LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0

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LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0
44949 Manchester Victoria.jpg
No:44949 at Manchester Victoria in 1968.
Power type Steam
Designer William Stanier
Builder LMS Crewe Works (241)
LMS Derby Works (54)
LMS Horwich Works (120)
Vulcan Foundry (100)
Armstrong Whitworth (327)
Serial number AW: 1166–1265, 1280–1506
VF: 4565–4614, 4618–4667
Build date 1934–1951
Total produced 842
Configuration 4-6-0
UIC classification 2'Ch
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading wheel
39.5 in (1.003 m)
Driver diameter 72 in (1.829 m)
Length 63 ft 7 34 in (19.40 m) or 63 ft 11 34 in (19.50 m)
Locomotive weight 72.2 long tons (73.4 t) to 75 long tons (76.2 t)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 9 long tons (9.1 t)
Water capacity 4,000 imp gal (18,000 l; 4,800 US gal)
Boiler LMS type 3B
Boiler pressure 225 psi (1.55 MPa) superheated
Firegrate area 27.75 sq ft (2.578 m2) or 28.5 sq ft (2.65 m2)
Heating surface:
– Firebox
156 sq ft (14.5 m2) or 171 sq ft (15.9 m2)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 18.5 in × 28 in (470 mm × 711 mm)
Valve gear Most Walschaerts; some Caprotti; one outside Stephenson
Tractive effort 25,455 lbf (113.23 kN)
Railroad(s) LMS, BR
Power class LMS: 5P5F
Axle load class Route Availability 7
Withdrawn 1961–1968
Disposition 18 preserved, remainder scrapped

The London Midland and Scottish Railway's Class 5 4-6-0, almost universally known as the Black Five, is a class of steam locomotive. It was introduced by William Stanier in 1934 and 842 were built between then and 1951. Members of the class survived to the last day of steam on British Railways in 1968, and eighteen are preserved. This class of locomotive was often a favourite amongst drivers and railway fans.


The Black Fives were a mixed traffic locomotive, a "do-anything go-anywhere" type, designed by Stanier, who had previously been with the GWR. In his early LMS days, he designed his Stanier Mogul 2-6-0 in which he experimented with the GWR school of thought on locomotive design. A number of details in this design he would never use again realising the superiority of details not used on the GWR. Stanier realised that there was a need for larger locomotives. These were to be the LMS's version of the GWR Halls but not a copy, as the Hall was too wide to run most places in Britain. They shared similar cylinder arrangement (two outside), internal boiler design and size and 6 foot driving wheel diameters.

In their early days the locomotives were known as the "Black Staniers" from their black livery, in contrast to Stanier's other class of 4-6-0, the LMS Stanier Jubilee Class, which were painted crimson (and known until April 1935 as the "Red Staniers"). Later on, the nickname of the former became "Black Five", the number referring to the power classification. This was originally 5P5F, but from 1940 was shown on cabsides as the simple figure 5.[1]


There were a number of detail variations in the locomotives and they did not all remain in the same condition as built. Some locomotives built under British Railways administration were used as test beds for various design modifications with a view to incorporating the successful modifications in the Standard Classes of locomotives built from 1951 onwards. These modifications included outside Caprotti valve gear, roller bearings (both Timken and Skefco types) on the coupled and tender axles in varying combinations, and an experimental steel firebox. Other locomotives had modified draughting to "self clean" the smokebox (thereby reducing turn-around and disposal times and eliminating or mitigating one of the most unpopular jobs).

