilered by Johnson with A1 type boiler from 1895 (Summerson 1)

204 class: 1868-
Standard Beyer Peacock 4-4-0T with condensing apparatus for working into City of London. Gradually modified with Midland boilers and even with full cabs.
Beyer Peacock condensing 4-4-0T No. 206A at Kentish Town c1901. Rly Arch. , 2007 (17), 62 middle

690 class: 1868-
The first 0-4-4WTs were a Kirtley double-frame design introduced in 1868. Nos. 690-695 were built by Beyer Peacock and were intended to supplement the six “standard” Beyer Peacock 4-4-0Ts of the Metropolitan type used for working trains over the Metropolitan Railway. Twenty more 0-4-4WTs were built by Dubs in 1870 and were given the numbers 780-799. These were all rebuilt by Johnson with new boilers and were numbered 1200-1225 at the Grouping. Ellis is far clearer than Radford on this period.

Nos.1093, 1096-1101 These seven 0-6-0STs, two from Vulcan foundry and the remainder from Sharp Stewart, were delivered singly or in pairs between March 1862 and December 1872 and were named Eagle, Osprey, Condor, Emu, Ostrich, Owl and Raven , as fascinating a selection as one could wish! They differed slightly in detail but all had 16in x 22in inside cylinders and 4ft 6in wheels. No.1093 was put on the duplicate list in September 1876 and the remainder, apart from No.ll01, in January 1885. This latter was replaced by a new 0-6-0T in March 1890 but was shown as duplicated and withdrawn in June 1890, so whether it was in fact renumbered is a moot point The seven engines formed class 30 in Johnson’s numerical classification. Summerson 3. Some were reboilered with A1 type boilers.

Braithwaite, Jack. Locomotive beauty: a personal viewpoint. Midland Record (19), 52-9.
Regarded Johnson as pre-eminent in locomotive aesthetics. Had an especial admiration for the 4-2-2 type, but also admired the 2-4-0, 0-6-0 and 4-4-0 types and notes the influence of Charles Beyer on British locomotive aesthetics, and the scandal that Beyer is not included in the Oxford Companion to English [sic very] History .

No. 1 class: 1876
Ahrons British steam railway locomotive p. 211 notes that these 6ft 2½ driving wheel 2-4-0s were intended for the Settle and Carlisle line, but were not successful and were highly prone to crank axle failures. The drivers complained that the locomotives had to be forced along and that the driving wheels were too small..

Johnson boilers
Summerson in both his first and third volumes cons > A Johnson 17in 0-6-0T as built 1874-92

Variant of A with 4in deeper firebox, fitted to Johnson 17in 0-6-0T built 1895-1900. (A1 boiler discontinued after construction of above engines and A boilers built for all subsequent replacements.) B Johnson 4-4-0s as built 1876-91, and a few later engines Johnson 0-6-0s as built 1875-l902, and rebuilds of Kirtley 0-6-0s Some 2-4-0s as rebuilt Some Kirtley 0-6-0WTs as rebuilt Some Kirtley 2-2-2S as rebuilt C Johnson 0-4-4Ts as built 1875-93, and rebuilds of Kirtley 0-4-4WTs Rebuilds of some Kirtley 2-2-2s and 2-4-0s. C1 Variant of C with 4in deeper firebox, fitted to: First thirty Johnson 0-4-4Ts as built 1895-1900 Sixty 2441 class Johnson 18in 0-6-0Ts as built C1 boiler discontinued after construction of above engines, and C or G5½ boilers built for all subsequent replacements. D Some Johnson 4-4-0s as built 4-2-2s as built 1887-96 Some Kirtley 0-6-0s rebuilt with second-hand D boilers E Some Johnson 4-4-0s as built 4-2-2s as built 1896-9 Some Kirtley 0-6-0s rebuilt with second-hand E boilers F 4-2-2s as built 1899-l900 (10 engines only) GX “Belpaire” 4-4-0s as built 1900 (10 engines only) G8 “Belpaire” 4-4-0s as built 1902-5 G8½ Johnson Compound 4-4-0s H,HI,& HX 0-6-0s as built 1903-8, rebuilds of earlier 0-6-0s 4-4-0s as rebuilt 1904-8 . 0-6-4Ts as built (The H, H1 and HX boilers had the same external dimensions, but the H1 had the tubes arranged in vertical rows.) J Small Johnson 0-4-0ST J1 Large Johnson 0-4-0ST J2 As J1, but with minor variations, used on Deeley 0-4-0T P As B but with 2in shorter barrel, fitted to: Johnson 2-4-0s as built Rebuilds of some Kirtley 2-2-2s and 2-4-0s

Inevitably the Whyte notation approach puts the cart before the horse, and the Midland’s 2-6-0 was like that adopted by the GNR one of expediency: locomotives were needed quickly and were supplied by US firms. Radford (page 110 et seq ) covered this development in pages 110-12, but an early Special Issue of the Midland Record gives a much fuller account and also gives some space to the much earlier Norris locomotives:
Hunt, David. American locomotives of the Midland Railway . Didcot: Wild Swan, 1997.

The following was extracted from Radford: the American 2-6-0 tender engines were erected at Derby in 1899 and were supplied by Burnham Williams and Co., namely Baldwin Locomotive Works, Philadelphia and by the Schenectady Locomotive Works, New York. Recourse was made to America as the Derby shops were full to capacity with work, and the private locomotive builders were in the midst of a boom and suffering from strikes. As more six-coupled locomotives were needed Johnson, in company with his opposite numbers on the Great Central and Great Northern Railways, obtained sanction to purchase from the USA and orders for thirty locomotives were placed with Baldwin and ten with Schenectady.

Within a few weeks the first crates arrived at the Derby Works on 24 May 1899, the engines having been previously assembled and then dismantled again at the parent companies works. Space was found at the bottom end of No 3 bay in No 8 shop at Derby for the re-erection of the Schenectady locomotives, but the Baldwin’s exceeded the capacity of the shops and space was cleared in front of the Locomotive Works offices and they were erected out in the open, this fortunately being summer time.

The first Baldwin was ready to go into service by the end of May, the range of running numbers allocated to this type being 2501-10 and 2521-40, and the first ten locomotives were completed by the end of the following month. These engines were almost entirely American save the Johnson coal-rails and MR buffing and drawgear. They had the normal (for the USA) bar frames and outside cylinders (18in x 24in) with inside valve gear. The driving wheels were 5ft diameter on a wheelbase of 6ft 3in + 8ft 6in and the pony truck wheels were 2ft 9in diameter, being 7ft 5in in front of the leading driving wheel. The boiler was pressed to 160psi and had three “domes” of varying sizes, one being a sand box on the first ring of the boiler, the next the steam dome housing the regulator and twin “Coale” pop safety valves and the last and smallest one housing chime whistle and spring safety valve. The cabs were very large by Midland standards with two side windows. One unusual feature was the bar steel support struts from the smokebox to the footplating over the pony truck. The last 20 Baldwins were built between September and November, 1899 and the class was divided between the Toton, Sheffield and Leeds running depots. A driver of that day, James Gibbs Hardy, observed “very rough workmanship” when the crates of material arrived, but modified his criticism when the first commenced running on 21 June commented in his diary “splendid weather cab, upholstered seats and the engine looks considerably better now it is in working order”. He had one of these engines No 2503, booked to him to do 1000 miles and found them hard to reverse and rather poor steamers. He took the first one to Normanton where everyone stared at it, and on 24 July took the first one up the Peak to Manchester, recording that she went up the bank with 80-901b of steam. By August 8, he had completed his 1000 miles and was “very glad to get rid of her” .

The Schenectadys were rather nearer to looking like Midland engines, although they also had bar frames. The outside cylinders were 18in x 24 in and the tapered boiler was pitched 7ft lin from rail, the working pressure being 160psi. Driving wheels were 5ft diameter on a 7ft + 8ft 6in wheelbase and the pony truck, having 3ft diameter wheels was placed 7ft 6in in front of the leading driving wheel. Total wheelbase was 43ft and length over buffers 51ft 11¼in with basically Midland 3,250gal tender on a shorter 12ft 3in wheelbase. Working weights were engine 49.75 tons and tender 37 tons. These were all stationed at Wellingborough.

As can be gathered from Hardy’s comments these engines were not popular and some criticisms reached America causing bad feeling. Johnson gave some comparable figures quoting that, work for work, they consumed 20-25% more coal, and 50% more oil than his standard goods engines, while repairs cost 60% more. To their credit he observed that the engines cost £400 less than their British counterparts, and were at least supplied within a few months of the contract being placed, while he had to wait about three years for locomotives ordered from British firms, due in the main to the engineering strike which had forced the Midland Company to buy “Yankee” in the first place.

Supervising the contract for the Baldwin engines being built in America for the Midland was J.W. Smith, who was on January 1, 1901 to become the Chief Locomotive Draughtsman in place of T.G. Iveson.

Atkins The golden age of steam locomotive building covers this development in Chapter 3 The locomotive famine.

