LMS Route: Nuneaton to Birmingham New Street
LMS Route: Birmingham New Street to Tamworth
Saltley Shed: mrsalt109
LMS 2-6-0+0-6-2 Garratt No 7994 stands alongside Saltley
shed's coaling tower on its way to one of what were known as the 'back roads'
on 1st December 1946 . Bob Essery writes in DJ Norton's pictorial survey of
Railways in West Midlands, one of the problems encountered at Saltley was
the lack of space, wherever possible Garratts would be dealt with at Bromford
but when they did arrive at Saltley, the usual practice was to stand them on
what was known as 'the back roads', which were between the arrival line onto
the coaling plant and the Camp Hill lines. Built by Beyer Peacock in November
1930, No 7994 was part of the second batch produced with a revolving instead of
a fixed bunker, and was the last to survive being taken out of service from
Hasland shed in April 1958 to be scrapped by Crewe works in May 1958.
The Garratts were a typical example of how the design team
at Derby continued applying flawed MR design to many early LMS designs.
Ignoring Beyer Peacock's advice based on years of experience building this type
of locomotive many MR components and concepts were incorporated. Besides the
insistence that the MR 8'0"- 8'- 6" axle spacing was maintained the 4F axle
boxes were employed as well as short travel valves and convoluted steam
passages. Consequently the performance of the locomotive was seriously lacking
and coal consumption was no better than the two locomotives it was supposed to
replace. The only difference being was that the coal was put in the box by one
man not two!