BR standard class 5

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
BR Standard Class 5
St Pancras 2 railway station 2115487 10c7b92d.jpg
No 73142 ready to depart with the 10.50 Express from London St Pancras to Leicester in 1957. Note the Caprotti valve gear.
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer R. A. Riddles
Builder BR Derby Works (130)
BR Doncaster Works (42)
Build date April 1951 - June 1957
Total produced 172
Configuration 4-6-0
UIC classification 2′C h2
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading wheel
3 ft 0 in (0.914 m)
Driver diameter 6 ft 2 in (1.880 m)
Length 62 ft 7 in (19.08 m)
Width 8 ft 9 in (2.67 m)
Height 13 ft 0 in (3.96 m)
Axle load 19.70 long tons (20.02 t)
Weight on drivers 58.05 long tons (58.98 t)
Locomotive weight 76.00 long tons (77.22 t)
Tender weight BR1/BR1H: 49.15 long tons (49.94 t);
BR1B: 51.25 long tons (52.07 t);
BR1C: 53.25 long tons (54.10 t);
BR1F: 55.25 long tons (56.14 t);
BR1G: 52.50 long tons (53.34 t);
Tender type BR1 (50), BR1B (62), BR1C (35), BR1F (10), BR1G (3), BH1H (12)
Fuel capacity BR1C: 9.00 long tons (9.14 t);
All others: 7.00 long tons (7.11 t)
Water capacity BR1/BR1H: 4,250 imp gal (19,300 l; 5,100 US gal);
BR1B/BR1C: 4,725 imp gal (21,480 l; 5,674 US gal);
BR1F: 5,625 imp gal (25,570 l; 6,755 US gal);
BR1G: 5,000 imp gal (23,000 l; 6,000 US gal)
Boiler BR3
Boiler pressure 225 psi (1.55 MPa)
Firegrate area 28.7 sq ft (2.67 m2)
Heating surface:
– Tubes and flues
1,479 sq ft (137.4 m2)
– Firebox 171 sq ft (15.9 m2)
Superheater area 358 sq ft (33.3 m2)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 19 in × 28 in (483 mm × 711 mm)
Valve gear Walschaerts (73000–73124, 73155–73171)
Caprotti (73125–73154)
Performance figures
Tractive effort 26,120 lbf (116.2 kN)
Factor of
Operator(s) British Railways
Power class 5MT
Number(s) 73000–73171
Axle load class Route availability 7
BR (WR): Red
Withdrawn February 1964 – June 1968
Disposition Five preserved, remainder scrapped

The British Railways Standard Class 5MT 4-6-0 was one of the 12 standard classes of steam locomotive built by British Railways in the 1950s. It was essentially a development of the LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 ("Black Five"). 172 were built between 1951 and 1957.


William Stanier's Black Five had been the most successful mixed-traffic type in Great Britain. Construction of the Black Fives had started in 1934 and continued past nationalisation to 1951. A new set of 'standard' locomotives was to be built by British Railways, based on LMS designs and incorporating modern ideas.

In particular, the Standard design incorporated features designed to make disposal easier: a self-cleaning smokebox and a rocking grate removed the necessity for crews to undertake dirty and strenuous duties at the end of a long shift.[1] The Standard 5 was a much more economical high speed express engine than the Black 5. Like the "Clan" class locomotives, Standard 5s, with their high-stepped running board, were partly conceived to be far easier running replacements for the Bulleid Pacific. Like the Clans, the Standard Fives took a long time to shake down, and only started to really pull when different firing techniques, developed for low emission passenger locomotives, came into use. They pulled the bulk of the traffic on the last express lines for steam in the mid and late 1960's: Edinburgh- Aberdeen, London- Southhampton-Bournemouth- Weymouth; and local express traffic in the North and Midlands around Sheffield and Leeds. They were also used on the locals between Liverpool, Manchester and Blackpool, effectively steam hauled to the last day in 1968.[citation needed]

Design and construction[edit]

The design work was done at the ex-LNER Doncaster Works but the bulk of the construction was done at Derby Works. The locomotive featured a Type 3B boiler almost identical to that of the Black Fives. The most obvious visible changes were a higher running plate, slightly enlarged driving wheels (from 6 ft 0 in (1.829 m) to 6 ft 2 in (1.880 m)) and a standard cab.

The first of the class, 73000, was outshopped from Derby in April 1951 and 30 were in service by January 1952. There was then a gap in construction before Derby resumed building its remaining 100 engines. 42 were built at Doncaster, starting in August 1955 and finishing in May 1957, with Derby's last engine following a month later.

Thirty engines, numbers 73125 to 73154, were built with Caprotti valve gear and poppet valves. One of these engines (73129) survives today at Butterley. It and 71000 Duke of Gloucester are the only engines with Caprotti gear left in Britain.

In service[edit]

In 1959 20 of the Southern Region locomotives were named, the names being transferred from SR King Arthur class locos that were then being withdrawn. These were:

73002 passing through Water Orton, 1964.

73020 is known to have been used on Southern Region, photographed departing Southampton Terminus on 18 September 1965.[2]

73022 has also been photographed in service on the Southern Region, pulling a Boat Train across Canute Road in Southampton on 29 September 1966.[2] This engine also starred in the BTC film Wash and Brush Up, showing the routine boiler washout and cleaning of the smokebox and ash screens every 12-16 days while in service. On completion of this, 73020 hauled the 12.10pm goods to Camden.

73114 Etarre has been photographed in service on 20 March 1966, pulling a Boat Train through Fareham while diverted due to electrification work on the Southern Region mainline from Southampton to London Waterloo.[2]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Main article: Eastbourne rail crash
  • On 25 August 1958, locomotive No. 73042 was hauling a sleeper car train which overran a signal and was in a head-on collision with a train formed fron two electric multiple units at Eastbourne, East Sussex. Five people were killed and 40 were injured.
  • In 1958, locomotive No. 73111 was hauling a passenger train that derailed at Millbrook, Hampshire due to a faulty point motor moving a set of points under the train.[3]


73096 arriving at Alton station
Preserved 73096 on the mainline at Virginia Water.

Five have survived:

Number Name Home Notes
73050 - Nene Valley Railway Operational. Named City of Peterborough in preservation.
73082 Camelot Bluebell Railway Undergoing overhaul. Last worked 2005. Featured in 102 Dalmatians.
73096 - Southall Railway Centre Boiler ticket expired September 2011, stored awaiting overhaul.
73129 - Midland Railway - Butterley Operational. One of only 2 engines left in Britain with Caprotti valve gear.
73156 - Great Central Railway Undergoing restoration which includes a new tender and motion.


  1. ^ Terry Essery, Steam Locomotives compared, Atlantic Transport Publishers, ISBN 0-906899-65-6
  2. ^ a b c South Coast Railways - Portsmouth to Southampton. Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith. 1986. ISBN 0-906520-31-2
  3. ^ Bishop, Bill (1984). Off the Rails. Southampton: Kingfisher. pp. 76–77. ISBN 0 946184 06 2. 


  • A Detailed History of BR Standard Steam Locomotives, - Vol 2 - The 4-6-0 and 2-6-0 Classes. RCTS ISBN 0-901115-93-2
  • Bradley, Rodger P. (1984). The Standard Steam Locomotives of British Railways. David & Charles Publishers plc. 

External links[edit]