The Book of the Stanier Three Cylinder 2-6-4Ts 42500-42536 (Irwell Press)

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This book forms part of the “Book of…” series from Irwell Press, a detailed examination of various steam locomotive classes accompanied by detailed histories of every locomotive within the featured class. This 2020-published volume looks at the distinctive Stanier three-cylinder 2-6-4 tank locomotives numbered in the 42500-42536 series.

The London Midland & Scottish Railway employed many different 2-6-4Ts from several different locomotive designers, including Fowler, Stanier and Fairburn. In total, over 600 locomotives of this type were built for the LMS.

The first such locomotives designed by Stanier were wholly different in that they had three cylinders, and were, most unusually, restricted to use on a particular stretch of line. With the exception of the war years, when they were all temporarily transferred away, they could always be found working passenger services over the former London Tilbury & Southend system from Fenchurch Street to Southend and Shoeburyness, until made redundant by electrification in 1962.

The Book of the Stanier Three Cylinder 2-6-4Ts begins with a brief history of locomotive development on the London, Tilbury and Southend Line, with details of some of the earlier locomotives to have operated on the line and a look at their shortcomings.

There then follows a technical appraisal of the new Stanier locomotives, describing the design in detail and drawing attention to important design features of the class. A general history of the class looks at introduction to service and regular duties, following on to eventual decline, withdrawal from service and preservation.

The final two-thirds of the book contains a detailed account of every locomotive built, including details of when and where built, major repairs, boiler exchanges, recorded mileage and depot allocation history. The detailed entries are accompanied by two or more photographs of every locomotive built. 192 pages. Hardback.

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