BR Riddles 4MT 80079

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BRBritish Rail or British Railways RiddlesRobert Arthur "Robin" Riddles, Member of the Railway Executive for Mechanical and Electrical Engineering responsible for the design of the British Rail Standard Class locomotives 4MTThe British Railways system of classifying steam locomotives by power using a number from 0, least powerful, to 9, most powerful, followed by either F for freight, P for Passenger or MT for Mixed Traffic. 80079
80079.jpg
80079 at Bridgnorth
Built By BRBritish Rail or British Railways Brighton Works
Configuration 2-6-4T
BRBritish Rail or British Railways rating 4MTThe British Railways system of classifying steam locomotives by power using a number from 0, least powerful, to 9, most powerful, followed by either F for freight, P for Passenger or MT for Mixed Traffic.
Status Out of service
Loco Number 80079
History
Built 1954
Designed By Robert RiddlesRobert Arthur "Robin" Riddles, Member of the Railway Executive for Mechanical and Electrical Engineering responsible for the design of the British Rail Standard Class locomotives
Type BRBritish Rail or British Railways Standard 4MTThe British Railways system of classifying steam locomotives by power using a number from 0, least powerful, to 9, most powerful, followed by either F for freight, P for Passenger or MT for Mixed Traffic. Tank
1971 Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway
1977 First steamed in preservation
2002 Withdrawn for overhaul
Technical
Length 60ft 0"
Weight 67t 18cwt
Tractive effort 25,515 lb
Pressure 225 lb/sq in

Steam Locomotives

80079 is a BRBritish Rail or British Railways Standard Class 4 2-6-4T tank engine designed by R.A. RiddlesRobert Arthur "Robin" Riddles, Member of the Railway Executive for Mechanical and Electrical Engineering responsible for the design of the British Rail Standard Class locomotives. The Class 4 tank engine was derived from the ex-LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway FairburnCharles Edward Fairburn, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway 1944-1945 2-6-4T, and was used mainly on commuter and outer suburban services. A total of 155 were built, of which 15 have survived into preservation.

Class 4 tanks in service on the Severn Valley

Class 4 tanks’ route availability was rated as ‘blue’, with the Severn Valley branch classified as ‘dotted blue’ from Bewdley to Buildwas.[1] This restricted their speed to 25mph, and so limited their use.

Class 4 tanks allocated to Shrewsbury (89A) to September 1963

Several Class 4 tanks were allocated to Shrewsbury 89A from mid-1962 onwards, including a few displaced from the London, Tilbury and Southend line by electrification.[2]
Locomotive Dates Notes
80078 July 1962 to February 1963 Locomotive preserved
80096 July 1962 to November 1962
80100 July 1962 to July 1965 Locomotive preserved
80101 July 1962 to September 1962
80135 July 1962 to February 1963 Locomotive preserved
80136 July 1962 to February 1963 Locomotive preserved and has visited the SVRSevern Valley Railway in preservation
80098 September 1962 to November 1962 Locomotive preserved and has visited the SVRSevern Valley Railway in preservation
80105 September 1962 to October 1962 Locomotive preserved
80131 September 1962 to February 1963
80070 December 1962 to February 1963
80102 December 1962 to June 1964
80132 December 1962 to February 1963
80070 March 1963 to May 1965

They remained until the end of passenger working, especially north of Bridgnorth.[3][4] It appears they featured much less regularly than the BRBritish Rail or British Railways Standard 3MTThe British Railways system of classifying steam locomotives by power using a number from 0, least powerful, to 9, most powerful, followed by either F for freight, P for Passenger or MT for Mixed Traffic. 82000 tanks and LMR IvattHenry George Ivatt, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway 1946-1948. CME of BR (London Midland Region) 1948-1951 2MTThe British Railways system of classifying steam locomotives by power using a number from 0, least powerful, to 9, most powerful, followed by either F for freight, P for Passenger or MT for Mixed Traffic. 41000 tanks also in use from Shrewsbury at that time.

Photographs of use in service on the Severn Valley

There is little photographic evidence of their use on the Severn Valley, with the following identified:

  • 80070 on the daily Shrewsbury to Kidderminster pick-up freight at Northwood on 29 May 1963.[5]
  • 80072 was photographed on the line on three occasions during the very cold winter of 1962-63 (whilst allocated to Swansea East Dock, 87D). This locomotive is preserved and has visited the SVRSevern Valley Railway in preservation.
  • 80078 at Bridgnorth in 1963 working from Shrewsbury[6]
  • 80102 on the last day of service in September 1963[4].

