MANCHESTER LOCOMOTIVE SOCIETY



WITH 50455 FROM BLACKPOOL TO YORK-1ST JULY 1951


A Contemporary Account by Doug Darby


In view of the forthcoming withdrawal of LMS "Dreadnought" 4-6-0 No.50455, the last of the class, BR planned for the loco to be used to haul a special excursion from Blackpool Central to York and back on Sunday 1st July 1951.  This Society and the Stephenson Locomotive Society (North Western Area) were approached by BR for their support to the running of the train, which they readily gave, and BR asked each Society to state the number of their participants so that special accommodation could be reserved for the parties on the train.  Sixty-nine MLS members, families and friends travelled on the train to York, joining at various stations en-route; it was the largest number taking part in a Society trip during the year.

The special consisted of 11 coaches and left Blackpool Central at 9.30am, picking up at Blackpool South and travelling via the Marton line to Preston, Chorley, Bolton Trinity Street, Manchester Victoria, Rochdale and Todmorden where connections were available from Blackburn, Accrington, Rose Grove and Burnley (Manchester Road).  Prices ranged from 12s 6d (62½p) from Blackpool to 7s 3d (36p) from Todmorden.

Many of our members joined the train at Victoria; it was a bright morning as they waited on the platform for the train to arrive and there was a subdued air of excitement that usually characterised such events.  Then, suddenly, someone exclaimed " It's coming", and all eyes were strained towards Deal Street.  It was quite a thrill as 50455, carrying special train No.C820 on the smoke box, rolled majestically into sight and glided slowly to a halt at platform 15.  There was time for photographs before it departed about 10 minutes late (schedule departure time was 11.03am).

It was not a speedy trip, nor was it expected to be.  As the late Dr Tuplin wrote in a report he made about the loco for a railway journal, "She was old and no longer able to hurry".  But that did not matter.  Ronnie Gee noted the speeds at a few places, which are shown in the accompanying logs, but as this was an historic trip, I made a full log of the runs in both directions between Manchester and York.   Arrival in York was 42 minutes late, mainly due to P.W. checks, and then the loco was taken to York shed for servicing.

About 4½hrs were allowed in the city during which time members were able to visit the original Railway Museum which was opened specially for us in the afternoon, admission being free.  Other members also visited the loco shed and other attractions in the City of York.

The return journey was scheduled to leave York at 6.15pm, and when the train was standing at the south end of the station in the bright sunlight, it made a lovely sight.  There were checks at a few places en-route, but the train was more punctual than on the outward journey, arrival in Manchester Victoria being about 14 minutes late.  Having alighted from the train, the Manchester contingent watched as 50455 departed in the late evening sunshine for the last leg of it's journey to Blackpool.  It was a most enjoyable trip, but sadly as expected, the loco was withdrawn from service in week ending 6.10.1951.  It had spent the last 16 years of it's life allocated to Blackpool shed.





50455 at Manchester Victoria after arriving from Blackpool Central.





The special pauses at Rochdale on the outward journey.


LOG OF RUN - MANCHESTER TO YORK



Location
Distance
Schedule Actual Time

Manchester Vic dep

11.03am
11.13am

Newton Heath

11.10am
11.21am

Middleton Junc
5.4m
11.15am
11.26am

Castleton
9.0m

11.32am

Rochdale
10.6m
arr 11.23am
dep 11.24am
11.35am
11.38am

Littleborough
14.0m

11.44am

Todmorden
19.3m
arr 11.41am
dep 11.43am
11.54am
11.55½am

Eastwood
22.2m

12.10pm
Stop for 12secs. 5mph through station
Hebden Bridge
23.8m

12.16pm

Sowerby Bridge
28.8m
11.55am
12.24½pm
5mph through station
Brighouse

12.02pm
12.38pm

Mirfield
38.6
12.07pm
12.44pm
PW slack - 20mph after station
Thornhill
40.1m

12.48pm

Wakefield Kirkgate
47.9m
12.22pm
1.00pm
Stop for 1½ minutes
Normanton
51.0m
12.30pm
1.14pm
2mph through station
Castleford
54.5m
12.37pm
1.22pm

Burton Salmon
58.7m
12.45om
1.29pm
47mph at Monks Fryston
Sherburn-in-Elmet
62.7m

1.34½pm
47mph
Church Fenton
64.8m
12.53pm
1.37½pm
43mph
Chaloners Whin Junc


1.44pm
46mph at Copmanthorpe
York
75.5m
1.08pm
1.50pm



LOG OF RUN - YORK TO MANCHESTER


Location
Distance
Schedule
Actual Time

York

6.15pm
6.17½pm

Chaloners Whin Junc
2.0m

6.22½pm
39mph
Copmanthorpe
4.2m

6.25pm
45mph
Bolton Percy
7.5m


50mph. 56mph at Ulleskelf
Church Fenton
10.7m
6.29pm
6.33pm

Sherburn-in-Elmet


6.37½pm
45mph
Burton Salmon
16.9m
6.37pm
6.42½pm
20mph PW slack
Castleford
21.0m
6.43pm
6.50pm

Normanton
24.6m
6.53pm
6.58pm
Stop for 30 seconds
Wakefield Kirgate
27.6m
7.00pm
7.04pm
Stop for 30 seconds
Mirfield
37.3m
7.13pm
7.21pm
Severe easing
Sowerby Bridge
47.0m
7.27pm
7.37½pm

Luddendenfoot


7.48pm
Stop for 5¼ minutes
Hebden Bridge
52.0m

7.53½pm

Todmorden
57.0m
arr 7.41pm
dep 7.46pm
7.57½pm
8.04¼pm

Walsden


8.08¾pm
Good start from Todmorden
Littleborough


8.16¾pm

Rochdale
65.0m
arr 8.05pm
dep 8.07pm
8.22pm
8.23pm

Middleton Junc

8.17pm
8.33pm

Newton Heath

8.23pm
8.37pm

Manchester Vic
75.5m
arr 8.30pm
8.44pm


NB  Mileages quoted are only approximate





York. The Dreadnought looks resplendent in the late afternoon sun prior to the return journey.





