L&YR Class 32
|L&YR Class 32|
From 1903 and Ivatt's Class L1, several of the UK railway companies introduced extremely large tank engines that were eight- or even ten-coupled,[i] with few carrying axles, so as to achieve the maximum adhesive weight over their driving wheels. Although limited in their maximum speed by the lack of any pilot truck; their size was the maximum permitted by the loading gauge and their axle loading, and so they could achieve a high tractive effort. On some lines this was put to use for accelerating suburban passenger services, in competition with the new electric railways. Other railways required heavy shunters, to cope with the increasing weight of freight trains. These were particularly needed for the new technology of hump shunting. Although the tank engine layout restricted the coal and water capacity that could be provided (their large boilers left little space for side tanks), all of these uses were relatively short ranged, and so the engines did not require long endurance.
In 1908, Hughes produced a locomotive of this type for the Lancashire and Yorkshire. These tank engines were based on the previous Aspinall Class 30 0-8-0 tender engines, although their similarities have often been over-emphasised. Their coupled wheelbase was extended by two feet to 24 feet 6 inches (7.47 m), requiring the two centre drivers to be flangeless, with widened tyre treads, to allow them to negotiate a tight radius curve within a marshalling yard. This was more successful than similar flangeless drivers had been with Hoy's Class 26 2-6-2Ts, where they had shown a tendency for the centre drivers to drop between the rails if track in a siding wasn't maintained as well as main-line track. The two inside cylinders were 21 1⁄2 by 26 inches (546 mm × 660 mm) and were the largest in size of any non-compound engine in the country.
The type 'L' boiler was again substantially different to any other class. It was 5' 9" in diameter, a foot larger than the 'J' boiler of the previous engines. A Belpaire firebox and Ramsbottom safety valves were used. A similar boiler was fitted to Hughes' 1910 large-boilered Class 9 development of the Class 30. Although this was another feature often described as being in common with the 0-8-0s, they were actually longer than the L boiler. The L boiler was unique to the Class 32, although they were made on the same flanging plates as Hughes' Dreadnought class. This unique boiler would eventually lead to the class' early withdrawal, when the boilers were due for replacement at twenty years old.
Superheating was an innovation at this time and not yet firmly established, mostly owing to difficulties in providing adequate cylinder lubrication. Hughes was an advocate of superheating and used it when rebuilding the 7'3" Class 4 express 4-4-0s, fitting Schmidt superheaters and piston valves, along with Walschaerts valve gear. Despite this, he recognised that an intermittently worked shunting engine such as the 0-8-2Ts would not allow the superheater elements to reach their optimum working temperature, and so retained a simpler saturated boiler.
Lancashire & Yorkshire
All five engines were ordered from Horwich Works in one batch as Lot 59 on 28 November 1907. They were delivered between March and April 1908. They carried the full 'passenger' livery of the L&YR, in black with single red and double white lining.
The original intention had been to employ these engines in the hump shunting yards at Aintree. However problems with the spring hangers fouling the electric third rail system on the lines from Liverpool to Ormskirk between the engine shed and the sidings led to their withdrawal from this service.
1505 was first allocated to Agecroft for the Manchester Ship Canal sidings at New Barnes junction. 1503 & 1504 were later allocated here, upon which 1505 joined the other engines at Accrington, as a spare.
The class were nicknamed either 'Egberts' or 'Little Egberts'. This has been described as being after a troupe of circus elephants, although there is no obvious record of such a troupe. Another explanation could be The Egbert Brothers, a music hall double act of this time, known for their routine 'The Happy Dustmen'.
|L&YR Nº||Works Nº||Service Date||Allocation||LMS Nº||Withdrawn|
|1501||1004||31 March 1908||Accrington||11800||August 1925|
|1502||1005||18 March 1908||Accrington||11801||June 1927|
|1503||1006||27 March 1908||Agecroft||11802||June 1926|
|1504||1007||10 April 1908||Agecroft||11803||October 1929|
|1505||1008||27 April 1908||Agecroft, later Accrington||11804||February 1927|
Despite the urgency for their building there appears to have been little need for the class in service, especially in their later years. Soon after the Grouping in 1923, LMS policy for weeding out non-standard types made the class superfluous. Their boiler's eventual need for replacement, and their unique design, led to the whole class' withdrawal between 1927 and 1929. All were allocated LMS numbers, but only 1504 was repainted in LMS black livery with its new number of 11803 painted on and losing its original cast numberplate.
- Marshall, John (Summer 2004). "The Little Egberts". Platform: J. L&YR Soc. (58): 4–11.
- Ahrons & British Steam Railway Locomotive, pp. 348–349
- Marshall, John (1972). The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. Vol 3: Locomotives and Rolling Stock. Newton Abbott: David & Charles. pp. 155,178–180,265. ISBN 0-7153-5320-9.
- Ahrons, E.L. (1966). The British Steam Railway Locomotive. I, to 1925. Ian Allan. pp. 349–350.
- Ahrons, E.L. (1952). Locomotive and Train Working in the Latter Part of the Nineteenth Century. Vol 2. Heffer. pp. 48–49.
- Cooke, George (artist) (November 1905). "Caricature: The Egbert Brothers". Victoria & Albert Museum.