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LMS Route: Trent Valley Line

LMS Route: Nuneaton to Leamington

Nuneaton Station: lnwrns3815

Ex-LNWR 4-4-0 No 5281 'Erebus' waits at Nuneaton station at the head of a Class 2 Ordinary passenger train circa 1930s

Ex-LNWR 4-4-0 No 5281 'Erebus' waits at Nuneaton station at the head of a Class 2 Ordinary passenger train circa 1930s. A member of Francis Whales' Precursor class, the locomotive has been in the shops and has been superheated together with being fitted with Ross pop safety valves, LMS lampirons a LMS cab roof with the number painted on the cab side and LMS on tender. Built as LNWR No 564 at Crewe works in June 1907, No 5281 was rebuilt with piston valves and a superheated boiler in September 1913 and in this form was to receive its LMS number in September 1927 which it carried until it was withdrawn in September 1936.

The class was introduced in 1904 and one hundred and thirty members were built by Crewe works up to 1907. Their introduction allowed Whale to phase out the unreliable compound locomotives built under the direction of his predecessor, Francis Webb. They were essentially a larger version of Webb's LNWR Improved Precedent Class. As built, they were saturated, though some such as No 5281 were later superheated. Withdrawals of the saturated engines started in 1927 and the last locomotive in as built condition was withdrawn in 1935. Four superheated engines which retained slide valves were withdrawn between 1931 and 1936 whilst withdrawals of the superheated engines with piston valves began in 1935. Those not withdrawn had 20,000 added to their numbers over the period 1934 to 1937 to make room for Stanier's 4-6-0 'Black Fives'. At the end of 1939 only seven survived. Only a single example was inherited by British Railways in 1948, 25297 Sirocco, which was withdrawn in 1949. Despite being allocated the number 58010, that was never applied.

Photograph courtesy of the LNWR Society. To order a copy of this photograph email photographs@lnwrs.org.uk and quote 'LNWR Society JMBCP 57'