Johnson followed Kirtley’s example, and built vast numbers of 0-6-0s, although all were inside single-framed, rather than in the later double-framed style of Kirtley.

One hundred and twenty were ordered from four makers, in 1875, and delivered during that and the following year. Radford tabulated these on page 89:

Classes Numbers
2-2-2 1844-9
2-2-2 1850-66
2-4-0 1844-9
2-4-0 1856-75 includes 2 ‘rebuilt’ 1873/4 to 156 class from large 70 & 150 classes
0-6-0WT large
0-6-0WT large ‘rebuilt’ from various 0-6-0
0-6-0WT small ‘rebuilt’ from 2-2-2s
0-6-0 1844-9 includes 4 delivered January 1850
0-6-0 inside frames 1851/57
0-6-0 straight framed double frames
0-6-0 480 class double frames
0-6-0 700 class double frames
Absorbed engines
Miscellaneous 1851-84
Severn & Wye 1895
LTSR 1912
4-4-0 not rebuilt with larger boilers
4-4-0 rebuilt with larger boilers.
4-4-0 Belpaire Includes modified engines by Deeley
4-4-0 compound
0-6-0T small
0-6-0T large
0-6-0 small
0-6-0 large Includes modified engines by Deeley
4-4-0 compound
0-4-0T includes 5 ‘rebuilds’ of Johnson 0-4-0STs
4-4-0 483 class 15 more completed by LMS
Makers Locomotive Nos Year built Cost each
Kitson 1142-61, 381-5, 400-404 1875-6 £2,920
Dubs 1162-91 1875 £2,735
Beyer Peacock 1192-1221 1876 £2,650
Neilson 1222-51 1876 £2,635

These had 17½in diameter x 26in stroke cylinders, and 4ft 10in diameter driving wheels on a standard wheelbase of 8ft + 8ft 6in. The boiler carried a heating surface of 1,233ft 2 and was pressed to 140psi except for Nos 1192-1221 with a total heating surface of 1,223ft 2 and the tender was the Johnson pattern 2,350gal type holding 4 tons of coal. Working weights totalled 34 tons 3cwt for the engine and 28 tons 19cwt for the tender (full).

A further twenty locomotives were delivered by Dübs in 1878, class H, Nos 1357-76, generally similar to the previous lots, but with larger 5ft 2½in diameter driving wheels, and in 1880 Derby Works turned out their first Johnson goods tender locomotive of this type to O/240, this being No 1452 in March, followed by Nos. 1453-61 the same year. These had the same size driving wheels and cylinders as the Dübs engines, and the B boiler carried 1,223ft 2 of heating surface. A 2,250gal tender was fitted and weights of a Dübs locomotive in working order were: engine 37 tons 14cwt, tender 29 tons 12cwt. The Dübs locomotives cost £2,274 each and the Derby product £1,990. 9s 6d, a considerable saving. Although contractor-built locomotives were excluded by Radford, he did briefly mention some. From Stephensons in 1880-81 a further batch of class H goods locomotives, Nos 1432-51, 1462-71, appeared followed in 1882-4 by a further fifty, Nos 1582-1631, from Beyer Peacock at unit costs of £2,234 and £2,460 respectively.

Radford (page 91 et seq ) tabulated “the ever increasing numbers of Johnson 0-6-0 goods tender engines” ordered, notably a new range of 4ft 10½in diameter driving wheel locomotives, with slightly larger 18in diameter cylinders, began with No 1698 in February 1885, the range is tabulated below:


Locomotive Nos

Year built







These were fitted with B class boilers having one slight variation in heating surface, but all set at 140psi. The first 10 had boilers carrying 1,142ft 2 of heating surface and the remainder had 1,260ft 2 . Many of these were fitted from 1903 onwards with H class boilers carrying 1,404ft 2 of heating surface and set at 175psi, and a few with H1 Class boilers carrying fewer tubes, 242 of 1¾in diameter instead of 258 on the ordinary H class. Firebox heating surface was 118.75ft 2 against 118.5 ft 2 and there was a shared grate area of 21.1ft 2 and later still many of this (and later classes too) were also rebuilt, from 1926, with the Belpaire G6 type boiler set at 140psi or 160psi. These carried 196 l¾in diameter tubes giving 977.5ft 2 of heating surface which, with the firebox (103ft 2 ), gave a total of 1,080.5ft 2 with a grate area of 17 .5ft 2 . These figures are computed as agreed by the Association of Railway Locomotive Engineers in November, 1914.

Eleven of these were also rebuilt, commencing in 1920, with G7 Belpaire type boilers as were large numbers of the later builds of goods engines. This boiler was larger altogether, carrying 254 tubes of l¾in diameter giving 1,265.5ft 2 heating surface + firebox 122.75ft 2 totalling 1,388.25ft 2 heating surface. Grate area was 21.1ft 2 . The principal difference between the G7 and G6 was the larger barrel diameter, 4ft 8in against 4ft lin, length and depth of firebox and the position of the dome in relation to the tubeplate at the smokeboxend together with an increase in the length of firebox from 6ft to 7ft.

Essery, Terry . How it was done. Part 3. Primary training on bank pilots. LMS Journal , (14). 4-17.
Class 3F 0-6-0 locomotives were used as banking engines between Washwood Heath and Kings Heath on the steeply graded Camp Hill line.. 4F locomotives were sometimes used, but their superheated boilers were less suitable for banking work. Firemen were introduced to the Hydrostatic Displacement Lubricators fitted to the 3F class. Careful management of the fire was essential to ensure that the locomotives did not blow off at the top of the bank, but sufficient fire was needed if banking was required beyond Kings Heath. Care had to be taken to avoid priming. It is noted that the draughting of the 3F class was excellent and firemen rapidly learned the correct technique for firing into a very hot fire.
Hunt, David, Essery, Bob and James, Fred . Midland engines No. 4 — The ‘700’ class double-frame goods engines . Didcot: Wild Swan, 200?.
Michael Rutherford ( Backtrac k, 2003, 17 , 235) was effusive: “Excellent. the more you buy the more will be made available”.
Hunt, David, Essery, Bob and James, Fred . Midland engines No. 2 — The class 3 Belpaire goods engines . Didcot: Wild Swan, 200?.
Hunt, David. Further information on Midland engines. Midland Record (19), 38-42.
Corrections to Number 4 and further illus. for No. 4

On page 106 Radford noted that in 1888 Johnson brought out the first of a new range of six-coupled goods engines having 5ft 2½in diameter driving wheels and 18in x 26in cylinders. This was No 1798 which emerged in September of that year built to O/713, and she was followed by the remainder of the order, Nos 1799-1807, the last being completed in November. These engines had second-hand 2,750gal tenders off earlier passenger engines, which received the new tenders built to O/714 intended for these goods engines. This class were fitted with the standard B class boiler, having a total heating surface of 1,260sq ft, five being later rebuilt with H class boilers, four later had G7 class boilers and new frames and five, Nos 1798, 1803-5 and 1807, had a G6 class boiler put on the old frames.

Only one other order for this type was built at Derby up to the turn of the century, and this was O/1353 fulfilled in 1894-5, for locomotives Nos 361-70. These had the same basic dimensions, with B boilers of 1,252sq ft heating surface and 150psi. Four were later rebuilt with H or HX boilers and six with G7 boilers. One No 367, was rebuilt with a G6 boiler. In addition 555 of this class were built by outside contractors between 1890 and 1902 .

On page 118 Radford recorded that the last engines of Johnson design built for the Midland during his turn of office were a new form of his standard 0-6-0 goods tender engine, the first of which, No 2736, emerged from the Derby shops in January, 1903. These had larger H class boilers set at 175psi and with a total heating surface of 1,428sq ft, of which the 258 tubes of l7/8in diameter provided 1,303sq ft and the firebox 12 5sq ft, the grate area being 21.1 sq ft.

The boiler barrel was 10ft 51/16in long and 4ft 8in outside diameter and the distance between tube plates 10ft 105/8in. The firebox was 7ft long x 4ft ½in wide outside. These boilers had twin Ramsbottom type safety valves plus a lock-up safety valve in front situated over the firebox enclosed in an oval casing, and the cab side sheets were extended for a greater distance beyond the cab front plate than heretofore, giving them a new and distinctive appearance. With 5ft 3in diameter driving wheels on a standard 16ft 6in wheelbase and 18in diameter x 26in stroke inside cylinders with slide valves between operated by Stephensons valve gear engine weights in working order were: leading 13 tons 15cwt 2qtr, driving 16 tons 18cwt, trailing 13 tons 2cwt 3qtr, totalling 43 tons 16cwt lqtr. Total wheelbase was 38ft 9¼in and length over buffers 50ft 9½in.

The first order for these, O/2328, for engines 2736-40 and 240-44 was fulfilled between January and May, 1903, and a further order O/2530 for ten further engines of this design, Nos 245-54, but having larger 18½in x 26in cylinders, was also delivered by the Derby shops the same year, these being built between July and December. All subsequent engines of this type had the larger size of cylinders until the introduction of the larger Class 4 freight engines in 1911.

