BR Riddles 4MT 80079
Class 4 tanks in service on the Severn Valley
Class 4 tanks’ route availability was rated as ‘blue’, with the Severn Valley branch classified as ‘dotted blue’ from Bewdley to Buildwas. This restricted their speed to 25mph, and so limited their use.
Class 4 tanks allocated to Shrewsbury (89A) to September 1963Several Class 4 tanks were allocated to Shrewsbury 89A from mid-1962 onwards, including a few displaced from the London, Tilbury and Southend line by electrification.
|80078||July 1962 to February 1963||Locomotive preserved|
|80096||July 1962 to November 1962|
|80100||July 1962 to July 1965||Locomotive preserved|
|80101||July 1962 to September 1962|
|80135||July 1962 to February 1963||Locomotive preserved|
|80136||July 1962 to February 1963||Locomotive preserved and has visited the SVR in preservation|
|80098||September 1962 to November 1962||Locomotive preserved and has visited the SVR in preservation|
|80105||September 1962 to October 1962||Locomotive preserved|
|80131||September 1962 to February 1963|
|80070||December 1962 to February 1963|
|80102||December 1962 to June 1964|
|80132||December 1962 to February 1963|
|80070||March 1963 to May 1965|
They remained until the end of passenger working, especially north of Bridgnorth. It appears they featured much less regularly than the BR Standard 3MT 82000 tanks and LMR Ivatt 2MT 41000 tanks also in use from Shrewsbury at that time.
Photographs of use in service on the Severn Valley
There is little photographic evidence of their use on the Severn Valley, with the following identified:
- 80070 on the daily Shrewsbury to Kidderminster pick-up freight at Northwood on 29 May 1963.
- 80072 was photographed on the line on three occasions during the very cold winter of 1962-63 (whilst allocated to Swansea East Dock, 87D). This locomotive is preserved and has visited the SVR in preservation.
- 80078 at Bridgnorth in 1963 working from Shrewsbury
- 80102 on the last day of service in September 1963.
80079 in service
80079 was built in 1954 at BR’s Brighton works and entered service at Plaistow in March of that year, before moving to Tilbury a month later. From there, 80079 mainly worked passenger services between London Fenchurch Street and Shoeburyness. While hauling a passenger train on 30 January 1958, 80079 overran signals in thick fog and was in a rear-end collision with another passenger train at Dagenham, Essex. Ten people were killed and 89 were injured.After repair, 80079 continued in service at Tilbury, before moving to the Croes Newydd shed, Wrexham in July 1962. The locomotive was withdrawn from there in July 1965 and taken to Barry Scrapyard, arriving in January 1966.
80079 in preservation
80079 was considered the best of the 14 standard tanks at Barry. An appeal by the 'Passenger Tank Fund' for funds to acquire the locomotive was published in SVR News in Autumn 1970. A share issue to raise the £3,000 purchase price was successfully completed by Spring 1971 and 80079 became the 13th locomotive to leave Barry, arriving at the SVR by rail on 15 May, 1971.
Restoration began immediately at Bridgnorth. The locomotive was steamed in early 1977, including a test run to Hampton Loade, and entered revenue earning service on 17 April 1977. It quickly gained a reputation as a strong free-steaming engine, and despite a limited water capacity, went on to make an impressive number of appearances on the main line. A number of these were in tandem with fellow classmate 80098. A list of these is set out below.
