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FURNESS RAILWAY LOCOMOTIVES 1896 - 1923
In 1896 MR. MASON, who had been Locomotive Superintendent of the Furness Railway for nearly 50 years, retired. He was succeeded by MR. W. F. PETTIGREW, who became Locomotive, Wagon and Carriage Superintendent. MR. PETTIGREW had previously been with the London and South-Western and Great Eastern Railways.
During MR. MASON'S long reign at Barrow no locomotives had been designed by him; the Company preferred to order "standard" designs from MESSRS. SHARP, STEWART, of Manchester. The latter firm had supplied all the F.R. locomotive power, apart from the "Bury" designs of the very early days which were built by MESSRS. CURTIS & KENNEDY and MESSRS. FAIRBAIRN'S. Soon after he took office, MR. PETTIGREW decided that the increasingly heavy traffic on the "joint Lines" of the Cleator District called for engines specially designed to deal with the heavy gradients and sharp curves of that sector. The result was the appearance in 1898 of three powerful 0-6-2 tanks, numbered 112 to 114. This was the first F. R. locomotive type designed specifically for the Cleator Lines.
Weighing 55 tons in working order, the new class had cylinders 18x26 ins. and a working pressure of 150 lbs. Coupled wheels had a diameter of 4 ft. 8 ins., and the wheel base was 20 ft. 8 ins. Heating surface was 1,134 sq. ft., and boiler 10 ft. 6 ins. long with a diameter of 4 ft. 4 ins. The side tanks held 1,400 gallons of water and the coal bunkers 30 cwt. of coal.
Having met the immediate needs of the northern end of the system, MR. PETTIGREW turned his attention to the main line. Once again it was Lindal Bank, with its gradients up to 1 in 63 and severe curves, which was the major problem. The little 0-6-0 "Sharpies" were hardly able to cope with the still mounting loads which they were required to haul over this hard road.
To deal with this situation, MR. PETTIGREW evolved a series of new 0-6-0 tender engines, of which twelve were ordered in 1898. They were put into traffic in the following year. Six were supplied by MESSRS. SHARP, STEWART and six by MESSRS. NASMYTH, WILSON & CO., of Patricroft, Manchester. they were allocated numbers 7 to 18, taking those formerly held by eight FAIRBAIRN shunting tanks, two "Sharpies" and two 2-4-0 tender engines. The latter were all scrapped, except the two 2-4-0's which were renumbered 3 and 4.
MR. PETTIGREW was a great believer in standardisation and made the new 0-6-0's duplicates as far as possible of the new 0-6-2 "Cleator" tanks, while their tenders were interchangeable with those of the 1896 class 4-4-0's.
With tenders carrying 2,500 gallons of water, the twelve new goods engines weighed 66 tons 8 cwts. Some of them were fitted with Macallans Variable Blast Pipe and all had both automatic and steam brakes, making them suitable for working heavy excursion trains.
While the new engines were giving a good account of themselves on heavy mineral trains, MR. PETTIGREW gave a number of the old 16 in "Sharpies" a new lease of life by fitting them with new and larger steel boilers. The latter, which had flush tops and Ramsbottom, instead of Salter safety valves, gave the engines a much larger heating surface and grate area. As re-built, these "Sharpies" gave a good account of themselves and worked secondary goods trains all over the system.
In 1900 an addition was made to the passenger stud. Two new 4-4-0's were delivered from the North British Locomotive Company ( formerly SHARP, STEWART & Co.) They differed from the 1896 class in having the cylinders increased from 16 to 18 inches, with 26 ins. stroke. They were numbered 126 and 127. Two more, numbered 28 and 129, were put into traffic in 1901. They were also supplied by the N.B. Loco. Co. All four engines had 6 ft. dia. coupled wheels and 160 lbs. working pressure. The grate area of these new engines was 18 sq. ft. and the total heating surface 1,270 sq. ft. The total weight, with 3,000 gallon tenders, was 75 tons 10 cwt. They were handsome and efficient locomotives and were divided between the two extremities of the system; 126 and 128 usually being shedded at Carnforth and the other two at Whitehaven. Originally it had been intended to have six engines in this class, but owing to the urgency of the order, two of the six had to be replicas of the 1896 class; these were Nos. 124 and 125.
