LMS 53809

Resource Type: Image | Posted on 21st November 2011 by Liam Physick

Here we see LMS No. 53809. It belongs to the 7F 2-8-0 class of locomotives built by the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway based at Bath Green Park that were designed to haul heavy coal and goods trains, but also summer Saturday passenger services. The Somerset and Dorset jointly owned, with the Midland Railway, the London and South Western Railway, but the MR was in charge of locomotive policy. The Somerset and Dorset line was highly graded and needed more power than the MR’s small locomotives could provide, and so its superintendant, M H Ryan, argued for a type specific to its needs. In 1907, two plans for 0-8-0 locomotives were put forward, but they would have been too heavy. James Clayton, the draughtsman at Derby, was given a free hand to design the new class, and produced something unlike any previous Derby engine. He added a leading pony engine to distribute the weight, thus creating a 2-8-0 design; mounted the cylinders high on the platform and sloped them, to avoid fouling platforms; provided two steam break cylinders on the engine and one on the tender to cope with the steep gradients; and fitted the locomotives with tablet exchanging apparatus on both sides to allow them to travel in reverse, as they were initially too large for some of the turntables. Six such engines, numbered 80-85, were built in 1914, all right hand-drive; in 1925, five more, Nos. 86-90, left-hand drive this time, were ordered from Robert Stephenson and Company in Darlington - the future No. 53809 was originally 89. In 1930, after the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway’s locomotives were taken over by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, the 7F 2-8-0 locomotives were renumbered 9670-9680 (with 53809 becoming 9679), and in 1934, as 13800-13810 (thus 53809 was now numbered 13809). They proved so successful on the Mendip Hills that the Midland Railway tried them on the East Midlands coal trains, but they were less successful. In 1948, following nationalisation, their numbers were increased by 4000, thus making them Nos. 53800-53810. The 1914 locomotives were withdrawn between 1959 and 1962, and the 1925 ones in 1963 and 1964: 53809 was one of the last batch to be taken out of service and was sent to Barry scrapyard in south Wales. 53809 was bought in 1975 and restored to working order in 1980 at the Midland Railway Centre in Butterley (now the Midland Railway - Butterley).It was overhauled in January 2006 and returned to service in February, and sports its black BR livery. No. 53808 (originally No. 88) was also rescued from Barry, in its case in 1970, and restored to working order by the West Somerset Railway in 1987 in the blue livery of the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway, which in fact it never wore previously. It returned to service in December 2005 following an overhaul. On 5th and 6th March 2006, 53809 returned to Bath Green Park station to mark 40 years since the closure of the Somerset and Dorset, and thus met No. 88 for the first time since preservation

LMS 53809

Tagged under: steam locomotives, tender locomotives, rocket 150, goods, british rail, passengers, freight, grand cavalcade, heritage railways, coal

Categorised under: Landmarks, Landscapes & Locomotives

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