The domeless engines[edit]

45073 at Rose Grove shed, spring 1968. Although a domeless boiler, the casing over the top feed is often mistaken for a dome

Numbering started from 5000, with the first twenty being ordered from Crewe Works in April 1934, and a further fifty (5020–5069) ordered from the Vulcan Foundry in 1933.[2] The first of the Vulcan Foundry engines entered service in 1934, and the entire order of 50 was delivered before the first Crewe-built engine, no. 5000, was completed in February 1935.[3] The first 57 locomotives were built with domeless boilers with straight throatplates and a low degree of superheat (14 elements in two rows), the boilers of the remaining 13 (5007–5019) were provided with a three-row version (21 elements)[4] having greater total surface area and giving less obstruction to gas flow.[3] The original 57 boilers were converted later to higher superheat (24 elements) and fitted with a dome. Further orders were placed with Crewe (5070–5074), Vulcan Foundry (5075–5124) and Armstrong Whitworth (5125–5224) for a total of 155 locomotives which were also built with domeless boilers with straight throatplates and 21 element superheaters. All these boilers, including the early converted ones with a dome, were fitted indiscriminately to any of the first 225 engines, which could appear at various times with domed or domeless boilers.

However, many of the early frames were converted to accept sloping throatplate boilers, as listed below. This modification was carried out to provide a stock of spare boilers for the early engines, which would minimise the time spent in works by engines awaiting a fresh boiler. All locomotives from no. 5225 were fitted when new with the sloping throatplate boiler. All extra boilers made had the sloping throatplate arrangement, and only one example of a later engine having been fitted with a straight throatplate boiler is known - no. 45433. Several different patterns of boiler were used on the locomotives, running into double figures. The throatplate design was the most significant, but there were also different numbers of superheater flues, firegrate arrangement, stay material, dome and water feed arrangements, washout plug placement, etc. in various combinations.

The following locomotives were built with straight throatplate boilers, but were later fitted with a sloping throatplate boiler (date in brackets). Conversion was done by relocating the frame stretcher immediately in front of the firebox. Some of them reverted to straight throatplate at a later date, and these are also shown where known. Those marked with an asterisk were fitted with a boiler which had the top feed on the front ring on the date shown. In the case of no. 45087 it had previously been converted. The first conversion was carried out on no. 5022, and the last known was on no. 45163, which has been preserved.

5002 (12/37), 45007 (1/60), 45008 (1/60*), 45011 (1/49*+), 5020 (2/37), 5022 (10/36) reverted (10/58), 5023 (2/38) reverted (3/53), 5026 (2/37) reverted (1/59), 5027 (12/36), 5040 (11/36), 5045 (11/54), 5047 (1/37), 45049 (7/54) reverted (8/59), 5054 (1/37), 5057 (11/37), 5058 (11/37), 5059 (7/45), 45066 (4/60), 45082 (12/56*), 45087 (9/55) (12/60*), 5097 (1/37), 5108 (6/45), 45109 (5/48), 5142 (12/37), 45151 (3/51), 45163 (5/61), 45169 (7/55), 45197 (5/60)

+ The subsequent history of 45011 is not clear. Official records have gone missing and have not been relocated. There is a photograph in existence dated April 1963, showing 45011 ex-works with a straight throatplate boiler and simple top feed, i.e. without the dome-like shape.[citation needed]

NB: The official records were not always updated after around 1960/61, although some were. For example in the case of no. 45082, it was fitted with a brand new boiler at the end of 1956, one of the last batch of four boilers that were manufactured for this class. Since it survived in service for a further nine and a half years, there is no doubt that 45082 will have had at least one further boiler lift and indeed a photograph exists of it at Hellifield with a given date of May 1962 showing it with an older boiler with the dome and feed both on the tapered ring. Unfortunately it is not clear from the photo whether it is a straight or sloping throatplate boiler.

The pre-war domed engines[edit]

A further 227 were ordered from Armstrong-Whitworth in 1936, the largest single locomotive order ever given by a British railway to an outside contractor. Crewe built a further 20, which had higher degree superheat boilers, with 28 elements, unlike the AW boilers, which had 24 elements.

5471, built at Crewe in 1938, would be the last built for five years. During the early stages of the Second World War, the priority was for heavy freight engines, and the closely related 8Fs were produced in large numbers.

Wartime and postwar domed engines[edit]

In 1943 construction was restarted, with Derby Works building its first. Construction continued up to no. 5499. As the numbering block from 5500 was allocated to the Patriot Class, a further batch of 200 locomotives were numbered from 4800 to 4999, followed by a batch from 4658 to 4799. By this time the LMS had been nationalised, and British Railways added 40000 to all numbers. Eventually the 842 examples would number 44658–45499.