|Date||Tour name||Route||Notes||Web||SVR News|
|19 Apr 1980||Black Countryman||Hereford - Manchester Victoria (+ Northwich L/E)||D/H with 5000. 80079 first main line run||SBJ||56-9|
|20 May 1980||Rocket 150 Rainhill||Northwich-Bold Colliery||L/S, with 35028||56-9|
|09 Jun 1980||Rocket 150 Rainhill||Bold-Colliery-Bridgnorth||D/H + LMS coach||56-9|
|19 Feb 1983||Welsh Marches Pullman||Shrewsbury - Craven Arms - Leominster - Hereford||D/H with 43106||SBJ||68-30|
|26 Feb 1983||Welsh Marches Pullman||Hereford - Newport - Hereford||D/H with 43106||SBJ||67-31|
|16 May 1993||The LlanDod Local||Shrewsbury?-Knighton-Llangynllo-?Carmarthen?||107-9|
|30 May 1993||Pembroke Coast Limited||Carmarthen - Tenby, Carmarthen - Swansea||SBJ||107-45|
|31 May 1993||Pembroke Coast Limited||Carmarthen - Milford Haven - Carmarthen - Swansea*||*D/H with 44767||SBJ|
|06 Jun 1993||Carmarthen-Shrewsbury||D/H with 44767||108-51|
|30 Aug 1993||Jolly Fisherman||Nottingham - Skegness - Nottingham||SBJ|
|03 Oct 1993||Cambrian Coast Limited||Crewe - Aberystwyth - Crewe||D/H with 80080||SBJ|
|23 Oct 1993||Pantyffynnon - Shrewsbury||D/H with 80080||SBJ|
|01 May 1994||Semper Fidelis||Bristol Temple Meads (or Barnstaple)? - Exeter St Davids||Top/Tail with 80080||SBJ|
|02 May 1994||Exeter St Davids - Barnstaple - Exeter St Davids - Paddington||D/H with 80080||SBJ|
|07 May 1994||Folkestone Harbour Shuttles||Folkestone Harbour - Folkestone East (multiple)||Top/Tail with 80080||SBJ||111-40|
|29 May 1994||Steam on the Met||Amersham - Harrow-on-the-Hill shuttles||London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends)||111-41|
|19 Nov 1994||Capital Envoy||Worcester Shrub Hill - London Paddington||D/H with 46521, prior to working Santa specials in the London area||SBJ||113-9|
|01 Jan 1995||Didcot-Worcester||D/H with 46521|
|20 May 1995||Steam on the Met||Amersham - Harrow-on-the-Hill shuttles||London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends)||115-51|
|28 May 1995||Steam on the Met||Amersham - Harrow-on-the-Hill shuttles||London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends)||115-51|
|29 May 1995||Steam on the Met||Amersham - Harrow-on-the-Hill shuttles||London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends)||115-51|
|24 Sep 1995||Snow Hill - Stourbrige Junction Shuttles x4||Snow Hill Line reopening specials||116-17|
|21 Dec 1996||Bletchley to Bedford 150||Bletchley-Bedford (4 round trips)||122-11|
|10 May 1997||Private Charter||Snow Hill-Didcot +return||123-13|
|05 Oct 1997||Shrewsbury-Tywyn-Shrewsbury||125-9|
|29 Mar 1998||Cambrian Coast Express||Shrewsbury-Tywyn-Shrewsbury||Did this run?||UKS|
|29 Apr 1998||Worcester-Hereford-Shrewsbury-Crewe||Did this run?||UKS|
|02 May 1998||Conwy Climber||Crewe-Blaenau-Crewe||Ran to Bettwys-y-Coed only (stalled near Roman Bridge)||SBJ||127-62|
|03 May 1998||Conwy Climber||Crewe-Blaenau-Crewe||First standard gauge steam loco to Blaenau in 30 years||SBJ||127-62|
|04 May 1998||Malvern Tank||Crewe-Hereford-Worcester||Failed at Shrewsbury||UKS|
|10 Oct 1998||Ynys Mon Express||Crewe-Holyhead + return||UKS|
|11 Oct 1998||Conwy Climber||Chester-Llandudno Jct-Blaenau + return x2||UKS|
|20 Mar 1999||Bristol-Tytherington/Westerleigh Shuttles||Ran as scheduled||UKS|
|21 Mar 1999||Avonmouth Shuttles||Bristol-Avonmouth x3||Ran as scheduled||UKS|
|02 Apr 1999||Dawlish Donkey||Exeter-Newton Abbot-Exeter x3||130-32|
|03 Apr 1999||Dawlish Donkey||Exeter-Newton Abbot-Exeter x3||136-60|
|03 Apr 1999||Dartmoor Pony||Exeter-Meldon Quarry +return|
|04 Apr 1999||Dawlish Donkey||Exeter-Newton Abbot-Exeter x3|
