L&YR railmotors

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Taff Vale railmotor (Rankin Kennedy, Modern Engines, Vol V).jpg
Kerr Stuart railmotor for the Taff Vale Railway
Type and origin
Builder Kerr, Stuart & Co.
Build date 1905
Total produced 4 (Two Taff Vale Railway, two L&YR)
Configuration 0-2-2T, with semi-trailer
Driver dia. 2 ft 10 in (0.864 m)
Trailing dia. 2 ft 10 in (0.864 m)

58 ft 8 in (17,882 mm)

45 ft (13,716 mm) (trailer)
Loco weight 37 tons 10 cwt 2qr (with trailer coach)
Fuel capacity 10 cwt
Water cap 550 gallons
 • Firegrate area
8 sq ft

3 ft 4.5 in (1,029 mm) diameter

2 ft 1.2 in (640 mm) transverse length (each side)
Boiler pressure 160 psi (1.10 MPa)
Heating surface 338.5 sq ft
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 9 in × 14 in (229 mm × 356 mm)[i]
Operators L&YR
Number in class 2
Numbers L&Y 1-2
First run July 1905
Withdrawn 1909
Disposition All scrapped

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR) operated two classes of twenty steam railmotors in total.

Kerr Stuart railmotors[edit]

The first L&YR railmotors were two by Kerr Stuart, copies of a design that had already been supplied to the Taff Vale Railway. They were ordered by Hughes in 1904.[1]

The locomotive units had transverse boilers of a type similar to the Yorkshire steam wagon and the Fairlie, where a single central firebox fed extremely short fire-tubes to a smokebox at each side. Like the Yorkshire, these then returned to a central smokebox and chimney. The outside cylinders were rear-mounted and drove only the leading axle, without coupling rods. The locomotive units were dispatched separately to Newton Heath, where their semi-trailers were attached.[1]

Their coaches were semi-trailers, with reversible seats for 48 passengers and electric lighting.[ii] There were also a luggage compartment and a driving compartment for use in reverse. Folding steps were provided at each of the two doors on each side.[3] They were built by Bristol Carriage & Wagon Co..[1]


Both railmotors worked the Bury-Holcombe Brook line at first. In 1906 they briefly worked at Southport, then between Burnley and Colne for their remaining years. They were both withdrawn in 1909.[1]

Hughes railmotors[edit]

Type and origin
Build date 1906-1911
Total produced 18
Configuration 0-4-0T, with semi-trailer
Driver dia. 3 ft 7.675 in (1.109 m)[4]
Length 69 ft 5 in (21,158 mm)
47 ft 6 in (14,478 mm) (trailer)
Loco weight

32 tons 14 cwt (engine)

47 tons 10 cwt (with trailer coach)
Water cap 550 gallons
 • Firegrate area
9.4 sq ft

4 ft 3 in (1,295 mm) diameter

5 ft (1,524 mm) length
Boiler pressure 180 psi (1.24 MPa)
Heating surface 509 sq ft
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 12 in × 16 in (305 mm × 406 mm)
Operators L&YR
Number in class 18
Numbers L&Y 1-18
Withdrawn 1927-1948
Disposition All scrapped

Hughes designed a further class of railmotors that were then built at Horwich and Newton Heath, in four batches over five years. They were of the "0-4-0T locomotive + semi-trailer type", with conventional locomotive boilers.[1][3]

No 15, works number 983, was the 1,000th locomotive to be built at Horwich.[1]


All were inherited by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) in 1923, who numbered the locomotives 10600-17 and gave the trailers separate numbers in the coaching stock series. These were the only self-propelled vehicles numbered in the LMS locomotive series rather than the coaching stock series. The first was withdrawn in 1927, and only one survived by nationalisation in 1948. That railmotor, LMS No. 10617, was withdrawn in 1948 without being given a British Railways number. None was preserved.

The best-remembered of these railmotors was the 'Altcar Bob' service from Southport to Barton railway station (also known as 'Downholland') (before 1926, it ran to Altcar and Hillhouse).

See also[edit]

Notes and References[edit]


  1. ^ These were also listed at 10½ inches in some sources.
  2. ^ The L&YR had experimented with electric lighting with steam locomotive dynamos from 1885 and, under the electrically-minded Hoy, with wheel-driven dynamos on coaches from 1901 to 1905. However Aspinall had rejected these as too expensive and electric lighting would not become standard until 1914. Like many railways, this had only been in reaction to the 1913 Ais Gill accident.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Marshall, John (1972). The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. Vol 3: Locomotives and Rolling Stock. Newton Abbott: David & Charles. pp. 170–171. ISBN 0-7153-5320-9. 
  2. ^ Marshall 1972, p. 120
  3. ^ a b Marshall 1972, p. 155
  4. ^ Marshall 1972, p. 150
  5. ^ Marshall 1972, pp. 263–264

Further reading[edit]

  • Essery and Jenkinson An Illustrated History of LMS Locomotives Volume 2. Absorbed Pre-Group Classes Western and Central Divisions.