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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

1400 Class

Vital Statistics

Official Name 1400 Class
Nickname Bill Bailey
Water & Coal Storage Tender
Water Capacity 2,500 gallon
Coal Capacity 5 tons
Wheel Arrangement 4-6-0
Driven Wheels Six 5ft 3in wheels
Carrying Wheels Four leading 3ft 1½in wheels
Wheelbase 6ft 3in + 6ft 9in + 5ft 9in + 5ft 9in
Boiler diameter 4ft 6¼in at firebox to 4ft 6¼in at smokebox
Boiler Length 15ft 6in
Boiler Pressure ? psi
Grate Area 20½ sq.ft.
Tubes ?
Total Heating Area 1,687 or 1,753 sq.ft.
High Pressure Cylinders Two outside 15in diameter; 24in stroke
Low Pressure Cylinders Two inside 20½in diameter; 24in stroke
Weight in full working order 60 tons
Designer Mr. F.W. Webb
Number in Class 30
Lifetime 1903—1921

Mr. Webb’s Explain 'Webb, Francis William (1836—1906)' last design was a 4-cylinder compound Explain 'Four Cylinder Compound' 4-6-0, intended as a powerful engine for both goods and passenger traffic. Two 15in diameter outside high-pressure cylinders exhausted into two 20½in diameter low-pressure cylinders.

Their story shows how easily a design could be misunderstood: At the time they were starkly pilloried as Mr. Webb’s greatest failure, and long known as ‘Bill Baileys’ from the song “Why won’t you come home Bill Bailey?”

But were they so bad? In fact, recently discovered drivers experiences have reported they were sure-footed engines that could ‘plug away’ at a load, preferred to much later LMS Stanier ‘Black 5’ and ‘8F’ 2-8-0’s. Because they did their job well but unexceptionally they were never exciting and so were too easily dismissed as failures — which was not in fact the case.

In support of this, only two had been built before Webb retired. The total of thirty finally built could not have been completed if they were such failures. Further, even the malicious name may not be true: Rodney Weaver has suggested the name may have come from prestige haulage of the ‘Barnum & Bailey’ circus trains, touring the country at the time. Maybe we shall never now know the true origins. Did they really deserve to be so maligned?

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