Ivatt engines and experimental modifications[edit]

From early 1947, engines were built with the top feed on the front ring of the boiler (from no. 4998), and Nos 44658-767 had a longer wheelbase (27 ft 6in rather than 27 ft 2in, with the change in the coupled wheelbase from 7 ft + 8 ft to 7 ft + 8 ft 3in). In 1948, George Ivatt introduced more modifications to bearings and valve gear. 4767 was built with Stephenson link motion in 1947. 44738-57 were built with Caprotti valve gear. The last two, nos. 44686 and 44687 built at Horwich in 1951, were fitted with a new arrangement of Caprotti valve gear, which was later used on some of the BR standard Class fives, and the BR class 8 4-6-2.


Construction details[edit]


Only four Black Fives are confirmed to have received names, though seven have been named in preservation (see below). All of them were named after Scottish regiments. There is also some evidence that 5155 briefly carried the name The Queens Edinburgh during the Second World War, but photographic confirmation of this is lacking.[5]

Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 names[6]
LMS No. BR No. Name Date named Name removed
5154 45154 Lanarkshire Yeomanry 1937
5156 45156 Ayrshire Yeomanry 1936
5157 45157 The Glasgow Highlander 1936
5158 45158 Glasgow Yeomanry 1936


45401 was the first Black Five to be withdrawn from stock in 1961 following a collision at Warrington, although the boiler was re-used and actually lasted to the end of steam on BR. The remainder of the class were withdrawn between 1962 and 1968. Some members of the class survived to the last day of steam on BR in August 1968.

Summary of withdrawals
Year No. withdrawn No(s)
1961 1 45401
1962 21 etc.
1963 29 etc.
1964 67 etc.
1965 97 etc.
1966 171 etc.
1967 305 etc.
1968 151 44663–5/72/83–90


Eighteen locomotives have been preserved:

Number Name† Builder Location Status Image
4767 44767 George Stephenson Crewe Works North Norfolk Railway Operational, returned to steam in 2010. Currently undergoing repairs. This locomotive was the sole member of the class equipped with Stephenson's valve gear. Bishops Lydeard - 44767.jpg
4806 44806 Kenneth Aldcroft
prev. Magpie
Derby Works North Yorkshire Moors Railway Operational, returned to steam in 2007. Sold to North Yorkshire Moors Railway 2013. 44806 Carrog.jpg
4871 44871 Sovereign (former name) Crewe Works East Lancashire Railway Operational and mainline certified; owned by Ian Riley, returned to steam in 2009. Hugh llewelyn 44871 (6647112497).jpg
4901 44901 Crewe Works Private site Awaiting restoration from Barry Scrapyard condition. Boiler sold to Ian Riley. Will be based at the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway.
4932 44932 Horwich Works West Coast Railway Company Mainline operational. 'Black Five' 44932 at Skipton.JPG
5000 45000 Crewe Works Shildon Locomotion Museum On static display, wears LMS livery. Part of the National Collection. Black 5 5000 (5441473814).jpg
5025 45025 Vulcan Foundry Strathspey Railway Stored awaiting overhaul; work expected to commence in Late 2012. Wears LMS livery. Black 5 no.5025 - geograph.org.uk - 511056.jpg
5110 45110 Vulcan Foundry Severn Valley Railway On static display in The Engine House. 45134 Kidderminster (2).jpg
5163 45163 Armstrong Whitworth Colne Valley Railway Under restoration.
5212 45212 Armstrong Whitworth Keighley and Worth Valley Railway On long term loan to Ian Riley, currently undergoing overhaul at Bury. 45212 at Fen Bog on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.jpg
5231 45231 The Sherwood Forester Armstrong Whitworth West Coast Railway Company Mainline operational. Currently on loan to the Bluebell Railway. 45231 Rabbit Bridge.jpg
5293 45293 Armstrong Whitworth Colne Valley Railway Under restoration.
5305 45305 Alderman A. E. Draper Armstrong Whitworth Great Central Railway Operational, mainline certified and based at Great Central Railway Loughborough.
Boiler certificate expires 2020. Owned by The Draper Family, Hull. On loan to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
Hugh llewelyn 45305 & 70013 (5829915330).jpg
5337 45337 Armstrong Whitworth Nene Valley Railway Operational, returned to steam September 2010. Usually based at East Lancashire Railway, Bury. Preserved steam at Irwell Vale - geograph.org.uk - 331546.jpg
5379 45379 Armstrong Whitworth Mid-Hants Railway Operational; returned to steam 10 September 2010. Crowcombe - 45379.jpg
5407 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier Armstrong Whitworth East Lancashire Railway Operational and mainline certified; owned by Ian Riley. 45407.jpg
5428 45428 Eric Treacy Armstrong Whitworth North Yorkshire Moors Railway Operational, returned to steam April 2010.
'Black Five' 45428.JPG
5491 45491 Derby Works Great Central Railway Under restoration. Only surviving example with boiler with top feed on the front ring in conjunction with Walschaerts valve gear.