A further batch of 0-6-2 radial tanks were put into service in 1904. Except for having the driving wheels increased in diameter to 5 ft.1 ins. they were duplicates of the "Cleator" class. Intended for banking duties, their bigger coupled wheels made them suitable for passenger work also. There were twelve engines in this class, of which half were supplied by the N.B. Loco. Co. and half by NASMYTH, WILSON & Co. They were numbered 97 to 108, the ex W. C. & E. locomotives carrying these numbers going on the Duplicate List. A further three, Nos. 109 to 111, came from the N. B. Loco. Co. in 1907.
In 1907 four "Mixed Traffic" 0-6-2 tanks and came from the N. B. Loco. Co. They were employed on fast goods and stopping passenger trains and were shared between Whitehaven and Carnforth sheds. Numbered 3 to 6, they took over the numbers of two 2-4-0's which were scrapped.
Now that the last of the little FAIRBAIRN, and SHARP, STEWART 0-4-0 shunting tanks had gone to the scrap heap, a new type of shunting locomotive was required. MR. PETTIGREW produced the needful in 1910 when six smart little 0-6-0 side tanks were put to work. They had cylinders 17 1/2 x 24 ins., wheels 4 ft. 7 1/2 ins. dia., and 160 lbs. working pressure. They were numbered 19 to 24 and re-numbered 55 to 60 in 1918. They were the first engines supplied to the Furness by the Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows. their main duties were shunting at Barrow Docks and working the lighter branch trains in the West Cumberland area. In the F. R. list these handy little engines took the place of several 0-4-0 tanks and a couple of "Sharpies."
The 0-6-0 shunting tank class received two additions in 1915 from KITSON'S, of Leeds ( Nos. 52 and 53,) and a further couple in 1916 from the Vulcan Foundry (Nos. 54 and 55.) They replaced two "Neddies" and two "Sharpies."
Shortly before the 1914-1918 War, increasing traffic on the Cleator Line called for additions to the "Cleator Class" 0-6-2 tanks. Fitted with a larger type boiler, KITSON'S delivered two in 1912 and two more in 1914. They were numbered 92 to 95. Apart from having larger boilers and steam pressure being raised to 170 lbs., these additional engines were dimensionally the same as those supplied in 1899.
In 1913 four more 0-6-0 mineral engines were supplied by the N. B. Loco. Co. Except for the raising of the steam pressure to 170 lbs., they were replicas of the 1899 class. All had the funnel placed very far forward on the smoke-box, due it is believed to experimental super-heaters being fitted and afterwards removed. These new 0-6-0's were numbered 1, 2, 25 and 26. they were usually shedded at Carnforth and Barrow.
For working the Coniston, Lakeside and Kendal branches it was decided in 1914 to order a batch of 4-4-2 passenger tank engines. KITSON & Co. supplied Nos. 38 and 39 in 1915 and the VULCAN Foundry 40 to 43 in 1916. these were graceful machines with boilers and cylinders of the same dimensions as the 1910 0-6-0 tanks. They had 5 ft. 8 ins. coupled wheels, 1,070 sq. ft. of heating surface, and 160 lbs. pressure.
During the 1914-1918 War the resources of the Furness Railway were taxed to the utmost. Not only was there a very heavy munitions traffic from Barrow, but a considerable amount of through traffic between Scotland and England was worked round by the Cumbrian Coastal route to relieve congestion over the L. & N.W., especially at week-ends. In spite of this, only two more new engines appeared before 1918. They were two 0-6-0 goods engines, similar to the rest of the goods class, but with the larger boiler. They were numbered 27 and 28, and came from the N. B. Loco Co. No 28 replaced and old "Sharpie," which had been rebuilt from a 0-4-0, and now went on the Duplicate List as 28A and ended her days at Whitehaven Shed, complete with brass "trumpet" safety valve and polished brass band round the fire-box casing.
A final addition to the 4-4-0 engines was made the year in which the Great War broke out. This was the "130" class of four engines, the first two of which appeared in traffic in 1913, and the second pair in 1914. All came from the North British Locomotive Company and had 6 ft. 6 in. driving wheels, 1,270 sq. ft. heating surface, and 170 lbs. pressure. They were split up between Barrow and Carnforth.
