LMS Hughes/Fowler Class 5F "Crab" Steam Locomotive - Gateway to the LMS

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Hughes/Fowler Class 5F "Crab"

LMS Class 5F Crab no. 42765 arrives at Kidderminster

LMS Class 5F Crab no. 42765 at Kidderminster

Class 5F No 42765 at Kidderminster station, Severn Valley Railway, September 2001

Technical Data
Introduced : 1926
Number built : 245
Wheel  arrangement : 2-6-0 "Mogul"
Glossary
Mixed Traffic engine : a locomotive that is  intended to haul both passenger and freight trains.  
Prior to the Grouping, the Caledonian Railway had designed a 2-6-0 mixed  traffic engine, which George Hughes decided had potential for use by the LMS.  However, the restrictive loading gauge of the former Midland lines meant that  inclining the cylinders was a necessity and the final design had extremely  inclined cylinders which coupled with a raised running plate at the front end,  made the locomotive somewhat distinctive. Hughes decided on a parallel Belpaire  boiler for the locomotive pressurised to no more than 180 lb per sq inch, which  meant that the cylinders had dimensions of 21 inches diameter by 26 inches of  stroke, using long lap Walschaerts valve gear. This arrangement would result in  the nickname "Land Crabs" or just "Crabs".

Hughes retired before the locomotives were finished, and the designs ended up with Fowler, who promptly proceeded to apply Derby engineering principles to the design, somewhat to the detriment of the original Horwich design. The boiler design was retained, only because it was too late to get a standard Derby boiler onto the engine, but a lot of the other parts became pure Derby. Worst of all, the locomotives were given standard Derby tenders which were narrower than the locomotive, spoiling the lines of the original design. These tenders were to remain with the locomotives throughout their working lives.

Although intended as a freight engine, the "Crabs" unofficially became a mixed traffic engine, so could occasionally be found on passenger services. By the end of their career, British Railway officially recognised them as such, giving them the power classification of 5P5F. They were considered to be a successful design and were the only non-Derby inspired design of the Fowler era.
Original Number
Built at
Year of Building
13000-13006
Horwich
1926
13007-13029
Horwich
1927
13030-13035
Crewe
1926
13036-13099
Crewe
1927
13100-13107
Crewe
1928
13108-13109
Crewe
1929
13110-13129
Horwich
1929
13130-13149
Horwich
1930
13150-13224
Crewe
1930
13225-13234
Crewe
1931
13235-13244
Crewe
1932
The class was renumbered in 1934 to become numbers 2700-2944, with 40000 being added to these numbers upon nationalisation.
Preservation
Three examples are preserved; numbers 2700 (A static exhibit at the National Railway Museum, and currently liveried into LMS Crimson as 13000), (4)2765 (currently running on the East Lancashire Railway in LMS Crimson as 13065) & 2859 (currently awaiting restoration, but with its tender and boiler scrapped, it could be quite time - if ever - before it is operational again).   
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