† In all cases, names are not historically accurate.

Details of the boilers currently fitted to preserved examples.

Loco Number Boiler Number First Loco when new Description - ( sloping throatplate unless otherwise stated )
44767 12870 4790 28 element with dome on second ring, and top feed on front ring
44806 9349 5229 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
44871 9478 5358 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring (The last 3 engines this boiler was fitted to have all been preserved)
44901 11322 Spare 28 element with dome and top feed on second ring, manufactured 5/42, first used on 5455 7/43
44932 10344 5457 28 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45000 9030 5100 21 element domeless, straight throatplate
45025 9018 5088 21 element domeless, straight throatplate
45110 8963 5183 21 element domeless, straight throatplate
45163 9459 5339 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45212 8682 5065 24 element, straight throatplate with dome. Originally 14 element domeless, re-built to 24 element
45231 9358 5238 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45293 9514 5394 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45305 9515 5395 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45337 12136 4932 28 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45379 9455 5335 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45407 9509 5389 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45428 9567 5447 24 element with dome and top feed on second ring
45491 12823 4778 28 element with dome on second ring, and top feed on front ring


In fiction[edit]

In The Railway Series children's books by the Rev. W. Awdry, the character Henry the Green Engine, in his later form, is based on a Black Five.[7]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • David Hunt, Bob Essery and Fred James with David Jennison and David Clarke LMS Locomotive Profiles (three volumes, three pictorial supplements):
    • No. 5 The mixed traffic class 5s. Part 1. Nos. 5000–5224. (+ pictorial supplement)
    • No. 6 The mixed traffic class 5s. Part 2. Walschaerts and Stephenson valve gear engines from the 5225–5499 and 4658–4999 series. (+ pictorial supplement)
    • No. 7 Mixed traffic class 5s: Caprotti valve gear engines and class summary (+ pictorial supplement)
  • Brian Reed and Pat Rowledge Stanier 4-6-0s of the LMS
  • J.S. Whiteley, Gavin Morrison The Power of the Black Fives


  1. ^ Rowledge, John Westbury Peter; Reed, Brian (1984) [1977]. The Stanier 4-6-0s of the LMS. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. pp. 49, 23. ISBN 0-7153-7385-4. 
  2. ^ Rowledge & Reed 1984, p. 48
  3. ^ a b Rowledge & Reed 1984, p. 50
  4. ^ Cook, A.F. (1999). Raising Steam on the LMS. RCTS. p. 147. ISBN 0-901115-85-1. 
  5. ^ see Hunt et al.
  6. ^ Rowledge, J.W.P. (1975). Engines of the LMS built 1923–51. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. p. 11. ISBN 0-902888-59-5. 
  7. ^ The Rev. W., Awdry; G Awdry (1987). The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways. Kaye & Ward. p. 129. ISBN 0-434-92762-7.