80079 in service

80079 was built in 1954 at BRBritish Rail or British Railways’s Brighton works and entered service at Plaistow in March of that year, before moving to Tilbury a month later.[7] From there, 80079 mainly worked passenger services between London Fenchurch Street and Shoeburyness.[8] While hauling a passenger train on 30 January 1958, 80079 overran signals in thick fog and was in a rear-end collision with another passenger train at Dagenham, Essex. Ten people were killed and 89 were injured.[9][10]

After repair, 80079 continued in service at Tilbury, before moving to the Croes Newydd shed, Wrexham in July 1962. The locomotive was withdrawn from there in July 1965 and taken to Barry Scrapyard, arriving in January 1966.[7][11]

80079 in preservation

80079 at Rainhill, May 1980
Welsh Marches Pullman with 43106, February 1983

80079 was considered the best of the 14 standard tanks at BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation.. An appeal by the 'Passenger Tank Fund' for funds to acquire the locomotive was published in SVRSevern Valley Railway News in Autumn 1970.[12] A share issue to raise the £3,000 purchase price was successfully completed by Spring 1971[13] and 80079 became the 13th locomotive to leave BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation.,[11] arriving at the SVRSevern Valley Railway by rail on 15 May, 1971.

Restoration began immediately at Bridgnorth. The locomotive was steamed in early 1977, including a test run to Hampton Loade, and entered revenue earning service on 17 April 1977. It quickly gained a reputation as a strong free-steaming engine,[14] and despite a limited water capacity, went on to make an impressive number of appearances on the main line. A number of these were in tandem with fellow classmate 80098. A list of these is set out below.

Date Tour name Route Notes Web SVRSevern Valley Railway News
19 Apr 1980 Black Countryman Hereford - Manchester Victoria (+ Northwich L/E) D/H with 5000. 80079 first main line run SBJ 56-9
20 May 1980 Rocket 150 Rainhill Northwich-Bold Colliery L/S, with 35028 56-9
09 Jun 1980 Rocket 150 Rainhill Bold-Colliery-Bridgnorth D/H + LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway coach 56-9
19 Feb 1983 Welsh Marches Pullman Shrewsbury - Craven Arms - Leominster - Hereford D/H with 43106 SBJ 68-30
26 Feb 1983 Welsh Marches Pullman Hereford - Newport - Hereford D/H with 43106 SBJ 67-31
16 May 1993 The LlanDod Local Shrewsbury?-Knighton-Llangynllo-?Carmarthen? 107-9
30 May 1993 Pembroke Coast Limited Carmarthen - Tenby, Carmarthen - Swansea SBJ 107-45
31 May 1993 Pembroke Coast Limited Carmarthen - Milford Haven - Carmarthen - Swansea* *D/H with 44767 SBJ
06 Jun 1993 Carmarthen-Shrewsbury D/H with 44767 108-51
30 Aug 1993 Jolly Fisherman Nottingham - Skegness - Nottingham SBJ
03 Oct 1993 Cambrian Coast Limited Crewe - Aberystwyth - Crewe D/H with 80080 SBJ
23 Oct 1993 Pantyffynnon - Shrewsbury D/H with 80080 SBJ
01 May 1994 Semper Fidelis Bristol Temple Meads (or Barnstaple)? - Exeter St Davids Top/Tail with 80080 SBJ
02 May 1994 Exeter St Davids - Barnstaple - Exeter St Davids - Paddington D/H with 80080 SBJ
07 May 1994 Folkestone Harbour Shuttles Folkestone Harbour - Folkestone East (multiple) Top/Tail with 80080 SBJ 111-40
29 May 1994 Steam on the Met Amersham - Harrow-on-the-Hill shuttles London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends) 111-41
19 Nov 1994 Capital Envoy Worcester Shrub Hill - London Paddington D/H with 46521, prior to working Santa specials in the London area SBJ 113-9
01 Jan 1995 Didcot-Worcester D/H with 46521
20 May 1995 Steam on the Met Amersham - Harrow-on-the-Hill shuttles London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends) 115-51
28 May 1995 Steam on the Met Amersham - Harrow-on-the-Hill shuttles London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends) 115-51
29 May 1995 Steam on the Met Amersham - Harrow-on-the-Hill shuttles London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends) 115-51
24 Sep 1995 Snow Hill - Stourbrige Junction Shuttles x4 Snow Hill Line reopening specials 116-17
21 Dec 1996 Bletchley to Bedford 150 Bletchley-Bedford (4 round trips) 122-11
10 May 1997 Private Charter Snow Hill-Didcot +return 123-13
05 Oct 1997 Shrewsbury-Tywyn-Shrewsbury 125-9
29 Mar 1998 Cambrian Coast Express Shrewsbury-Tywyn-Shrewsbury Did this run? UKS
29 Apr 1998 Worcester-Hereford-Shrewsbury-Crewe Did this run? UKS
02 May 1998 Conwy Climber Crewe-Blaenau-Crewe Ran to Bettwys-y-Coed only (stalled near Roman Bridge) SBJ 127-62
03 May 1998 Conwy Climber Crewe-Blaenau-Crewe First standard gauge steam loco to Blaenau in 30 years SBJ 127-62
04 May 1998 Malvern Tank Crewe-Hereford-Worcester Failed at Shrewsbury UKS
10 Oct 1998 Ynys Mon Express Crewe-Holyhead + return UKS
11 Oct 1998 Conwy Climber Chester-Llandudno Jct-Blaenau + return x2 UKS
20 Mar 1999 Bristol-Tytherington/Westerleigh Shuttles Ran as scheduled UKS
21 Mar 1999 Avonmouth Shuttles Bristol-Avonmouth x3 Ran as scheduled UKS
02 Apr 1999 Dawlish Donkey Exeter-Newton Abbot-Exeter x3 130-32
03 Apr 1999 Dawlish Donkey Exeter-Newton Abbot-Exeter x3 136-60
03 Apr 1999 Dartmoor Pony Exeter-Meldon Quarry +return
04 Apr 1999 Dawlish Donkey Exeter-Newton Abbot-Exeter x3
04 Apr 1999 Globe & Laurel Exeter-Exmouth + return
05 Apr 1999 Exeter-Newton Abbot-Exeter x3 Exeter-Newton Abbot-Exeter x3
05 Apr 1999 Heathfield Mule Exeter-Heathfield + return
01 May 1999 London Standard Leicester-Corby -Bletchley-Stratford With 80098
02 May 1999 LTSR Steam Shuttles Fenchurch St-Shoeburyness + return With 80098 130-60
03 May 1999 LTSR Steam Shuttles Fenchurch St-Shoeburyness + return With 80098, ran as scheduled 130-62
22 May 1999 Inter-City Tanks Finsbury Park-Kemble -Stourbridge Jct-Tyseley With 80098
16 Oct 1999 Three Spires Local Birmingham Int-Aston-Lichfield-Derby -Leicester-Crewe With 80098
17 Oct 1999 Slate Miner Crewe-Blaenau-Crewe With 80098 131-74
11 Dec 1999 Midlander Bromsgrove-Blackwell Banking 45110 over the Lickey Bank
For further information on sources and references, see The Severn Valley Railway on the main line

