LNWR 4ft Shunter
|LNWR 835 and 1201 classes|
No. 2526 in photographic grey livery
The London and North Western Railway (LNWR) 4ft Shunter was a class of 0-4-0ST steam locomotives. Introduced in 1863 by Ramsbottom, 26 were built in 1863–1865, 10 in 1870, 10 in 1872, and 10 in 1892. The last three of the latter batch were soon rebuilt as 0-4-2ST crane tanks. They survived into LMS ownership in 1923 and the last one was withdrawn in 1933.
Unusually they were fitted with launch-type boilers. These have a cylindrical furnace, rather than a conventional locomotive firebox. This limits the grate area and ashpan size, although this is not a limitation for short-ranged shunters. One advantage is that the ashpan does not project downwards, making it possible to place the rear axle further back. For a dock shunter operating on tight radius curves this is useful, as it reduces the rear overhang and so the amount by which the coupling and buffers swing sideways on curves.
1439 was built at Crewe in 1865. Re-numbered as 3042, it worked on the Liverpool Docks railway system, with oil fuel apparatus and a warning bell for use on the roadway lines. After the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 it was loaned to the Kynoch shell factory at Witton, Birmingham and re-numbered 4. The larger round buffers, typical for small shunters, were fitted at this time. After the war, Kynoch purchased the locomotive and kept it in service. In 1935 a new boiler was built by W. G. Bagnall, a noted boilermaker of small launch-type boilers, with an increased working pressure of 160psi and with the original Ramsbottom safety valve replaced by two Ross 'pop' valves.
It became surplus in 1953 and was given to the BTC in 1954 for the beginnings of the National Railway Museum collection as the only surving example of a Ramsbottom locomotive. Since January 2009 it has been displayed at the Ribble Steam Railway.
- Baxter, Bertram (1978). Baxter, David (ed.). British Locomotive Catalogue 1825–1923, Volume 2A: London and North Western Railway and its constituent companies. Ashbourne, Derbyshire: Moorland Publishing Company. pp. 122–123. ISBN 0-903485-51-6.
- Baxter, Bertram (1979). Baxter, David (ed.). British Locomotive Catalogue 1825–1923, Volume 2B: London and North Western Railway and its constituent companies. Ashbourne, Derbyshire: Moorland Publishing Company. pp. 203–204. ISBN 0-903485-84-2.
- Casserley, H. C. & Johnston, Stuart W. (1974) . Locomotives at the Grouping 3: London, Midland and Scottish Railway. Shepperton, Surrey: Ian Allan. p. 80. ISBN 0-7110-0554-0.
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