Tuplin included a table which gives a clear indication of the growth in power in the 4-4-0 type

Building dates Grate Area (ft 2 ) Approx.number built Power class Running Nos.
1876-1895 17.5 120 1
1892-1901 19.6 110 2
1898-1901 21.1 40 2 300-562
1900-1905 25.0 80 3 700-779
1901-1909 28.4 55 4 990-1044

The slim boiler 4-4-0s: first series 1876-7

Required for the Settle & Carlisle line: slim boiler was 4ft 1in in diameter. The 1312 class had 6ft 6in driving wheels whilst the 1327 class had 7ft driving wheels

Summerson, Stephen Midland Railway locomotives. Volume 3. The Johnson classes. Part 1. The slim boiler passenger tender engines, passenger and goods tank engines . Chapter 2

1312 class : 1876-7
Ahrons described these as the 1282 class fitted with a leading bogie. Nos. 1312 to 1321, had 6ft. 6 in. coupled wheels and 17½ in. by 26 in. cylinders. Radford noted that they were built by Kitsons. These engines were stationed at Liverpool, and originally ran between that city and Derby. For many years they were employed on the Midland expresses between Liverpool (Exchange) and Blackburn over the L&YR. After the 1907 renumbering they became 300 to 309. During the 1880s they often worked theatrical specials from Liverpool over the MSLR through to Leeds and Bradford via Godley Junction and Barnsley, but throughout their existence they were not familiar engines on the Midland, as they have passed “a somewhat secluded and retired life” in the Cheshire Lines corner of the system. Radford noted that the new design of B class boiler had a total heating surface of 1,223 ft 2 . The firegrate was standard on all classes of passenger tender engines at 17.5ft 2 until 1887. The Kitsons cost £2,750 each.

1327 class: 1877-9.
Twenty 7 ft. 4-4-0s Nos. 1327 to 1346 were constructed by Dübs in 1877. Ahrons noted that these, were the first Midland engines to have 18 in. by 26 in. cylinders, with the exception of a few of the rebuilt 800 class. The bogie wheels were 3 ft. 6 in. in diameter. The 1327 class had very large boilers for that period, with a total heating surface of 1313 ft 2 , (Radford suggests a lower figure) of which the firebox supplied 110 ft 2 . The total weight was slightly over 42 tons in working order. Of these engines Nos. 1327 to 1340 were fitted with Smith’s simple vacuum brake, and used on Manchester expresses between Leicester and London and Leicester and Manchester. In 1882 they were all stationed at Cornbrook (Manchester), and remained there for many years, with the exception of 1336 to 1339, which went later to Birmingham, and ran for a long time both on the Bristol and the Leeds trains from that place. 1341 to 1346 started at Leeds in 1877 on the Leicester and Birmingham expresses, and after a number of years also found their way to Manchester. The Dübs locomotives cost £2,690 each: £2,495 for the later build. According to Radford they were fitted with Roscoe lubricators..

The Slim Boiler 4-4-0s III D & E Boiler Engines 1892-1901

Summerson, Stephen Midland Railway locomotives. Volume 3. The Johnson classes. Part 1. The slim boiler passenger tender engines, passenger and goods tank engines . Chapter 4

Fowler: 483 > Hunt, David, Essery, Bob and James, Fred . Midland engines No. 3 — the class 2 superheated 4-4-0s (‘483’ class rebuild) . Didcot: Wild Swan, 2001.
Reviewed by Michael Rutherford in Backtrack , 2001, 15 , 426: well received but criticises lack of full references. Further info in Midland Record Issue 14. One of the problems of the Hunt work is that he has tended to reclassify the types yet again.
According to Radford Johnson’s passenger engines were being turned out of the works in “larger numbers”, along with the other types, and following the first two batches of 4-4-0 passenger tender engines built by Messrs Kitson & Dü:bs , Derby shops commenced building this type in 1882, No 1562, turned out in September of that year being the first of order 370 for 10 locomotives, to be followed over the years by many more, the whole series numbering 265, although there were many variations which created sub-divisions within the class.

Radford (page 93) tabulated the first eight orders for 4-4-0s (table has been extended):
Summerson, Stephen Midland Railway locomotives. Volume 3. The Johnson classes. Part 1. The slim boiler passenger tender engines, passenger and goods tank engines . Chapter 3 also identifies some of these designs and designated them as classes as per final column . He also refers to a 1667 class of ten 4-4-0s with 7ft driving wheels of 1884.





All had inside 18in x 26in cylinders, Stephenson’s valve gear, and B type boilers of two types, but with the same grate area of 17.5ft 2 . The remainder (Order 554 on) had steel boilers with a larger heating surface . The boilers were provided with Salter safety valves on the dome as was the usual practice and a lock up safety valve over the firebox. The ten locomotives built to O/400 were fitted with Westinghouse air brakes, the cylinders being mounted vertically between the splashers. Working weights of these engines varied from just under 42 tons to just under 43 tons.

Of the first order Nos 1562-5 were allocated to Leicester and the remainder to Nottingham, and later Derby.(Ahrons Locomotive and train working 2) Nos 1572-81, with Westinghouse brakes, were allocated to Carlisle and later to Skipton while Nos 1657-66 went to Manchester. The next order all went to London, as did No 1757; Nos 1748-9 went to Carlisle, and the remainder (1750-6) were divided between Nottingham and Leeds. Nos 1808-13 went to Newton Heath (Manchester) and Nos 1814-18 to Sandhills (Liverpool) the remainder, 1819-22, going to Hellifield, as did most of O/920. .

All of these engines were rebuilt from 1904 onwards with H or HX class boilers to orders 2675, 2676A and 2676B, working at 175psi and many had Belpaire type G7 boilers fitted in later years, some saturated and some superheated together with bogie brakes (although these were removed by Stanier). Issued in 1903, O/2675 was for rebuilding those with 6ft 6in driving wheels; in 1906, O/2676A was for rebuilding those with 6ft 8½in driving wheels, and in 1906, O/2676B was for rebuilding those with 7ft driving wheels.

One of these 4-4-0s, No 1757, carried the nameplate Beatrice and was exhibited at the Royal Jubilee Saltaire Exhibition of 1887 where it won a gold medal. It was named after Princess Beatrice who opened the exhibition, and afterwards, among other duties, worked holiday traffic from St Pancras to Southend for many years, being allocated by agreement with the LTSR to Shoeburyness. She was also used to draw the royal train carrying Queen Victoria from Derby on her way to Scotland in May 1891.

1667 series
Radford page 94 et seq : a batch of ten 4-4-0s, Nos 1667-76, built to O/444, were turned out from Derby Works in 1884-5 beginning with 1667 in May 1884. These represnted a considerable departure in having Joy’s valve gear and resulted from David Joy’s approach to Billinton, the Chief Locomotive Draughtsman. According to Joy’s diaries, they discussed the building of a new lot of passenger engines, and talk ranged from four coupled 7ft 3in driving wheel bogie engines to singles with 7ft 6in diameter wheels, and eventually Joy worked out his own scheme for a large, single engine with bogie in front and radially controlled axle behind, inside compound cylinders, one 20in x 26in and one 30in x 26in, with a boiler working at 200psi carrying 1,600ft 2 of heating surface. This was to have Joy’s gear operating slide valves, placed over the cylinders, having early cut off, and Joy expected an economic coal consumption of about 241b per mile. However, this was not to be and Johnson, perhaps against his better judgement, was persuaded to allow ten four-wheel coupled-bogie engines to be built, having inside 19in x 26in cylinders with overhead slide valves, and 7ft diameter driving wheels. The B class boiler set at 140psi carried 175 copper tubes of 1 tin outside diameter and 30 copper tubes of 1¾in outside diameter, giving a heating surface of 1,032ft 2 with firebox heating surface 1l0ft 2 and total heating surface 1,142ft 2 . Working-weight of engine was 42 tons 16cwt and they were provided with 2,950gal tenders.

As built they were allocated as follows: London Nos 1667-9 and 1675-6, these last two having Westinghouse brakes for working Scottish expresses, the rest having Smiths vacuum brakes; Nos 1671 and 1673 were at Nottingham and 1670 and 1672 at Derby. These locomottives were unsuccessful: the boilers were inadequate for the size of cylinders provided. In August, 1886, No 1669 was fitted with a B boiler set at 160psi and a larger heating surface of 1,261ft 2 , the same as that provided for O/554 onwards, and all 10 were so rebuilt over the next two years. Two, Nos 1670 and 1672, were fitted in 1890 with cylinders having piston valves over the top to O/930, but some seven years later No 1670 was altered back to the ordinary type, when it was again rebuilt in November, 1897.

Even this reboilering did not greatly improve the design and Johnson decided to rebuild the whole class with new cylinders having piston valves, Stephenson link motion, new boilers and new frames. These retained some parts of the old class including the bogies, but were officially considered as new engines. Five were rebuilt to O/1460, beginning with Nos 1672 and 1675 in October, 1896, followed by 1668 in December of that year and 1667 and 1676 in March, 1897. Two more were similarly rebuilt to O/1707 (Nos 1669 and 1671) in 1898 and the remainder to O/2072 in 1901. These were much better engines although they were to be rebuilt yet again between 1912 & 1914 to O/3942 with new frames and G7s boilers, all being, taken over by British Railways.

