LMS Fowler Class 4F

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LMS Fowler Class 4F
Stockport 2 railway geograph-2189845.jpg
44444 at Stockport, 1950
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Henry Fowler
Build date 1924–1941
Total produced 575
Configuration 0-6-0
UIC classification C h2
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter 5 ft 3 in (1.600 m)
Length 52 ft 0 18 in (15.853 m)
Locomotive weight 48.75 long tons (49.53 t)
Tender weight 41.20 long tons (41.86 t)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 4 long tons (4.1 t)
Water capacity 3,500 imp gal (16,000 l; 4,200 US gal)
Boiler LMS type G7S
Boiler pressure 175 lbf/in2 (1.21 MPa)
Firegrate area 21 sq ft (2.0 m2)
Heating surface:
– Tubes and flues
1,034 sq ft (96.1 m2)
– Firebox 124 sq ft (11.5 m2)
Superheater area 252 sq ft (23.4 m2) later 246 sq ft (22.9 m2)
Cylinders Two, inside
Cylinder size 20 in × 26 in (510 mm × 660 mm)
Valve gear Stephenson
Valve type Piston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort 24,555 lbf (109.23 kN)
Power class 4F
Axle load class BR: Route Availability 5
Withdrawn 1959–1966
Disposition 3 Preserved, remainder scrapped
An earlier view of 44458, this time passing Water Orton.

The London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Fowler 4F is a class of 0-6-0 steam locomotive designed for medium freight work. They represent the ultimate development of Midland Railway's six coupled tender engines. Many trainspotters knew them as "Duck Sixes", a nickname derived from their wheel arrangement.[1]


The 4F was based on the 197-strong Midland Railway 3835 Class of 1911, with only a few modifications, primarily the adoption of left-hand drive in favour of right-hand drive. They originally had been designed by Henry Fowler, who from 1925 became CME of the LMS.

Midland Railway locomotives were notorious for their short axle-box bearings, which were prone to overheating. Why this poor design feature was perpetuated is a complete mystery but, unfortunately, the LMS 4F inherited it.


4129 with number on the tender, pre-1928

The LMS constructed 530 of the locomotives between 1923 and 1928, numbered sequentially from where the Midland engines left off from 4027. A further 45 examples were reluctantly authorised by William Stanier in 1937 at the behest of the operating department.

The missing numbers (4)4557–61 relate to five locomotives built for the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway to the Midland Railway 3835 Class design in 1922, and taken into LMS stock in 1930.

All entered British Railways stock in 1948. BR added 40000 to their numbers. They were all withdrawn between 1959 and 1966.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 12 February 1929, locomotive No. 4491 was hauling a freight train that was in a head-on collision with an express passenger train at Doe Hill station, Derbyshire due to a signalman's error. Two people were killed.[2]
  • On 4 September 1942, locomotive No. 4541 was hauling a freight train that overran the end of a loop in blackout conditions at Todmorden, Yorkshire and was derailed.[3]
  • On 6 June 1961, a locomotive of the class was running light when it was in a head-on collision with a freight train at Carlisle Citadel station, Cumberland.[3]


Withdrawals from stock occurred between 1959 and 1966.

Year No. withdrawn Nos
1959 44
1960 41
1961 23
1962 74
1963 134
1964 151
1965 97
1966 11


Preserved 44422 pulls into Holt station on the North Norfolk Railway.

Three LMS-built 4Fs survive, with the first-built LMS 4F No. (4)4027 is part of the National Railway Collection. In addition, one Midland 4F, No. (4)3924 has also survived.

Numbers Location Condition
4027 44027 Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Recently transferred from the Midland Railway - Butterley, overhaul now started and making steady progress
4123 44123 Avon Valley Railway Restoration in progress
4422 44422 Crewe Heritage Centre Undergoing overhaul, will move to the West Somerset Railway when complete


The 4F has been modelled by Lima (O, OO, HO and N Gauge) and Graham Farish (N Gauge, still produced under the Bachmann label). Hornby, Bachmann and Airfix have also produced OO gauge versions.


  1. ^ Platforms Souls (Chap.1), Whittaker, Nicholas, Gollancz, London, 1995
  2. ^ Earnshaw, Alan (1991). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 7. Penryn: Atlantic Books. p. 22. ISBN 0-906899-50-8. 
  3. ^ a b Earnshaw, Alan (1990). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 6. Penryn: Atlantic Books. pp. 27, 39. ISBN 0-906899-37-0. 
  • David Hunt, John Jennison Bob Essery & Fred James LMS Locomotive Profiles No.10: The Standard Class 4 Goods 0-6-0s ISBN 1-905184-35-2 (pictorial supplement ISBN 1-905184-37-9)
  • Rowledge, J.W.P (1975). Engines of the LMS, built 1923–51. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 0-902888-59-5. 

External links[edit]