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Mr. J. Ramsbottom

1858 — DX Goods
1863 — 4ft Shunter
1870 — Special Tank

Mr. F.W. Webb

1873 — 17in Coal Engine
1880 — 18in Goods
1881 — Special DX
1881 — Coal Tanks
1893 — ‘A’ class
1894 — Crane Tank
1896 — Dock Tank
1901 — ‘B’ class
1903 — 1400 Class

Mr. G. Whale

1904 — ‘C’ class
1904 — ‘E’ class
1906 — ‘D’ class
1906 — ‘F’ class
1906 — ‘G’ class
1912 — ‘G1’ class
1906 — 19in Express Goods

Mr. C.J. Bowen Cooke

1911 — 1185 class

Capt. H.P.M. Beames

1923 — 380 class


1919 — ‘MM’ class

Coal Tank

Vital Statistics

Official Name 4ft 3in Six wheel Coal Engine Side Tank
Nickname Coal Tank
Water & Coal Storage Side Tanks and Bunker
Water Capacity 1150 gallon
Coal Capacity 2 tons
Wheel Arrangement 0-6-2
Driven Wheels Six 4ft 5½in wheels
Carrying Wheels Trailing radial truck of two 3ft 9in wheels
Wheelbase 7ft 3in + 8ft 3in - 5ft 9in
Total Wheelbase 21ft 3in
Boiler 4ft 2in diameter; 9ft 9½in long
Boiler Pressure 150 psi
Grate Area 17.1 sq.ft.
Tubes 198
Total Heating Area 1,074.6 sq.ft.
Cylinders Two inside 17in diameter; 24in stroke
Weight in full working order 43 tons 15 cwt
Designer Mr. F.W. Webb
Number in Class 300
Lifetime 1881—present

The 0-6-2 tank was perhaps that most uninspiring configuration yet paradoxically the ‘Coal Tanks’ became a firm favourite. They were maids-of-all-work with not the slightest hint of glamour; only a middling amount of power (compared to later designs); and their inadequate brake leverage led mostly to excitement in their inability to stop: Crews must have had many a nervous moment!

But they were work-a-day engines, hard to beat for value for money with a wide range of flexibility. Lacking even the shapely spokes of normal wheels, perhaps it was Webb’s H-spoked Explain 'H-Spoke Wheel' wheels of cast iron which set the seal on their rugged chunkiness.

It was 1881 when Mr. Webb Explain 'Webb, Francis William (1836—1906)' designed this tank engine version of the successful 17” Coal Engine, the first of 300 built over the next eighteen years. It was almost entirely built of Crewe standard parts, including the radial rear axle Explain 'Radial Axle' – a simple and excellent design. Most were relieved of freight duties when the extent of their appalling brakes (initially made of wood!) were uncovered, and some were fitted for motor train Explain 'Motor Train' working. Between the front and rear tanks there was a tall step over a flexible water hose, and this was always good for tripping the crew up when getting in or out.

No.1054 is the last surviving example, now preserved on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, Yorkshire.

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