LMS Period Locomotives: lnwrbns_lms492
Ex-LNWR 4-6-2T No 962 is seen still in its LNWR livery
standing at the West end of Platform One with coaches forming a Coventry to
Birmingham local service circa 1923. The formation of the LMS had only occurred
in the year the photograph was taken and therefore the scene above is still
purely LNWR. This class of locomotive was designed in 1911 by Bowen Cooke and
according to Ted Talbot in his Illustrated History of LNWR Engines were
subsequently to be known as '5ft 6in Superheater Tanks'. Ted states that the
pipes seen up the front of the cab were associated with two curved pipes over
the back of the bunker for releasing air when picking up water, a modification
introduced by Beames in 1921-2.
Philip Millard writes, ''The first two arc-roof vehicles
behind the locomotive are of great interest and of some rarity. The first coach
behind the loco is a 45ft 0in Lavatory Brake-Third to D 227 (only 6 existed).
The second coach is a 42ft 0in Lavatory Composite to D 160, formerly in the
West Coast Joint Stock fleet. In the Stour Valley bay, to the left of No 962,
the coaches are LNWR elliptical roof, late-period 57ft 0in suburban stock".
Philip adds, "LNWR No 962 was built in August 1912 at Crewe works and became
LMS No 6970 in December 1926 before being withdrawn from service in May 1936.
Note the one headlamp over the right-hand buffer - meaning its working should
be classified as an ordinary goods train! So it was probably a tail lamp and
the train has reversed/shunted into the platform".
Philip queried whether the number given on the reverse of
the photograph is correct. Having examined an enlargement of the image, the
quality of which is poor, Philip continues, "Are we sure that the loco is No
962? There are several possibilities, Nos 915, 932, 944, 963 as well as 962.
But none of these seems to have been at any shed in the Birmingham area at the
dates for which I have records, in 1919 and 1926. Nos 962 and 963 were at Tebay
and then Patricroft - so very unlikely to be seen at New Street. No 932 was at
Tebay and Buxton, so ditto. No 944 was at Buxton at both dates. No 915 was at
Crewe North and Buxton. None of the engines were assigned to Monument Lane at
any time (Shed Code No 6 in 1919, Shed Code No 2 in 1926) had
numbers remotely resembling No 962. So we are no further forward! It cannot be
a running in turn following a Crewe Works visit as the loco is not fresh and
the train heading is South. So - how did No 962 (Tebay and Patricroft) come to
be at New Street?