In 1918 the two large-boilered 0-6-0's, Nos. 27 and 28, received eight sisters, four from KITSON'S and four from the N. B. Loco. Co. They were numbered 19 to 24 and 29 and 30. The original Nos. 19 to 24 (the 0-6-0 shunting tanks) then became 52 to 55. the original 29 and 30 both went on the duplicate List.
In 1920 the last batch of 0-6-0's appeared and were numbered 31 to 35. They took the numbers of five of the 1896 class of 4-4-0's which were in turn re-numbered 44 to 47. The other number was taken from a scrapped 16 in. 0-6-0. The two remaining 2-4-0 passenger engines, Nos. 44 and 45, now went on the Duplicate List. These last 0-6-0 mineral engines came from the North British Locomotive Co.
By the end of 1920 the bulk of the goods and mineral traffic was being handled by the 15 large-boilered 0-6-0's, supplemented by the 1899 and 191 examples of the class. The dwindling band of "Sharpies" were now relegated to lighter duties and work on the Cleator and Workington Railway. The most arduous passenger duties were shared by the "130" Class 4-4-0's and those built in 1900 (Nos. 126 to 129. the 1896 Class were usually confined to the slower passenger turns.
In 1920 MR. D. L. RUTHERFORD succeeded MR. PETTIGREW as Locomotive Superintendent and proceeded to design the most spectacular locomotive class yet seen on the Furness Railway, and many other British railways as well. these were a series of five giant 4-6-4 "Baltic" tank engines. They were remarkable as being the only inside cylindered "Baltic" tanks built in Britain and also that they employed saturated steam. KITSON'S, of Leeds, were the builders. The following are the main dimensions of these hefty machines:-
Cylinders, 19 1/2 x 26 ins.; coupled wheels, 5 ft. 8 ins. dia.; leading and trailing bogies, 3 ft. 2 ins.; heating surface, 2,003 sq. ft.; grate area, 26 sq. ft.; working pressure, 170 lbs. The heating surface of the fire-box was 153 sq.ft. and the boiler contained 230 tubes, 2 ins. in diameter. The total water capacity was 2,800 gallons, of which 1,475 gallons were carried on the side tanks and the balance in the coal bunker: the latter also carried four tons of coal.
The staff promptly nicknamed the new engines "Jumbos." This was an apt name as the new engines stood 13 1/2 feet from rails to chimney top and were 49 ft. 1 1/2 ins. over buffers in length. The boiler barrel was 15 feet long. Tractive effort, at 85% boiler pressure, was 21,006 lbs. In working order the total weight was 92 tons 15 cwt., of which 55 tons 8 cwts. was available for adhesion.
All the "Jumbos" were fitted with GRESHAM & CRAVEN No. 10 injectors, GRESHAM'S Dreadnought vacuum ejectors, LAMBERT'S water sanding gear, Detroit sight feed lubricators for both cylinders and steam chest, Ross "pop: safety valves and apparatus for heating the coaches with live steam.
After going through their trails with great success, during which they negotiated curves of five chains radius with ease, the new engines settled down to work most of the fast turns between Carnforth and Whitehaven. They were numbered 115 to 119; taking these from five "Sharpies: which were re-numbered 70 to 74. Barrow and Carnforth sheds stabled the "Jumbos" which were very popular with their crews. On the rare occasions that one of them had to spend a night at Whitehaven, she had to be parked outside the shed: the height of a "Jumbos" prevented entry there. One of these engines invariably worked the up and down mail and also the up morning fast turn from Whitehaven to Carnforth. Their great weight prevented their use over the Cleator Joint Lines.
The 4-6-4 tanks were the Furness Railway's "swan son" in the way of locomotives. No more engines were designed or built before the 1923 grouping, and thus we come to the end of the locomotive history of the Furness Railway.