In December 1981 filming took place for an episode of ITV’s Game for a Laugh. This featured musician and entertainer Joe Brown firing 80079, a job he previously did for BRBritish Rail or British Railways while a fireman at Plaistow.

In early 1987 work was carried out on the boiler in an attempt to extend the 'ten year ticket' for a further three years.[15] This was partially achieved, with 80079 being withdrawn due to loose/thin flue tube ends in early 1989.[16] Apart from the boiler, the locomotive was considered in good condition mechanically, so when an overhaul began in 1990 the work mainly comprised new bunker platework, new pipework, reconditioned cab fittings and repairs to the tanks.[17] Some attention was also required to the frame.[18] In spring 1991 an SVRA Birmingham Branch raffle helped raise funds for the boiler work.[19]

80079 returned to service in May 1993, making an early appearance on the Central Wales main line before spending the summer at the Llangollen Railway.[20] During the second ticket the locomotive was a consistent performer and in 2000 recorded 12,849 miles, the highest mileage of any SVRSevern Valley Railway locomotive in any single year between 1967 and 2004. The locomotive finally succumbed to tube failure in summer 2002, shortly before the 'ten year certificate' expiry date.[21]

80079 has recorded 103,509 miles in preservation. The mileage by year as reported in SVRSevern Valley Railway News is as follows:[22]
Year Mileage
1977 2,775
1978 5,235
1979 1,935
1980 2,260
1981 5,457
1982 1,776
1983 4,663
1984 4,024
1985 2,826
1986 153
1987 3,698
1988 3,161
1989 462
1993 4,045
1994 4,027
1995 5,426
1996 7,161
1997 7,872
1998 7,553
1999 9,241
2000 12,849
2001 6,160
2002 750
Total 103,509

After cosmetic restoration at Bridgnorth, 80079 was temporarily placed on display at the NRMNational Railway Museum Shildon in March 2005.[23]. It was then one of the first batch of locomotives to be displayed in The Engine House at opening in 2008. As of 2020 it remains on display there. 80079 is owned by The Passenger Tank Fund.

Reported sale

Railway Herald magazine reported on 7 November 2011 that a special meeting of the Passenger Tank Fund had been arranged for 30 October 2011 to discuss and vote on a proposed sale of the locomotive to Mr Jeremy Hosking.[24] No such sale took place.

See also

References

  1. ‘Locomotive Route Availability’, Michael Clemens’ Railways (Retrieved 30 March 2017)
  2. 80000 page, BRDatabase (Retrieved 23 April 2017)
  3. D.J. Smith (1968)
  4. 4.04.1 Magner (1997)
  5. Bewdley Station waiting room
  6. SVRSevern Valley Railway News No. 15
  7. 7.07.1 BRDatabase Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  8. SVRSevern Valley Railway Stock book 9th edition
  9. Red for Danger. Rolt, L.T.C. (1955, rev. 1966)
  10. Ministry of Transport Accident report
  11. 11.011.1 Beckett and Hardingham (2010), The BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation. List 10th Edition
  12. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 18
  13. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 19
  14. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 43-44
  15. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 83
  16. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 92
  17. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 98
  18. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 105
  19. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 98/99
  20. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 106-107
  21. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 140
  22. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 152
  23. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 150
  24. Railway Herald Magazine Issue 290, 7 November (2011), p. 16.

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