LMS Fowler Class 4F
44444 at Stockport, 1950
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.
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.
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.
|LMS nos.||BR nos.||Lot No.||Date built||Built by|
|4057–4081||44057–44081||8||1925||North British Loco|
|4382–4399||44382–44399||33||1926||North British Loco|
|4400–4406||44400–44406||33||1927||North British Loco|
|4477–4506||44477–44506||46||1927||North British Loco|
All entered British Railways stock in 1948. BR added 40000 to their numbers. They were all withdrawn between 1959 and 1966.
Accidents and incidents
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Withdrawals from stock occurred between 1959 and 1966.
start of year
|1960||531||41||44029/31/52/77/93, 44163, 44343/60/66/75/91,
44206/49/, 44319/24/71, 44409/74/77, 44547/90.
|1966||11||11||44113, 44203/18/78, 44310/11/77/94, 44405, 44500/25.|
|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||West Somerset Railway||Operational, On 25-year lease to WSR from December 2014, after being overhauled at Crewe Heritage Centre|
The 4F has been modelled by Lima (O, OO, HO and N Gauge) and Graham Farish (N Gauge, still produced under the Bachmann label). Airfix produced a tender drive model of the 4F in OO Gauge in 1978. Production of this was continued by Dapol after it acquired Airfix models in 1985, and were subsequently sold to Hornby in the late 1990s. They upgraded the model to loco drive in 2012. Bachmann have produced a version of the 4F since 2012.
- 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.
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