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LMS Route: Birmingham-Soho-Perry Barr-Birmingham

Perry Barr Station: lnwrpb1512a

Close up showing ex-LMS 8F 2-8-0 No 48175, the last of the second batch built by Crewe works, working hard

Close up of image 'lnwrpb1512' showing ex-LMS 8F 2-8-0 No 48175, the last of the second batch built by Crewe works, working hard. Behind the locomotive, the top of the structures on the up platform can be seen. It is thought that the left hand portion was the gentlemen's urinal - the raised section provided ventilation - the middle section provided the waiting rooms whilst the right hand portion, with the higher roof, was the booking office. Designed for hauling heavy freight some 852 of Stanier's freight locomotives were built between 1935 and 1946 because the War Department initially adopted the design for their needs. In many ways they can be considered a freight version of William Stanier's successful mixed traffic 4-6-0, the ubiquitous Black Five class. They were introduced because LMS freight traction had suffered from the adoption of the Midland Railway's small engine policy which had left it with trains double-headed by underpowered 4F 0-6-0s, supplemented by inadequate 2-8-0+0-8-2 Garratts and Fowler's 7F 0-8-0s. They were initially classified 7F, but this was later changed to the more familiar 8F.

The War Department placed an order for fifty locomotives with Beyer Peacock and one hundred and fifty-eight locomotives with the North British Locomotive Company as well as requisitioning another fifty-one from the LMS. Production of Stanier's 8F continued until 1943, when the cheaper War Department Austerity 2-8-0 design was introduced. Many Stanier 8Fs saw service outside the UK in Egypt, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Italy and Turkey. Twenty-four 8Fs entered Palestine Railways stock; twenty-three of which were taken over by Israel Railways in 1948. The Israeli War of Independence stranded one 8F, No 70372, (NBL works no. 24680) on a small section of the main line near Tulkarm on the West Bank side of the 1949 Armistice line. It remained there, increasingly derelict, until after the 1967 Israeli invasion of the West Bank, until Israelis finally removed and scrapped it in about 1973. During the war the London and North Eastern Railway built sixty-eight Stanier 8Fs for their own use, classifying them as O6. Thirty-nine returned from overseas service to Britain at the end of the War. At nationalisation in 1948, 663 8Fs entered British Railways stock, with three further examples, No 48773 to No 48775, (previously AD500-2) being purchased from the Longmoor Military Railway in 1957, bringing the total to 666.