Back at Manchester Victoria with the station clock reading a quarter to nine.



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THE LOCOMOTIVE 50455

This locomotive entered traffic as 10455 in June 1924 and was the first of a batch of twenty engines built by the LMS at Horwich under Lot No.83 (Nos 10455-74).  These 4-6-0s were originally part of an order for forty 4-6-4 tanks which had been placed with Crewe Works on 6th March 1923, but following doubts about traffic requirements, the order was cancelled.  By this time, however, materials for twenty 4-6-4 tanks had already been assembled, so it was decided to cut the frames at the rear end and use them for a batch of new 4-6-0 tender engines.

With four 16½" x 26" cylinders, 75" diameter driving wheels and 180lbs working boiler pressure, they developed a tractive effort of 28,879lbs, much higher than the later Class 5 and "Jubilee" 4-6-0s built in the 1930s, but the engines were still in LMS power class "5".  However, they differed from the earlier L&YR 4-6-0s.  The main frames were noticeably more robust at the front end and they were also longer, the bogie wheelbase being increased from 6'6" to 7'0" and the total engine wheelbase was 1'0" longer at 26'7".  The firebox grate area was also bigger at 29.6 sq.ft. compared with 27.0 sq.ft. on the original series.

The boilers were Class 'RS' (again different from those on the original engines) and were interchangeable with the 4-6-4 tanks.  Thirty boilers were built, ten for the 4-6-4T and twenty for the 4-6-0s, but later six more were provided by modifying boilers of the original engines.  No.10455 had numerous boiler changes although not all of these were recorded.  On 11.3.1936 it was carrying a boiler which had previously been on sister engine 10457 (this loco was withdrawn in 8/1936), but on 17.6.1938 it got boiler No.4780 off 4-6-4T No.11118.  Five years later, on 23.4.1943, the boiler was changed for 4779 which was also previously on 11118, but by this time the tank engine had been withdrawn from service - in November 1941.  The final boiler change was on 24.12.1948 when it received No.5245.  This boiler was last used on 4-6-4T No.11116 which was withdrawn in August 1938, and it lay about in Horwich scap yard for over 10 years before being repaired for further use.

Originally, 10455 appears to have been coupled  to tender 1694 but by 31.12.1932 it was running with 1703.  A final tender change took place on 27.7.1944 when it got tender No. 1713.

The initial cost of each engine in this series was £5,199 and tender £570, and when built the loco was intended to have a standard life of 40 years.  The last of the class , 10474, was displayed in Belle Vue Gardens at the Railway Centenary Celebrations in 1925.

10455 had a general overhaul at Horwich between 24.4.1938 and 8.7.1938, being specially repaired to extend it's life.  Prior to this it was on the breaking-up list.  Further "heavy generals" were carried out between 22.3.1943 and 23.4.1943, and between 28.10.1948 and 24.12.1948 when it was renumbered as BR 50455.  Records show that it ran a total of 751,208 miles in it's life of just over 27 years, it's highest mileage in any one year being 38,916 in 1930, followed by 38,868 in 1939.

When new our loco was allocated to Carlisle Upperby shed for working the principal West Coast services, mainly north of Crewe, along with the LNWR "Claughton" class 4-6-0s.  It was still at Carlisle on 1.1.1927 and on 28.1.1928 Nos 10455-10471 were all at Upperby, the other 3 of the batch (10472-74) being shedded at Preston.  On the 5.11.1932, 10455 moved to Newton Heath but on 31.12.1932 it was transferred to Farnley Junction.  Here it stayed until 20.4.1935 when it went back to Newton Heath and stayed there throughout that summer, finally moving to Blackpool on 21.9.1935.
It remained here for the next 16 years, being finally withdrawn from traffic in the week ending 6.10.1951; it was broken up at Horwich during week ending 16.2.1952.  In the last 9 months of it's life (from January 1st to October 6th 1951) 50455 ran just 6839 miles.

50455 was the only one of the twenty locos built in 1924 to become part of BR stock, although 6 of the earlier L&Y designed 4-6-0s did so.  When war broke out in September 1939 ten of them were still in existence and all continued to work throughout the war, mainly allocated to Blackpool shed.  For the record these ten engines were as follows:-

Engine No.
Withdrawal Date
10412
02/1949
10423
06/1948
10429
04/1948
10432
06/1949
10437
10/1946
10442
08/1950
10446
06/1946
10448
10/1949
10455
10/1951
10460
12/1947



Much of the information concerning 10455/50455 is from the engine history card held by the NRM at York.

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This article first appeared in the Mancunian in 2001 edition 223



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