Before concluding this chapter, we might see how and where the various classes of engine were employed in 1922 - the year before the end. The locomotive stock was then made up as follows:
4-4-0 Tender Engines 20 0-6-2 Tank Engines 23
2-4-0 1 0-6-0 16
0-6-0 62 4-4-2 6
4-6-4 Tank Engines 5 0-4-0 1
Starting with the oldest of the 4-4-0 tender engines, "The Seagulls" were usually at Barrow (No. 120-123) and worked slow turns from there. The 1900 Class 4-4-0's were divided equally between Whitehaven and Carnforth sheds and shared the through slow and semi-fast turns with the "130" Class 4-4-0's which were divided between Barrow and Carnforth. Their duties were supplemented by the 1896 class of which Carnforth usually had Nos. 125, 46 and 47; Whitehaven 124, 36 and 37; and Barrow the rest. The "Baltic" 4-6-4 tanks usually handled the down morning mail; the 10-5 a.m. and 4-30 p.m. into Whitehaven; returning south with the 10-5 a.m.; 11-35 a.m. "Express" and the 7-10 p.m. up mail. On the three branch lines the passenger traffic was dealt with by the 4-4-2 tanks, and one of the latter was usually shedded at Moor Row as well. The passenger trains on the Cleator Lines which the Furness worked, and those on the Cleator and Workington Railway, were in charge of several of the smart little 0-6-0 tanks, plus the two remaining 2-4-2's.
Turning to the goods stock, the earlier examples of MR. PETTIGREW'S 0-6-0 mineral class were largely employed on the shorter distance iron ore workings and were mostly stabled at Barrow and Carnforth. One of this class, No. 14, was invariably entrusted with the one regular "express" goods turn on the system. This was the train leaving Carnforth at 6-40 a.m. and reaching Corkickle Sidings in three hours dead, via the Barrow Avoiding Line, with one stop of five minutes for water at Millom. Whitehaven shed usually had one example of the 1898 class, generally No. 7 or 8.
The twenty-three 0-6-2 tanks were divided between the Cleator district and banking duties up both sides of Lindal bank. Those built specially for the Cleator Lines in 1899 and 1912 generally remained there.
MR. PETTIGREW'S later versions of the 0-6-0 mineral class worked all the heavier turns to and from Barrow and Carnforth. They also did the Furness share of the Tebay coke traffic. Carnforth and Whitehaven sheds shared the four "mixed traffic" 0-6-0's. A typical working for one of these engines was a stopping passenger run from Whitehaven to Barrow; a workmen's train back to Millom, and a fast goods from the latter back to Corkickle Sidings.
Twenty-seven "Sharpies" were still at work in 1920. They were Nos. 49 and 50, 61 to 67, 75 to 81, and 84 to 90, also 25A, 28A and 29A. Nearly all had been re-boilered and a number had boilers similar to either the 1898 or 1913 class 0-6-0's. they were scattered over the system, working stopping goods and shunting turns. The Cleator & Workington line was another of their spheres of action where they supplemented the work of the remaining band of ex-W.C. & E. tanks, all of which were on the Duplicate List.
It was unusual to see a Furness locomotive in anything but a spotless condition-even when painting might be somewhat overdue. The Indian red livery was always pleasing to the eye. Down to 1896 the engine number was carried on a small oval brass plate, fitted about half-way along the boiler side. The number was enclosed between the words "Furness" and "Railway," all in raised brass letters and figures. After 1896 the plates were moved to the more usual position on the cab sides. About this period the old type of fluted top chimney which was fitted to all the Sharp, Stewart engines was replaced by the built-up pattern. The latter was fitted to all the older engines as they went through the shops for re-boilering.
It was not until MR. PETTIGREW'S regime that the letters "F.R."appeared on the tender sides, and then this was confined largely to those locomotives built after 1895. In addition, the 4-4-0 tender engines (other than the "Seagulls") had the crest of the company painted on the splasher over the front driving wheel. When the 4-6-4 "Baltic" tanks came out in 1920, the crest appeared on the tank sides between the lettering.
For the considerable amount of "tender first" running which was done on the West Cumberland Joint Lines, a number of the "Sharpies" had special weather boards fitted to their tenders. There was a turn-table at Moor Row shed, but owing to ground subsidences in the area, caused by the extensive iron ore mine workings, it became unsafe to use.