From 1887 to about 1903 Johnson built almost all his express engines with flush smokeboxes, retaining the raised type on other types of locomotives. Kirtley had for a very long time used the double, rectangular, side-opening, smokebox doors, but they were liable to draw air and were gradually replaced by the dished type. An intermediate design with strap hinges and central locking wheel appeared late in 1901 and was used on the 2781 series of 4-4-0s and the compounds. In the future, commencing in 1905, the Midland were to go to the flat type of door secured round the’ edges by six “dog” bolts, these later’ still giving way to the dished type secured in the same manner.

Radford page 107 et seq tabulated 4-4-0 output from 1894 onwards:

Order Locomotive Nos Year built driving wheel diam. total heating surface working pressure tender:
gal/tons coal
O/370 1562-71 1882 6ft 8½in 1,142ft 2 140psi 2,950/2½
O/400 1572-81 1882-3 6ft 8½in 1,142ft 2 140psi 2,950/2½
O/430 1657-66 1883 6ft 8½in 1,142ft 2 140psi 2,950/2½
O/554 1738-47 1885-6 7ft 0½in 1,261ft 2 160psi 3,250/3
O/615 1748-57 1886 7ft 0½in 1,261ft 2 160psi 3,250/3
O/678 1808-17 1888 6ft 6in 1,261ft 2 160psi 3,250/3
O/734 1818-22 1888 6ft 6in 1,261ft 2 160psi 3,250/3
O/920 80-87, 11, 14 1891 6ft 6in 1,261ft 2 160psi 3,250/3
Order No Running Nos. Year Built Driving wheel Valves Firebox length Grate area (ft 2 )
O/1235 184-93 1894 6ft 6in slide 6ft 6in 19.5
O/1276 194-9, 161-4 1894 6ft 6in slide 6ft 6in 19.5
O/1410 230-9 1895 6ft 6in slide 6ft 6in 19.5
O/1458 156-60 1896 7ft 0in piston 6ft 6in 19.5
O/1460 *1667, 1668, 1672, 1675, 1676 1896-7 7ft 0in piston 6ft 6in 19.5
O/1597 150, 153-5, 204-9 1897 7ft 0in piston 6ft 6in 19.5
O/1635 60-66, 93, 138-9 1898 7ft 0½in piston 7ft 0in 21.3
O/1707 *1669, 1671 1898 7ft 0in piston 6ft 6in 19.5
O/1834 67-9, 151-2, 165-9 1899 7ft 0½in piston 7ft 0in 21.3
O/2041 805-9, 2636-40 1901 7ft 0½in piston 7ft 0in 21.3
O/2072 *1670, 1673, 1674 1901 7ft 0in piston 6ft 6in 19.5

*Rebuilds of original Joy’s valve gear engines built to O/444 but considered to be new engines.

All the engines to the first three orders together with Sharp Stewart Nos 2203-17 (built for the new Dore & Chinley line) were later rebuilt with H class boilers and thirty were rebuilt to O/4476 and O/5664 with G7 class superheated boiler and new 7ft 0½n diameter driving wheels between 1914 and 1923. Two, Nos 162 and 232 were fitted with G7 saturated boilers in 1910.

These engines as built were very similar to the earlier orders, having a bigger distance between driving centres of either 9ft or 9ft’ 6in, (to enable a longer firebox to be used), the bogie with wheels at 6ft centres being placed either 10ft 0½n or 10ft 2½in at its centre from the leading driver. The bogie wheels on the first three orders were 3ft 3in diameter, but, this was raised to 3ft 6in on the engines having 7ft and 7ft 0½in driving wheels.

Those with the longer driving centres and bigger distances to bogie centre were O/1635 onwards, except for the rebuilt Joy’s valve-gear engines, reconstructed to O/2072. All these engines had the short Johnson smokebox and the combined splasher with the access hole at footplate level.

So far as the original boilers were concerned, those built to O/1458 for example had a boiler carrying 242 tubes of 15/8in external diameter and 2 tubes of l½in od providing a heating surface of 1,123.6sq ft and with the firebox of 117sq ft this made a total of 1,240.6sq ft. The grate area was 19.678sq ft. As a comparison the smallest 4-4-0s with 6ft 6in driving wheels carried somewhat less heating surface, of which the 240 tapered tubes (111/16in od at smokebox end and 15/8in od at the firebox end) gave 1,106.lsq ft and with the same ample size of firebox, the total was 1,223.ISq ft. Grate area was the same. The boilers on both types were pitched 7ft 4in from rail and the height to the top of the chimney was 12ft 11½tin.

These engines were allocated as follows: Nos 184-99 to Carlisle, 161-4 Leicester, 230-35 Leeds, 236-9 Hellifield, 156-60 and certain of 0/1460 went to Nottingham as did 151 and 152, the rest going to Derby and Kentish Town. Nos 60-69, 150 and 153-5 went to Leicester, 204 to Birmingham and the remainder of that order to Manchester. Derby had Nos 93, 138, and 139, and apart from the rebuilds the remainder, to 0/2041, went to Carlisle (805-9) and Leeds (2636-40).

700 class (Belpaires) : 1900-
Radford 114 et seq calls these the 700 class (a term already used for Kirtley 0-6-0s) or the Belpaires. In September 1900, the first of Johnson’s “large” two-cylinder 4-4-0 passenger locomotives emerged from the Derby Works. These were the 700 class as they later became known although they were colloquially referred to as the “Belpaires”. The initial order (O/1869) was for ten locomotives, Nos 2606-10 and 800-804, turned out between September 1900 and June 1901. They were produced for the Settle-Carlisle line to reduce double-heading. The driving wheels were 6ft 9in diameter at 9ft 6in centres and the 3ft 6½in diameter bogie wheels at 6ft centres, were placed 10ft 2½in in front of the leading driver. The inside cylinders were 19½in x 26in and had piston valves. For the first time Johnson used a Belpaire GX type boiler set at 175psi, and pitched 8ft 3in from rail. This carried a total heating surface of 1,519ft 2 of which the 272 tubes of 1¾ in diameter provided 1,374ft 2 and the firebox 14ft 2 . The grate area was 25ft 2 . They were provided with “water-cart” tenders of the twin four-wheeled bogie type of 4,000gal water capacity and 3½tons of coal, the working weights being as follows: leading bogie 17 tons 5cwt 2qtr, driving 18 tons 5cwt 2qtr, trailing 16 tons 6cwt 2qtr, totalling 51 tons 17cwt 2qtr. The tender weighed 52 tons 7cwt Iqtr.

The appearance of these engines was further altered by the use of a closed round-topped dome and twin Ramsbottom safety valves enclosed in an oval canister-shaped housing over the firebox. A lock-up safety valve was added on later engines. The bogies of these engines had a somewhat unusual compensated suspension, but this was not repeated on the next order. As new this first batch of ten were allocated to Leeds and Manchester, Robert Weatherburn had pressed Johnson to introduce the Belpaire boiler on the Midland in 1875, when he took up. an appointment with the company, having observed the satisfactory outcome of the application of this type of firebox to boilers of engines built by Messrs Kitson & Co for the German Government and used on the Alsace and Lorraine Railways at Metz. However it was not until after Pollitt had introduced the Belpaire boiler on the Great Central line that Johnson permitted their use on the Midland. His reply to Weatherburn on being reminded that the Midland could have been the first to use them had his advice been taken, was “Yes, I remember Weatherburn, but I like to be sure and on the safe side before taking so important a step”, a remark so typical of the man.

The next two orders for this type followed in 1902, with a further two orders in 1903, the last year of Johnsons reign, as listed below (Radford p. 115):

Order No Locomotive Nos Year
O/2135 2781-90 1902
O/2250 810-19 1902
O/2458 820-29 1903
O/2601 830-39 1903-4

On these later orders the bogie wheels were reduced to 3ft 3½in diameter and had four point suspension, the distance from the leading driver to the centre of the bogie being increased to l0ft 8½in and from the centre bogie to front buffer 7ft 11in as against 6ft 10in on the first order. This was to accommodate the longer boiler barrel of the new boiler.

Even larger, 4,500gal double-bogie tenders were fitted to those orders up to the fifth engine of O/2458, while the remainder had 4,100gal tenders of the same type. The length over buffers for all those listed was 59ft 6¼in with a total wheelbase of 47ft 41/8in, working weights being 53 tons 4cwt for the engine and 52 tons I 2cwt 3qtr for tenders of 4,500gal capacity and 47 tons 14cwt Iqtr for those of 4,100gal capacity. All the later batch had the new type G8 boiler with Belpaire firebox, a 6in longer barrel, and having a total heating surface of 1,528 sq ft of which the 262 tubes of 1¾in diameter gave 1,383sq ft and the firebox 145sq ft.

