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LMS Route: Rugby to Tamworth

Polesworth Station: lnwr_pol1208

An unidentified LNWR 4-6-0 Claughton class locomotive is seen passing through Polesworth on an up express service

An unidentified LNWR 4-6-0 Claughton class locomotive is seen passing through Polesworth on an up express service circa 1922. The Claughton class, a class of four cylindered express passenger locomotives, were introduced in 1913, the first of the class being No 2222 'Sir Gilbert Claughton' from where the class name derived and altogether a total of 130 were built up to 1921. The LNWR reused numbers and names from withdrawn locomotives, with the result that the numbering was completely haphazard and had no logical sequence so in the latter half of the 1920s the LMS renumbered them into the more logical series 5900 to 6029.

.An exception was made for the LNWR's war memorial engine, the 1920 built No 1914 'Patriot', which acquired the number of a Renown Class being the same as the year World War One started or as it was described at the time 'The Great War' - the war to end all wars. Due to the class not living up to expectations attempts were made to overcome poor steaming and coal consumption. Twenty of the class were rebuilt by the LMS with larger boilers often referred to as large boilered Claughtons with some being equipped with Caprotti valve gear.

Twelve other Claughtons were notionally rebuilt combining the new large boiler with the chassis of the recently introduced Royal Scot class. These became what was later described as the 'Patriot' class as the first engine took over the name of the LNWR remembrance locomotive although the running number - No 1914 - was not. Earlier rebuilds of the Patriot class did not use much material from the Claughton the most obvious exception was the use of the Claughton driving wheels with their larger central boss.

From 1927 with the introduction of the Royal Scot class, the Claughtons' main role of handling the heavy West Coast traffic had been lost and many were transferred to the Midland Division. At the end of 1939, all but one, No 6004 had been withdrawn which had an extended life because of the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939. The Second World War causing such a motive power shortage that No 6004 soldiered on in terrible condition on local freight duties in the Wolverhampton area. Acquired by British Railways in 1948, she was allocated the BR number 46004 but she was withdrawn in 1949 without it being applied. She was not preserved. Courtesy of 'Wikipedia'.