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LMS Route: Rugby to Wolverhampton

Brandon and Wolston: lnwrbw3094

An unidentified LMS 4-6-0 'Stanier Black Five' passes through the station on an up express service

An unidentified LMS 4-6-0 'Stanier Black Five' passes through the station on an up express service. The locomotive is in filthy condition, as would appear to be the case with the coaching stock, which was not uncommon after the war although the LMS lettering on the tender is just about visible. The LMS Class 5 4-6-0, known universally as a 'Black Five' (it was said so described by railwaymen to differentiate it from his 4-6-0 5XP 'Jubilee' Class initially painted red), is a class of steam locomotive introduced by (Sir) William Stanier in 1934 with 842 being built by the LMS and BR up to 1951 when the BR Standard Class 6 was introduced. William Stanier as he was then known was directly recruited from the GWR to resolve the LMS' internal politics over locomotive design.

It is therefore no surprise that they in fact an LMS version of the GWR's Hall Class with design differences reflecting different a different range of load gauges and proven superior LMS practice and equipment. However in outline they shared similarities such as outside cylinders, tapered boiler, belpaire firebox design and 6 foot driving wheel diameters. There were a number of detail variations in the locomotives and they did not all remain in the same condition as built. Some locomotives built under British Railways administration were used as test beds for various design modifications with a view to incorporating the successful modifications in the Standard Classes of locomotives built from 1951 onwards. These modifications included outside Caprotti valve gear, roller bearings (both Timken and Skefco types) on the coupled and tender axles in varying combinations, and an experimental steel firebox. Other locomotives had modified draughting to 'self clean' the smokebox (thereby reducing turn-around and disposal times and eliminating or mitigating one of the most unpopular jobs).