The grate area remained at 25sq ft. All but three of these locomotives later had boilers with superheaters fitted. These engines were allocated to Kentish Town, Nottingham, Leeds and Manchester, and were reserved for the heavier long-distance-express passenger trains.

Engineer , 1904, 25 March
Loco. Mag. , 1903, 3 Dec.
Engineer , 1906, 9 March

The first Midland compound. Rly Mag., 1959, 105 , 652..
Hall, Stanley . Railway milestones and millstones: triumphs and disasters in British railway history . 2006.
Hall regards Webb’s compounds as a millstone, but regards the Johnson/Smith Midland compounds as a milestone. Nevertheless W.M. Smith was not as Hall states on page 11 “an old Derby man” (it was his son who was at Derby) and the zenith of Smith’s work was achieved on the NER with locomotives which were presumably superior to those developed at Derby. Sadly, although Hall hints at the validity of the trials conducted by the LMS, he shelters behind Bond’s comments made in A lifetime of locomotives where he stated that the tests “established beyond question the superiority of the compounds over all other contenders”. .
Hunt, David. The Johnson compounds. Midland Record (10), 40-52.
Includes a folding general arrangement drawing.
Nock, O.S. Historical steam locomotives. 1959. Chapter 12. The Midland compounds.
Indicative of high regard for class by Nock
Nock, O.S. The Midland compounds . 1964.
Radford, J.B. Derby Works and Midland locomotives.
Radford covers the compounds in depth on pp. 116-18. He judged them to be “perhaps the most famous of all” Johnson’s designs, but added that when introduced on 26 November 1901 it was “immediately christened an “ugly brute” by the running department staff at Derby.” The introduction of compounds to the Midland was not done without a great deal of soul searching by Johnson. He was not, as we have noted before, a man to jump on the band wagon of every new development, but waited patiently on the bye-lines until he felt that the time was ripe, and with his length of experience in all branches of engineering his was the almost perfect mechanical judgement. Curtain raiser to the Midland compound had been the rebuilding by W. M. Smith, to his own compounding system, of one of William Worsdell’s two-cylinder compounds on the North Eastern Railway. Smiths system involved one high-pressure cylinder placed between the frames and two low pressure cylinders placed outside. This could be worked on starting as a three-cylindered simple engine but by the use of non-return valves, and a spring loaded regulating valve, the cylinders could be made to work compound, steam from the high pressure cylinder being utilised again in the low pressure cylinders.

The first order for compounds was O/2109 and the numbers of the engines were 2631-5 the first two being officially dated January, 1902 although both were turned out before the end of 1901. The remainder were turned out in July, September and November, 1903. The first two had one inside high-pressure cylinder 19in diameter and 26in of stroke and two outside low-pressure cylinders 21in diameter and 26in stroke, and the valves were operated by three sets of Stephenson’s link motion operating a piston valve for the inside cylinder and slide valves for the outside cylinders. Separate reversing gear was provided for high- and low-pressure systems, and the leading coupled axle was driven from all three cylinders, the inside crank being set at 135deg to the outside cranks 90 deg. A reinforcing valve was fitted on the side of the smokebox by means of which high-pressure steam could be admitted to the low-pressure cylinders to provide extra power such as when starting, this valve being operated by the driver. The driving wheels were 7ft diameter set at 9ft 6in centres and the bogie wheels 3ft 6½in diameter at 6ft 6in centres, the centre of the bogie being 11ft 6in in front of the leading coupled axle. The boiler of 2631 was a G8½in type with Belpaire firebox, introduced specially for the compounds, having a total heating surface of 1,598sq ft of which the 261 tubes of 1¾in diameter provided 1,448sq ft and the firebox 150sq ft. Grate area was 26sq ft and the boiler was pitched 8ft 6in above rail level, and set to work at 195psi maximum pressure, the barrel being 11ft 7in long, and 4ft 8in minimum diameter. The tender held 5 tons of coal and 4,500gal of water and was of the double bogie type weighing 52 tons 12cwt 3qtr in working order, whilst the engine weighed 59 tons 10cwt 1qtr divided as follows: bogie 20 tons 12cwt 3qtr, driving 19 tons 11cwt 2qtr, trailing 19 tons 6cwt. There was some slight variation in weights between the first five engines, those given applying to the first engine only. No 2632 was identical except that the boiler carried Serf (Serve) corrugated boiler tubes, 2¾in outside diameter with internal ribbing, and the heating surface was tubes 1,56g.8sq ft + firebox 150sq ft totalling 1,719.8sqft.

The last three of the first order, built in 1903, differed somewhat from Nos 2631-2 in that they had only one set of reversing gear operating all three sets of valve gear, and the running plate was not raised over the cylinders as with the originals, and they were somewhat lighter, the engine weighing 58 tons 9cwt in working order. No 2635 was also fitted with Serf tubes but these were replaced by the orthodox type, as were those on 2632, in 1904. Of these early compounds the first two were put to work on the line north of Leeds up to Carlisle, and the other three in the London area.

Radford ended by commending two excellent books: The Midland Compounds by D.F. Tee and a fuller account The Midland Compounds by O.S. Nock.
Reynolds, W.J. The Midland compounds. Railways , 1949, 10 , 29-30. illus.
van Riemsdijk, J.T. Compound locomotives: an International survey . Penryn: Atlantic Press, 1994. 140pp.
Included in chapter on three-cylinder compounds: book based mainly on three part paper presented to Newcomen Society: Part 1 see Volume 43 page 1 et seq .
Selby, F.W. Compound locomotives. J. Instn Loco. Engrs , 1930, 20 , 287-316. Disc.: 317-24; 693-703. + 12 folding plates. 6 illus., 12 diagrs., 3 tables. (Paper No.257).
Tee, D.F. The Midland compounds . RCTS, 1962.
Obituary of David Tee (born Coventry, 1928) Midland Record (16), 13.
Tomkins, R.M. The Midland Railway 4-4-0 three-cylinder compound locomotives and later developments. J. Stephenson Loco. Soc ., 1954, 30 , 190-9; 354. 2 illus. (line drawings : s. el.), 2 tables.
Tuplin, W.A. The Midland compounds. Railways , 1952, 13 , 34-6+. 2 illus., table.
A descriptive, rather than critical, article.
“Voyageur” , pseud. The last of the Midland compounds. Trains ill ., 1961, 14 , 674-7. 5 illus.

Restoring No. 1000. Rly Mag., 1959, 105 , 652.

Nock, O.S. Historical steam locomotives. 1959. Chapter 4 2-4-0s of the decorated period.
MR 158A

1070 class : 1874-6 Kirtley/Johnson
30 locomotives built with 6ft 2½ driving wheels. The first passenger design built under Johnson was a developed from Kirtley’s 890 class, and had inside frames, 6ft 2in diameter driving wheels and 17in x 24in cylinders. Sharp Stewart built 20 engines: Nos 1070-89. and ten were built at Derby to O/97 , Nos 1, 9, 10, 13, 70, 71, 73, 74, 96 and 146. The Sharp engines carried a Kirtley 140psi boiler with a total heating surface of 1,063ft 2 , whilst the Derby engines had a Johnson P-class boiler with an increased heating surface of 1,206ft 2 . The leading inside axleboxes were Cartazzi pattern. Reversing was by screw and handle. The Derby engines were allocated mainly to Skipton until replaced by new engines, when they moved to Nottingham, with No 96 going to Kentish Town. All of these were Westinghouse air brake fitted. The Sharp Stewart-built engines are often considered to be the last passenger engines built to Kirtley’s designs, although they are classified along with the Derby locomotives which are credited to Johnson. One of the Derby engines, No 96, was the last Midland 2-4-0 engine running, not being withdrawn until 28 October 1950, having been renumbered 155 in 1907, and 20155 in 1937, in between this being named Engineer South Wales from 1933 to 1936. In all she ran a total of 1,425,151 miles in service.

The class as a whole were renumbered 127-56 in order of building in 1907. At boiler changes P boilers with different heating surfaces were put on Nos I070-89 and all but five of the class were later rebuilt with 160psi B-type boilers. Nos 13, 73, 96 and 146, were rebuilt with Belpaire G6 boilers between 1924 and 1927. All had their cylinders enlarged to 18in diameter between 1887 and 1902. When built these engines were for use on the new Settle-Carlisle line which had been opened for goods traffic on 2 August 1875, and was due to be opened for through passenger-trains from St Pancras to Glasgow and Edinburgh on 1 May 1876.

Larger version
Larger versions of this class emerged from the Derby Works with 17½in x 26in cylinders. These were built to O/107 and were Nos 50-4 with 6ft 6in driving wheels and 55-9 with 6ft 8in driving wheels, the first one in August 1876?. All had Johnson’s P boiler with total heating surface 1,206ft 2 and at the standard working pressure of 140psi. The leading axleboxes were as for O/97; screw reverse and Furness lubricators were fitted.

