Rails of Sheffield is offering ‘Black Five’ No. 45000 in plain black and weathered exclusive editions, writes Nigel Burkin.
Regarded as a very successful locomotive, the LMS Class 5 locomotive, known as the ‘Black Five’ (BR 5MT) was both numerous and widely used over the railway network – a real maid of all work, which was large enough to deliver excellent haulage power, yet light enough to be used on many secondary routes including the former Great North of Scotland lines in the far north of Scotland.
The first 20 locomotives were built at Crewe in 1934 to a design by Sir William Stanier, a 4-6-0 tender engine design inspired by the GWR Hall Class locomotives. Ultimately, the class would total 842 locomotives built between 1934 and 1951 (with a wartime break) by various works including Crewe (241), Horwich (120), Derby (54) and outside contractors (427) such as Armstrong Whitworth (327). Its success meant that no fewer than 151 ‘Black Fives’ saw the last year of BR steam in 1968 and 18 locomotives are currently preserved, including No. 45000 which is part of the National Collection.
A common feature of long-lived locomotives built in such large numbers and over a long period of time is that the final ‘Black Five’ was considerably different (technically) to the first Crewe-built locomotives with some external differences in fittings. Many design improvements and experimental modifications were done to later builds of the ‘Black Five’ making the class an interesting one for modellers to research – it is said among LMS modellers that a photograph of a chosen engine is essential for reference when adding or changing details on the Hornby model to represent a particular engine.
For the full article, see the March edition of Modelling – available now!
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