BR Standard Class 4 4-6-0

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BR Standard Class 4 4-6-0
Preserved Standard Class 4 4-6-0 No. 75027 on the Bluebell Railway
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
DesignerR. A. Riddles
BuilderBR Swindon Works
Build dateMay 1951 – May 1957
Total produced80
 • Whyte4-6-0
 • UIC2′C h2
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading dia.3 ft 0 in (0.914 m)
Driver dia.5 ft 8 in (1.727 m)
Length60 ft 0 in (18.29 m)
Width8 ft 9 12 in (2.68 m)
Height13 ft 0 in (3.96 m)
Axle load17.25 long tons (17.53 t; 19.32 short tons)
Adhesive weight51.55 long tons (52.38 t; 57.74 short tons)
Loco weight67.90 long tons (68.99 t; 76.05 short tons)
Tender weightBR1B: 49.15 long tons (49.94 t);
BR2/BR2A: 42.15 long tons (42.83 t)
Tender typeBR1B (15), BR2 (50), BR2A (15)
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacityBR1B: 7.00 long tons (7.11 t; 7.84 short tons);
BR2/BR2A: 6.00 long tons (6.10 t; 6.72 short tons)
Water capBR1B: 4,725 imp gal (21,480 l; 5,674 US gal);
BR2/BR2A: 3,500 imp gal (16,000 l; 4,200 US gal)
 • Firegrate area
26.7 sq ft (2.48 m2)
Boiler pressure225 psi (1.55 MPa)
Heating surface:
 • Tubes and flues
1,301 sq ft (120.9 m2)
 • Firebox143 sq ft (13.3 m2)
 • Heating area258 sq ft (24.0 m2)
CylindersTwo, outside
Cylinder size18 in × 28 in (457 mm × 711 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort25,515 lbf (113.5 kN)
Factor of adh.4.52
OperatorsBritish Railways
Power class4MT
Axle load classBR1B: Route Availability 7
BR2/BR2A: Route Availability 4
WithdrawnOctober 1964 – August 1968
Disposition6 preserved, remainder scrapped

The British Railways Standard Class 4 4-6-0 is a class of steam locomotives, 80 of which were built during the 1950s. Six have been preserved.


The class was introduced in 1951. They were designed for mixed traffic use on secondary routes where the otherwise ubiquitous BR standard class 5 and their predecessors, the Black Fives, would be too heavy. They were essentially a tender version of the standard 4 2-6-4T, with similar characteristics to the GWR Manor Class, though unlike the Manors they were built to the universal loading gauge. They used the same running gear as the tank engine (with the leading bogie from the Standard Class 5), and substantially the same firebox, smokebox and boiler, although the boiler barrel was increased in length by 9 inches (229 mm).[1]

Design work was done at Brighton by R. A. Riddles, with help from Swindon, Derby and Doncaster. Construction was at the BR Swindon Works.

The engine weighed 67.90 long tons (68.99 t; 76.05 short tons), was 60 ft 0 in (18.29 m) long, with 5 ft 8 in (1.727 m) diameter driving wheels. It had two cylinders of 18 inches (457 mm) diameter and 28 inches (711 mm) stroke operated at maximum boiler pressure of 225 lbf/in2 (1.55 MPa), to produce 25,515 lbf (113.5 kN) tractive effort. Its British Railways power classification was 4MT.

It normally used the standard BR2 or BR2A tender, which weighed 42.15 long tons (42.83 t; 47.21 short tons) and carried 3,500 imp gal (16,000 l; 4,200 US gal) of water and 6.00 long tons (6.10 t; 6.72 short tons) of coal. In this configuration its route availability was 4, almost universal over the British Railways network.

In service[edit]

75073 at Bath Green Park shed in the mid-1960s

The class was initially allocated to the London Midland Region (45) and the Western Region (20). The last 15 were allocated to the Southern Region. The Southern batch were built with BR1B tenders, which weighed 49.15 long tons (49.94 t; 55.05 short tons), and carried 4,725 imp gal (21,480 l; 5,674 US gal) of water and 7.00 long tons (7.11 t; 7.84 short tons) of coal. This reduced their route availability to 7, the same as the Standard Class 5.

Table of withdrawals
Year Quantity in
service at
start of year
Locomotive numbers Notes
1964 80 2 75001/67
1965 78 11 75000/03/05/07–08/22/25/28/38/72–73
1966 67 20 75011/14/23/31/36/44–45/49–51/53–54/56–57/63/65–66/69–70/79
1967 47 37 75002/04/06/10/12–13/15–18/24/26/29–30/33/35/37/39–40/42–43/46–47/52/55/58–61/64/68/71/74–78
1968 10 10 75009/19–21/27/32/34/41/48/62


Six members of the class have survived into preservation, with all of them apart from 75079 having run at some point. Two members of the class were purchased directly from BR for preservation (75027 & 75029); the remaining four engines were rescued from Woodham Brothers' scrapyard at Barry Island.

No member of the class is presently main line approved but three of them (75014, 75029 and 75069) have worked on the main line at various points in preservation. 75029 was passed to work on the main line between Grosmont and Whitby with occasional visits to Battersby during galas, but now the engine is out of service waiting for work to be undertaken on the boiler and firebox. Two members of the class (75014 and 75078) are presently operational, with 75014 being the most recent engine to return to service. 75027 has been cosmetically restored for display as part of the Bluebell Railway's 'Steamworks!' exhibition.

Number & Name Tender Attached Built Withdrawn Service life Location Livery Status Image
75014 "Braveheart" BR2A Nov 1951 Dec 1966 15 years, 30 days Dartmouth Steam Railway BR Lined Black, Early Emblem Operational, boiler ticket expires: 2026. Railway Overbridge near Kingswear - - 13635.jpg
75027 BR2A May 1954 Aug 1968 14 years, 3 months Bluebell Railway BR Lined Green, Late Crest Static Display 75027 Bluebell railway.jpg
75029 "The Green Knight" BR2A May 1954 Aug 1967 13 years, 3 months North Yorkshire Moors Railway BR Lined Green, Late Crest Undergoing overhaul 75029 at Grosmont (1).jpg
75069 BR1B Sept 1955 Sept 1966 11 years Severn Valley Railway *BR Lined Black, Late Crest Undergoing overhaul Standard class 4MT 75069 at Hastings, Ashford 150.jpg
75078 BR1B Jan 1956 Jul 1966 10 years, 5 months Keighley and Worth Valley Railway BR Lined Black, Late Crest Operational, boiler ticket expires: 2024. Keighley and Worth Valley Railway near Haworth - - 624800.jpg
75079 BR1B Jan 1956 Nov 1966 10 years, 10 months Mid-Hants Railway N/A Undergoing restoration. BR Standard Class 4 4-6-0 75079 At Ropley.jpg


Bachmann and Hornby have both recently released models of these engines in 00 gauge.


  1. ^ Casserley, H.C. (1960). The Observer's Book of Railway Locomotives of Britain. London: Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd. p. 226.
  • 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. ISBN 0715383841.

External links[edit]