2-4-0s were also supplied by outside firms: Dübs met two orders for 6ft 6in 2-4-0s in 1876, with 17½in x 26in cylinders, running Nos 1282-1301 and 1302-11 in 1876. Working weights were: engine 38 tons 8cwt 3qtr and tender 32 tons. Nos. 1282-1301 were fitted with Smith’s simple vacuum brake for working London-Manchester services, and 1302-11 had Westinghouse brakes for working the expresses from St Pancras to Scotland. Kitsons supplied the very similar 4-4-0s.

In 1877 ten further 2-4-0s, with 7ft driving wheels: running Nos 1347-56, were built at Derby, for use on the fastest main line passenger trains, being allocated to Skipton (1347-50) and Saltley (1351-6). The first two of these engines had Westinghouse brake equipment, and the class was built to O/179. The cylinders were 17½in x 26in, but all were later enlarged to 18in diameter. The boiler was the P type. The cost of each locomotive was £1,572. The class were renumbered 1347A-56A and again 101-10 in 1879, becoming 197-206 in 1907. The first was withdrawn in April, 1924 and the last (1354) in October, 1941. All were later rebuilt with B class boilers, and three with G6 Belpaire boilers.

The final 2-4-0 orders are tabulated below:

Year Order Running Nos. Cylinders Coupled wheels Cost (unit)
1879 O/232 1400-1409 18 x 26in 6ft 8½in £2,205
1880 O/283 111-115 17½ x 26in 6ft 6½in
1880 O/279 1472-81 18 x 26in 6ft 8½in £2,264
1880 O/273 1482-91 18 x 26in 6ft 8½in £2,337
1881 like O/232 (Neilson) 1502-31 18 x 26in 6ft 9in £2,445
1881 O/275 1492-1501 18 x 26in 7ft 0½in £2,166

All carried the same P boiler of 1206ft 2 .

2-4-0 rebuilds of Kirtley locomotives

800 class (Johnson rebuilds)
Radford (85 et seq): Johnson rebuilt the Kirtley 800 class with larger cylinders and his own style of boiler having in all three different variations of heating surfaces for the Settle-Carlisle line traffic, with its heavy Pullman car trains. The most powerful were those with an unclassified special boiler pitched 7ft 2in above rail having 1,333ft 2 of heating surface of which the 264 tubes of 1 5/8 in diameter provided 1,215ft 2 , and the firebox 118ft 2 , the shell being 6ft 2in long and 4ft lin wide outside. Larger 18in x 26in cylinders were provided and new motion and crank axles, but the original full-length double frames and 6ft 8in driving wheels were retained. A new leading axle with new axleboxes was provided, the springing being provided rather unusually by two pairs of spiral form springs mounted below the axle. Ten locomotives were rebuilt in this form to order 155: 800, 804, 805, 807, 811, 813, 814, 816, 818 and 819 (all in 1877). This followed the trial rebuilding of No. 169 in September 1876 with a B boiler carrying only 1,142ft 2 of heating surface.

The remainder were rebuilt with 18 x 24in cylinders, and also retained the original frames and motion, but with B class boilers carrying 1,233 or 1,223ft 2 of heating surface. These were rebuilt between 1876 and 1882, and were the remainder of the range 800-29; Nos 165-9 and 60-66. From 1880 onwards some of these engines were fitted up with new type Westinghouse air-brake equipment, these being Nos 800-819, 22, 60, 62-5 and 165 except 803 and 812 which, together with 829, were fitted up with the old type. Charles Rous-Marten gives details of several runs behind these locomotives in the Rly Mag. 1901, page 366 (Vol. No. not cited).

890 class (Johnson rebuilds)
From 1880 some of the 890 class of 2-4-0s were also fitted with new type Westinghouse air-brake equipment: Nos 900-903, 906 and 907 being the engines in question. Johnson later rebuilt this class with the standard P class boiler beginning with 902 in September, 1885. This was pitched 7ft 2in from rail and carried 1,244ft 2 of heating surface, except Nos 890 and 891 (1,242ft 2 ). The last to be rebuilt was 904 in December, 1889. They had new frames, with strengthening plates of the same 1in thickness attached to the inside of the main frame around the driving axleboxes, and had 6ft 8in driving and 4ft 2in leading wheels, on standard wheelbase, 18in x 24in cylinders, and screw reversmg gear.

Robert Weatherburn , when District Locomotive Superintendent at Leicester, extended the life of stored Kirtley single driving wheel locomotives by fitting them with improved sanding and this was followed by Holt’s use of compressed air from the Westinghouse braking system. See Chapter 4 of Fryer’s Single wheeler locomotives . Chapter 4: makes extensive references from Weatherburn’s articles in The Railway Magazine .

Radford records that Johnson had several of the four-wheel coupled engines, Nos 1306-11, fitted with this gear, and removed the coupling rods, running them as singles. The engines did as well on the level with the same trains, as the rest of the class, yet strangely showed up better on the gradients, there being also a considerable economy in fuel. Johnson had also been impressed by the performance of Stroudley’s single wheeler Grosvenor which had particicpated in the Newark Brake Trials, and had left a considerable reputation. The Chief Locomotive Draughtsman at this time was Billinton, who had formerly held the same position under Stroudley on the LBSCR. The foregoing circumstances all prompted Johnson into producing the first of his 4-2-2 type tender engines which were to many the essence of beauty in a locomotive, and cert.ainly among the best looking engines of the day.

Class emerged in June 1887. They had inside cylinders and steel boilers. The driving wheels were 7ft 4in in diameter, but later batches had driivng wheels of greater diameter. Adams’ bogies were fitted. From 1893, series were built using the Walter Smith type of piston valve developed on the North Eastern Railway. The initial locomotives had a grate area of 19.6 ft 2 , but this was increased to 24.5 ft 2 in the final series of ten introduced in 1899/1900. These also had high pressure (180 psi) boilers and double bogie tenders. No. 118 forms part of the National Collection: it had been preserved by the LMS. Both Summerson and Radford have much to offer.

Radford’s Chapter 9 (The Johnson Singles (1887-1900)): no single driver locomotives had been built for the Midland since 1866, although a practically new engine, No 4 had been turned out in April, 1869, being the rebuild of an earlier engine of 1861. Even some of those singles still on the books had, by 1884, been taken off the road as a result of a circular instruction forbidding their use owing to the many delays to trains being caused by the single driving wheels slipping. One of these engines was stationed at Leicester, and was used solely for supplying steam. to stationary engines at pumping stations whilst their boilers were under repair, the engines being sheeted over when not in use to hide their shame.

At this time Robert Weatherburn was the District Locomotive Superintendent at Leicester, and he records that he never passed the laid-up engine without the strong desire to make use of it. Eventually the temptation was too great. He had the tarpaulin cover removed and, after examination of springs and tyres, gave instruction for the driving springs, both inside and out, to be strengthened by the addition of an extra plate. The sand-boxes were brought nearer to the wheels and two pipes trained as closely as possible to the tyres to ensure that the sand was delivered onto the rail and not blown away. These alterations were completed the day before Leicester Fair and Weatherburn changed the engines of one train at Leicester, putting the single on to work south to London. He records that it did well, and he kept it at work for some months, almost forgetting Johnson’s instruction concerning these singles, until one day he was summoned to Derby and there met by Billinton who told him his violation of the instruction had been known for some time, but that his alterations were considered successful, particularly the running up Barden Hill and stopping and starting at difficult places. Billinton concluded by saying that Johnson had almost decided on the use of new single wheelers for the southern section.

Upon being ushered into Johnson’s presence Weatherburn was admonished on the value of circular instructions, then made to recount exactly the details of his alterations, loads, etc. Johnson estimated the driving axle load to be 17 tons, and when weighed it proved to be 17 tons 3cwt. It was decided to continue using the locomotive in question, and a somewhat emboldened Weatherburn strongly advised the use of a leading bogie as part of the new design.

Shortly after this event with the Leicester single-wheeler another development was to take place which further strengthened the argument for single-wheelers, this being the introduction of compressed air sanding gear which delivered a jet of air and sand directly at the space between tyre and rail instead of by means of the former gravity fed system, the value of which was extremely suspect and varied considerably with the prevailing conditions. This new air-sanding owed its origin to Francis Holt, at that time the Works Manager at Derby, and he had the system fitted to several engines, working on the heavily graded Settle-Carlisle line in 1886, the air being supplied from the Westinghouse braking system fitted to these locomotives. But the Westinghouse Company raised objections to this use of air from their system, claiming rightly that it could upset the brake, so Holt modified his device and used steam from the boiler instead of air. This system had a marked effect on the whole of British locomotive policy, and was ultimately commercially marketed by Gresham & Craven. Johnson had several of the four-wheel coupled engines, Nos 1306-11, fitted with this gear, and removed the coupling rods, running them as singles. The engines did quite as well on the level with the same trains, as the rest of the class, yet strangely showed up better on the gradients, there being also a considerable economy in fuel.

Johnson had also been impressed by the performance of Stroudley’s single wheeler Grosvenor which had competed at the Newark Brake Trials, some few years previously and had, by its design and performance on that occasion, left a considerable reputation behind it. It must also be remembered that the Chief Locomotive Draughtsman at this time was Billinton, who had formerly held the same position under Stroudley on the LBSCR.