|04 Apr 1999||Globe & Laurel||Exeter-Exmouth + return|
|05 Apr 1999||Exeter-Newton Abbot-Exeter x3||Exeter-Newton Abbot-Exeter x3|
|05 Apr 1999||Heathfield Mule||Exeter-Heathfield + return|
|01 May 1999||London Standard||Leicester-Corby -Bletchley-Stratford||With 80098|
|02 May 1999||LTSR Steam Shuttles||Fenchurch St-Shoeburyness + return||With 80098||130-60|
|03 May 1999||LTSR Steam Shuttles||Fenchurch St-Shoeburyness + return||With 80098, ran as scheduled||130-62|
|22 May 1999||Inter-City Tanks||Finsbury Park-Kemble -Stourbridge Jct-Tyseley||With 80098|
|16 Oct 1999||Three Spires Local||Birmingham Int-Aston-Lichfield-Derby -Leicester-Crewe||With 80098|
|17 Oct 1999||Slate Miner||Crewe-Blaenau-Crewe||With 80098||131-74|
|11 Dec 1999||Midlander||Bromsgrove-Blackwell||Banking 45110 over the Lickey Bank|
|For further information on sources and references, see The Severn Valley Railway on the main line|
In December 1981 filming took place for an episode of ITV’s Game for a Laugh. This featured musician and entertainer Joe Brown firing 80079, a job he previously did for BR while a fireman at Plaistow.
In early 1987 work was carried out on the boiler in an attempt to extend the 'ten year ticket' for a further three years. This was partially achieved, with 80079 being withdrawn due to loose/thin flue tube ends in early 1989. Apart from the boiler, the locomotive was considered in good condition mechanically, so when an overhaul began in 1990 the work mainly comprised new bunker platework, new pipework, reconditioned cab fittings and repairs to the tanks. Some attention was also required to the frame. In spring 1991 an SVRA Birmingham Branch raffle helped raise funds for the boiler work.
80079 returned to service in May 1993, making an early appearance on the Central Wales main line before spending the summer at the Llangollen Railway. During the second ticket the locomotive was a consistent performer and in 2000 recorded 12,849 miles, the highest mileage of any SVR locomotive in any single year between 1967 and 2004. The locomotive finally succumbed to tube failure in summer 2002, shortly before the 'ten year certificate' expiry date.80079 has recorded 103,509 miles in preservation. The mileage by year as reported in SVR News is as follows:
After cosmetic restoration at Bridgnorth, 80079 was temporarily placed on display at the NRM Shildon in March 2005.. It was then one of the first batch of locomotives to be displayed in The Engine House at opening in 2008. As of 2020[update] it remains on display there. 80079 is owned by The Passenger Tank Fund.
Railway Herald magazine reported on 7 November 2011 that a special meeting of the Passenger Tank Fund had been arranged for 30 October 2011 to discuss and vote on a proposed sale of the locomotive to Mr Jeremy Hosking. No such sale took place.
- ‘Locomotive Route Availability’, Michael Clemens’ Railways (Retrieved 30 March 2017)
- 80000 page, BRDatabase (Retrieved 23 April 2017)
- D.J. Smith (1968)
- Magner (1997)
- Bewdley Station waiting room
- SVR News No. 15
- BRDatabase Retrieved 29 January 2015.
- SVR Stock book 9th edition
- Red for Danger. Rolt, L.T.C. (1955, rev. 1966)
- Beckett and Hardingham (2010), The Barry List 10th Edition
- SVR News 18
- SVR News 19
- SVR News 43-44
- SVR News 83
- SVR News 92
- SVR News 98
- SVR News 105
- SVR News 98/99
- SVR News 106-107
- SVR News 140
- SVR News 152
- SVR News 150
- Railway Herald Magazine Issue 290, 7 November (2011), p. 16.
- BR Standard Class 4 2-6-4T on Wikipedia
- Ministry of Transport Report on the Collision which occurred on 30th January 1958 at Dagenham East Station