LMS Route: Rugby to Tamworth
Polesworth Station: lnwr_pol4437
An unidentified ex-LMS Ivatt 2-6-0 4F locomotive heads a
three-coach local stopping service into Polesworth circa 1949. In all
probability the locomotive was built under British Railways ownership as only
the first three of a class of one hundred and sixty-two were built by the LMS.
Primarily designed for medium freight work this class of locomotive was, as
seen above, also widely used on secondary passenger services. The LMS' Horwich
works built seventy-five members of the class, including the first three LMS
locomotives, whilst the former LNER works at Doncaster and Darlington built the
remainder, fifty and thirty-seven respectively between 1947 and 1952. The
design was noted for its American looks the running-plates were
positioned at a high level and a gap left ahead of the cylinders to aid access
for easier maintenance.
Because of this many locomotive enthusiasts considered it
to be the ugliest British locomotive produced, especially the first 50 engines
which were outshopped with double chimneys. However, the double chimney wasn't
a success and were quickly replaced by a single chimneys. The class was also
sometimes called mucky ducks or doodlebugs or even flying pigs. The locomotives
also incorporated new mechanical features intended to reduce maintenance costs.
The utilitarian appearance was a deliberate design decision as there are
sketches which show the locomotive with conventional curved running plates.
Post-war locomotive design was very influenced by the USA 2-8-0 and 2-10-0
locomotives which had been utilised in the UK before moving to Europe after D