The foregoing circumstances all prompted Johnson into producing the first of his 4-2-2 type tender engines which were to many the essence of beauty in a locomotive, and certainly among the best looking engines of the day. First to be built was No 25 in June, 1887 and over the next 14 years a total of 95 locomotives of this type were produced, all by the Derby Works.

It should be mentioned here that Johnson was not a man easily converted to revolutionary ideas but rather waited patiently for the stage of co-operation and development to arrive when he could be ensured of success. This was particularly the case with steam brakes, steam and automatic vacuum brake combined and later the train-heating apparatus, all successfully introduced during his term of office, as were the famous compounds to be described later.

95 locomotives built to five designs: driving wheels got larger with time: Summerson identifies:
Class 25 1887-1890: 7ft 4in driving wheels
Class 1853: 1889-1893: 7ft 6in driving wheels
Class 179: 1893-1896: 7ft 6in driving wheels
Class 115: 1893-1896: 7ft 9in driving wheels
Class 2601: 1899-1900: 7ft 9½in driving wheels

Radford noted the order as below:

Order No. Running Nos/ Years built Driving wheel Cylinders Valves Grate area Boiler type
655 25-9 1887 7ft 4in 18 x 26 in slide 19.6ft 2 D (all steel)
745 30-2 1888 7ft 4in 18 x 26 in slide 19.6ft 2
745 1853, 34 1889 7ft 6in 18½ x 26 in slide 19.6ft 2
796 1854-7, 37 1889 7ft 4in 18 x 26 in slide 19.6ft 2
809 1858-62 1889-90 7ft 4in 18 x 26 in slide 19.6ft 2
809 1863-7 1889-90 7ft 6in 18½ x 26 in slide 19.6ft 2
935 1868-72 1891 7ft 6in 18½ x 26 in slide 19.6ft 2
998 8, 122, 145, 20, 24, 33, 35-6, 38-9 1892 7ft 6in 18½ x 26 in slide 19.6ft 2
1080 4, 16-17, 94, 97, 100, 129, 133 1892 7ft 6in 18½ x 26 in slide 19.6ft 2
1094 149, 170-8 1893 7ft 6in 18½ x 26 in slide 19.6ft 2
1124 179-83 1893 7ft 6in 19 x 26 in piston 19.6ft 2
1454 75-7, 79, 88 1896 7ft 6in 19 x 26 in piston 19.5ft 2
1474 115-19 1896-7 7ft 9in 19½ x 26 in piston 21.3ft 2 E class
1659 120-1, 123-8, 130-1 1899 7ft 9in 19½ x 26 in piston 21.3ft 2 E class
1926 2601-5, 19-23 1899-1900 7ft 9½in 19½ x 26 in piston 24.5ft 2 F class

The Singles incorporated a number of key developments. The first five built to O/655 were Nos 25-9, turned out between June and August, 1887. The single pair of driving wheels were 7ft 4in diameter, the largest yet used on main line locomotives on the Midland. The D class steel boiler, set at 160psi, had a total heating surface of 1,240.6ft 2 of which the tubes, 242 of 1 5/8 in outside diameter and 2 of 1½in outside diameter, provided 1,123.6ft 2 and the firebox 117ft 2 . Twin Salter safety valves were provided on the dome with a lock-up safety valve over the firebox. Screw reverse was provided on the right-hand (driving) side. The new steam sanding device was applied in front of the driving wheels. They had deep double-frames. The driving axle had both inside and outside bearings, the outside springs being underhung and the inside springs overhung whilst the bogie axles had only inside bearings and the trailing wheel outside bearings only with overhung leaf springs. Working weights were: bogie 14 tons 7cwt, driving 18.tons 10cwt, trailing 10 tons 12cwt,. They were the first Midland engines to have a drumhead smokebox flush with the boiler barrel. Six-wheeled tenders of 3,250gal capacity and carrying 3 tons of coal were provided to O/656. Nos 25-7 were allocated to Kentish Town and 28 and 29 to Nottingham initially, although they too went to London the following year. These locomotives were, to the surprise of some, a huge success and Johnson embarked on a long building programme which extended right up to 1900. Three of the class, Nos 25, 28 and 29 later had their cylinders bored out to 18½in diameter. They were broken up between 1919 and 1928, No 25 being the last to go in July of that year.

The next batch to O/745 were split up into Nos 30-32 having 7ft 4in diameter driving wheels and being identical to Nos 25-9 as built, and Nos 1853 and 34 with 7ft 6in diameter driving wheels and 4ft 4in diameter trailing wheels, and having larger 18½ x 26in cylinders giving somewhat greater power. These adjustments in size were made as a result of experience gained with the first batch in service, and Nos 30-32 went to Nottingham, whilst the other two were sent to London. No 1853 was sent to the Paris International Exhibition of 1889 along with one of Clayton’s carriages a “soft third-class”, twelve-wheeled, pressed-steel bogie composite coach with toilet facilities as provided for the first class passengers. The French judges were somewhat staggered by this grandeur and awarded the coach the Grand Prix and Johnson’s locomotive a gold medal. Nos 1853 and 34 were among the first Midland engines to have all wheels made of Siemens Martin cast steel, a change which was continued on some other engines of the type and later became standard practice. Hitherto wheels had been of wrought iron, forged . throughout, the spokes being forged in a solid “T” head and welded at the centre of each spoke. Balance weights were also forged solid in the rim of aU driving wheels.

From O/1474 onwards the distance between the driving wheel and bogie centre line was increased to 10ft 2½in to accommodate the E class boiler with longer barrel, and the boiler pressure was raised to 170psi for O/1474 and O/1659, and further increased to 180psi for O/1926, the engines for which were fitted with double bogie 4,000gal tenders having coal capacity of 5 tons and weighing 50 tons 13cwt 3qtr in working order. These were for the longer non-stop runs, for there were as yet no water troughs on the Midland. A further boiler change to F class was made for O/1926 which also necessitated increasing the distance between driving and trailing wheels to 9ft 9in to allow for the 8ft long firebox. Another modification was in the outside driving-wheel springs which were changed from plate to twin-spiral springs for engines built to O/935 and onwards.

There were also some variations in the boilers provided, a change being made for the last four engines of O/998 which had D class boilers having 1,223sq ft of heating surface, and this type was used until O/1454 which had the same type boiler with 1,205sq ft heiting surface. No further D class boilers were fitted to the singles beyond this, E class boilers set at I70psi and having 1,233sq ft heating surface being fitted to orders 1474 and 1659, and F class boilers having 1,217sq ft of heating surface were used for O/1926, set at 180psi.

One locomotive of the last order No 2601 was named Princess of Wales and represented the Midland Railway Company at the Paris Exhibition of 1900 where it stood alongside Webb’s compound La France and Claud Hamilton representing the Great Eastern Company, but nevertheless it was the Midland engine which was awarded the Grand Prix. The name was taken off for a short period but restored in 1914 again, and was painted around the rim of the driving wheel splasher. When the engine was scrapped in November, 1921, the driving wheels were mounted on a pedestal near the offices in Derby Works yard where they remained until the 1930s.

The allocation of Nos 25-9 has already been mentioned, and the remainder were allocated between Nottingham, London, Leeds, Leicester and Liverpool, with only a few odd ones at Derby. In 1892 it was decided to try the class on the difficult Derby-Bristol road and the great number of engines built in that year went either to Bristol or Birmingham. As a whole the class gave excellent results, being among the most economical ever turned out from the Derby Works, consuming between 20 and 21 lb of the local coal per mile with their usual average load of 115 tons. The drivers were thrilled with them and they were great favourites, becoming nicknamed “spinners” on account of the odd spasm of slipping which they suffered from when starting with heavy trains; yet once in motion they swept along with seemingly effortless ease, there being of course no visible moving parts of the motion, just the large whirling wheels. They were subsequently replaced on the best trains by heavier, more powerful coupled engines of later design, but came into their own again during the 1912 coal strike when, on account of their economy, they were once again put to work on some of the fastest trains for a brief period. They were re-numbered in 1907 as Nos 600-94 in order of building, and were one of the few classes not to undergo a metamorphosis under Deeley, although they escaped by only a narrow margin, as will be recounted later in our story.

One of the singles was however somewhat modified under Deeley by having one of his design of cab fitted. This was No 600 which was so fitted in 1917 under O/5001 which also provided for the addition of vacuum controller gear for working the General Superintendent’s service saloon. The saloon itself was most interesting, having been converted from the second of two steam rail motors mentioned later in the book as having been constructed to O/2741 for working the Heysham branch. This was numbered 2234 in the coaching stock, and retained this number after conversion. It was later to be renumbered DM45010 and is fortunately still in existence in private ownership which has secured its preservation at least for the time being.

