British Railways Standard Class 4MT 2-6-4T No.80002

A Scottish survivor

The tank version of the British Railways Standard Class 4 (see 75078), 80002 is another engine that escaped the cutters torch by the skin of its teeth, purchased directly from British Railways in 1969.

17 years with British Railways, 3 times longer with the KWVR

Completed in 1952, 80002 worked its entire life in Scotland but was reprieved from the scrapman by virtue of it being retained as a carriage heating boiler.

Although complete, 80002 was in a poor state and after a number of overhauls and major work, has been set aside for display since 2013 with limited prospect of a return to service in the near future.

Information

Data File

Built: 1952 Derby
Boiler Pressure: 225 psi
Tractive Effort: 25,520 lbf
Weight 86.65 tons
Valve Gear: Walschaerts
Cylinders: 18″x28″ Outside
Numbers carried during working career: 80002

A career in banking

The Standard Class 4MT 2-6-4T is a direct descendant from the designs of the LMS, following a long line of similar locomotives by respective LMS Chief Mechanical Engineers, Fowler, Stanier and Fairburn. This design was a more refined version produced by R.A. Riddles and his team. It featured curved sidetanks instead of flat sides and nominally held the same water and coal capacity of the previous designs. The class was introduced in 1951 with the first 10 being built at the Derby Workshops with the majority of the class being produced at Brighton. On completion in October 1952, No. 80002 was sent straight to Scotland.

The engine was initially allocated to Motherwell but within a month transferred to Polmadie (Glasgow) where it stayed for 10 years. In June 1962 it was then transferred to Beattock on the West Coast mainline where it was regular performer on banking heavy trains over Beattock summit. After 2 years pushing trains over the summit, 80002 returned to Glasgow (Polmadie shed) in May 1964, from where it was withdrawn from service in November 1967. Happily, it avoided being sold to a scrap merchant on withdrawal, being retained instead by British Railways as a carriage-heating boiler at Cowlairs (Glasgow).

A shortened career on the KWVR

Carriage heating duties over, 80002 was laid aside to await the cutters torch but salvation came when the engine was purchased for preservation by the KWVR in 1969 and was towed to Keighley in May of the same year. On arrival, however, it was found to be in little better condition than that of one from a scrap-yard and before it could enter service on the Worth Valley it required all of the small boiler tubes to be replaced. Over the years the engine has required major work to enable it keep running. This has included the fitting of a new inner firebox made of steel rather than the originally designed copper.

It has a cut out on the left hand side cab sheet, which was for the fitting of a tablet catcher of the type used on remote single line routes in Scotland. This is the only Standard Class 4MT tank to have survived into preservation with this feature. Although the engine’s relatively large driving wheels can result in wheel-slip when departing Keighley on a wet rail, it has proved more than capable of handling our heaviest trains.

The locomotive was finally withdrawn in 2013 and, although assessed for restoration, the high costs make restoration, for now at least, prohibitive. Currently 80002 resides at Oxenhope on static public view.