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. 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).