The singles were withdrawn between 1919 and 1928, beginning with Nos 601 (ex-26) and 696 (2602) which was probably the first to actually be withdrawn since the boiler is shown as being broken up in December, 1916, and no replacement shown. Last to go was 600, mentioned above, which was taken out of service in July, 1928, but fortunately one, 673 built as No 118, was put to one side for possible preservation when withdrawn in July, 1928, and was later restored to Midland crimson lake livery as 118, being placed in the Work’s Museum in January, 1931.

Fryer quotes serties of articles by J.F. Vicery in Rly Mag ., 1910, January to March, C.J. Allen in Rly Mag ., 1916 January and Rous-Marten in The Engineer (24 June 1904)

Retrospective, appreciative & critical

Braithwaite, Jack. The Johnson bogie singles. Midland Record (16), 5-13.
With additional notes by Bob Essery
Braithwaite, Jack. Locomotive beauty: a personal viewpoint. Midland Record (19), 52-9.
Had an especial admiration for the 4-2-2 type and notes the influence of Charles Beyer on British locomotive aesthetics.
Fryer, Charles. Single wheeler locomotives. 1993. Chapter 5.
Sub-titled the Midland ‘spinners’. This Chapter is less rich in its extracts from sources, such as Engineering , than some of the other chapters in this work.
Nock, O.S. Historical steam locomotives. 1959. Chapter 6 Four famous 4-2-2 singles.
The design has to take its place alongside other singles in the Nock galaxy
Summerson, Stephen Midland Railway locomotives. Volume 3. The Johnson classes. Part 1. The slim boiler passenger tender engines, passenger and goods tank engines . Chapter 5

The ‘Princesses’, with 24 ft 2 grate areas (more than most contemporary 4-4-0s), were potentially powerful engines although the starting pull was limited to about a quarter of the adhesion weight and therefore to about 10,000lb. With a nominal tractive effort of 17,000lb they needed a severely restricted regulator-opening to start in full gear without slipping, but once well under way they could develop their full power at any speed higher than about 35mph. On most of the Midland main lines this was no hardship, but on the steeper ones where the engine might be forced down to slogging at much below 35mph, sanding might be necessary to prohibit slipping, even on dry rails. But sanding gear did not always work as it should because some sorts of sand are far more reluctant than others to flow through pipes, and a combination of greasy rails, adverse gradient and inadequate sanding could stop a single more effectively than a coupled engine. Sand that flows intermittently and unequally on the two rails can impose a sudden obstruction to rapidly spinning wheels and this was commonly held to be a possible cause of breakage of crank-axles.

In contributing to a discussion on a technical paper read before the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1933, Sir Henry Fowler mentioned that the crank-axles of the Johnson singles had been a continuous source of trouble. Cracks developed and extended so commonly that no axle lasted longer than eight years. It is not to be assumed that this short life was in any way associated with stresses set up when slipping wheels ran onto sanded rails as there were other origins of undue stress. It has been suggested that bending moment due to flange-pressure on the large driving wheels could induce stresses high enough to start cracks in the crank-axle and to propagate them.

As all singles used to do most of their work in an effortlessly seeming manner (because they were not in fact making much effort), it is natural to believe that they did not burn much coal and figures in the region of 20lb per mile have been quoted for the Midland engines. No such figure can show whether the engine was notably economical or not; to obtain any information on that point it would be necessary also to know about routes, speeds and weights of trains. In the Railway Magazine for February 1910 are recorded figures derived from tests on Midland singles of the 115 and 2601 classes, and they quote 2.91b of coal per indicated horsepower hour for both classes. (This is closely comparable with contemporary results from North Eastern Class R 4-4-0s.) The figures correspond to about 450 ihp for the smaller engine and 550 ihp for the larger one and to 21.3 and 23.0 ihp per square foot of grate area, the train weights being 123 and 160 tons respectively and the average speeds about 54 and 52mph.

The classic high-power run of a Midland single was that of No 125 in taking 325 tons from Kettering to Nottingham, 51½ miles, at a start-to-stop average of 51.3mph. This corresponds to a mean drawbar horsepower of about 25 per square foot of grate area and this is not remarkably high even for a wet steam engine. The greatest difficulty on the run was that of getting a total mass of over 400 tons really going up the initial gradient of 1 in 132. The resistance due to weight alone is over 3 tons and, with adhesion weight of 18½ tons limiting the frictional force at the treads of the driving wheels to a maximum of about 4½ tons, there was not much margin left to cover the frictional resistances in the wheels and axles of engine, tender and train. Although acceleration must have been low on the subsequent rise of 2 miles at 1 in 160 the first 5 miles from Kettering were covered in 11 minutes, and from there to the stop at Nottingham, with more downhill than up, the average was 56½ mile/h.

Fox Walker locomotives for Gloucester Docks: 1878.
Fox Walker (1878) 0-6-0ST No. 2067A inside Burton-on-Trent engine shed in 1906. Rly Arch. ,2007 (16), 51 lower. See also letter from Bill Aves (Issue 17 page 38) concerning this locomotive, Aves cites Summerson’s Midland Railway locomotives Vol. 3 pp. 189-90 which states that MR purchased two Fox Walker 0-6-0STs: original running numbers 1428/9, Works Numbers 377 and 384 in 1879 for dock shunting at Gloucester. No. 1428 became 1428A in 1890 and 2067A in 1891 and remained in service until 1906.

In the years 1874-6 (Radford p. 87 et seq ) Neilson and the Vulcan Foundry supplied forty 0-6-0 tanks of a new type that were to become a basic standard for almost 30 years. These were Nos 1102-26 (Neilson) and 1127-41 (Vulcan) all with A class boilers, and having inside frames only, 17in x 24in cylinders and six driving wheels of 4ft 6in diameter on a wheelbase of 7ft 4in + 7ft 8in. The round-topped boiler, pressed to 140psi carried a total heating surface of 1,120ft 2 comprising tubes 1,030 and firebox 90ft 2 respectively. The tubes were 220 in number and 1¾in in diameter, and the side tanks carried 900gal of water and the bunkers 24cwt of coal, the working weights being as follows: leading 12 tons 11cwt 3qtr, driving 12 tons 19cwt 3qtr, trailing 13 tons 14cwt .2qtr making a total of 39 tons 6cwt (with full tanks and 1 ton of coal). The Neilson’s cost £2,550 each and the Vulcan’s £2,135 for the first five and £2,185 for the remainder . Summerson calls these the 1102 class.

They had enclosed cabs as built and proved to be very useful little locomotives. Two hundred and eighty of this general type were to be built up to 1902. The first to emerge from Derby was No 1377, of the range 1377-86, in May, 1878 followed by the rest of the order, 204, the same year. There was a difference In the boilers of these however for they had only 213 tubes of 1¾in diameter (1,024ft 2 ) plus 91 ft 2 firebox heating surface, giving a slightly smaller heating surface of 1,115ft 2 which was used on the subsequent orders. They cost £1,691. 14s each. Another order, 218, for a further 20 locomotives, Nos 1387-96 and 1347-56 was begun the same year and completed by 1879 followed by O/239 for a further ten, Nos 220, 221 and 1420-27, also built in 1879.

More orders followed as listed below:

Order Locomotive Nos Year built Cost
O/262 1410-19 1880 £1,531. 11s 6d
O/340 1552-61 1882 £1,514. 17s 3d
O/414 210-12, 215, 216, 218, 219, 1397-9 1883
O/496 1677-86, 1090-92, 1094, 1095 1884
O/499 1687-96, 1096-1100 1884-5

There was gap of four years here between O/499 and the next order for this type, and the remainder will be referred to later. Variations included: the last five locomotives of O/414, (Nos 218, 219 and 1397-9), were built with all-over cabs and vacuum-brake gear for use on the Keighley and Worth Valley line. The remainder had half cabs, and Nos 1552-61 had cut-down half-cabs and shortened chimneys (11ft 5½in top to rail) and domes, and were used on London branches. Other minor variations are covered in an article by G.H. Daventry in the SLS Journal for October 1965, with supplementary notes in the May and July 1966 issues. These locomotives were used not only on goods workings, but also on passenger trains on some secondary routes, especially in the Swansea area, and the class were allocated over the whole Midland system.

Class A (1102): 1874-6
Originally intended for the steeply graded lines in South Wales. First batch supplied by Neilson, second by Vulcan Foundry.

James, Fred and Essery, Bob. The Midland Railway ‘A’ class 0-6-0 tank enginers. Midland Record , (21), 6-24.
Summerson, Stephen Midland Railway locomotives. Volume 3. The Johnson classes. Part 1. The slim boiler passenger tender engines, passenger and goods tank engines . Chapter 8

1377 Class and N class : 1878-1892
Majority built at Derby: several managed to remain in service under British Railways virtually until the end of steam where (along with some former GWR 0-6-0PTs) they were a source of amusement to some enthusiasts for having “half-cabs” (as distinct from what the Midland called “double cabs”)> According to Summerson 1 a total of 225 were constructed. They were fitted with A type boilers’..

Summerson, Stephen Midland Railway locomotives. Volume 3. The Johnson classes. Part 1. The slim boiler passenger tender engines, passenger and goods tank engines . Chapter 9.

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