The locomotive, carriage and wagon shops were at Barrow, and in their final form covered 30 acres. The original locomotive fitting shop eventually became the machine shop and turnery. The boiler shops were equipped with an overhead crane to lift 15 tons. The erecting shop consisted of three bays, 50 feet span and 160 yards long. Originally it had a very low roof and engine wheels had to be taken off or put on by running the locomotives over dropping pits. Later the roof was raised and an electric overhead crane installed. The Barrow running shed was 310 feet long and 150 feet wide and housed 60 engines. In the carriage and wagon section, the wagon shop was 300 feet long and 160 feet wide. The carriage paint shop, was 210 feet long and 8 feet wide and could hold 20 coaches. There was also a wagon repair shop and timber drying shed. The stock shed had six roads and was 43 feet long.
Close to Barrow Central station there were the carriage storage sheds. They were four in number, the largest being 300 feet long and 90 feet wide. A total of 152 coaches could be accommodated.
Shortly before the 1914-1918 War, a number of bogie iron ore wagons were constructed. They were of steel and had a capacity of 45 tons, with a tare weight of only 12 tons 15 cwt. However the contraction in the ore traffic made them uneconomic. The 20 ton steel hopper wagons put in traffic about the same time were a better proposition and many of them were built. They replaced the old wooden tip wagons which had been in use for many years between the mines and Barrow. Whereas it took six men about 25 minutes to unload one of the old type of truck, the new hoppers could be emptied by two min in half-a-minute.
Apart from the main shops at Barrow, small-scale repairs could be carried out at Moor Row and Carnforth sheds. The remaining motive power depots were at Whitehaven, Coniston and Lakeside (Windermere.) The two last-named were merely small affairs to house the branch engines. The sheds at Workington (Central) and Siddick Junction on the Cleator & Workington Railway were also built to Furness standards, since the latter supplied the bulk of the locomotive power.
As this book has been compiled as a history of the Furness Railway, it is not proposed to go beyond 1922 and deal in any detail with the happenings over the system after it was absorbed into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. The engines were re-numbered as shown.
Furness Number Type LMS Number Power Class
44A 2-4-0 10002 1
120-129, 36, 37, 44-47 4-4-0 10131-46 1
130-133 4-4-0 10185-8 2
71A, 72A 2-4-2T 10619-20 0
38-43 4-4-2T 11080-5 1
115-119 4-6-4T 11100-4 3
97A 0-4-0T 11358 0
108A, 109A 0-6-0T 11547-8 1
68,69 0-6-0T 11549-50 1
82,83 0-6-0T 11551-2 1
55-60 0-6-0T 11553-58 1
51-54 0-6-0T 11559-62 1
122-114 0-6-2T 11622-4 2
98-11 0-6-2T 11625-40 2
94-95 0-6-2T 11641-2 3
92-93 0-6-2T 11643-4 3
62,80,85-7,75,77,71 0-6-0-T 12000-14 0
65,63,79,88-90,71,72-4 0-6-0 12065-76 1
49,50,7-18,3-6 0-6-0 12468-83 2
1,2,19-35 0-6-0 12494-512 3
Although the locomotives on the duplicate list received L.M.S. numbers it is doubtful whether any ran with them, as they were either withdrawn or just due for permanent retirement at the time of the Grouping. naturally the "Sharpies" were the first to go, and quickly. The bulk of the remainder continued to function in their own territory until 1929-1930 when there was another spate of scrapping. To-day (1946) there only remain six of the 0-6-0's (12494, 12499, 12501, and 12508-10 inclusive,) and one solitary 0-6-2 tank (11628.) They are all divided between Moor Row and Workington (L.N.W.) shed. All are classified "3F" in the L.M. & S. Powered classification Scheme. One or two of them have been re-built with Lancashire & Yorkshire type boilers with Belpaire fire-box. right from the start of the Grouping practically every Furness engine rapidly relapsed into a filthy external condition and remained so until scrapped.
To complete our survey of the locomotive power of the line, here are some of the final figures concerning the work done by the gallant band of "Red Indians" in their last year of independence.
In 1922 the total number of train miles (including empty trains) run was 1,159,256 Passenger workings accounted for 721,468 miles and goods 437,788. With shunting and banking mileage added, the total for the year was 1,713,393. When the score of the Company's running over the Joint Lines was added, the final total was not far short of 2,000,000 miles. Turning to engine miles pure and simple, the figure for all types of running was 1,912,80 over the company's lines and with the mileage over the Joint Lines and over those of other railways, the final figure was 2,157,514 miles.
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