LMS Ivatt Class 2 46443

LMS Ivatt Class 2 46443
Ivatt 46443 Kidderminster Town SVR (2).jpg
46443 at Kidderminster
Built By BR Crewe Works
Configuration 2-6-0
BR rating 2MT
Status Out of service
Loco Number 46443
Built 1950
Designed By George Ivatt
Type Ivatt Class 2
1967 Arrived on SVR
2011 Withdrawn for overhaul
Length 53ft 1¾"
Weight 47t 2cwt
Tractive effort 18,510 lb
Pressure 200 lb/sq in

Steam Locomotives

46443 is an LMS Ivatt Class 2, designed by H.G. (George) Ivatt for work on secondary and branch line duties. Locomotives of this class were often referred to as a "Mickey Mouse". It is a 2-6-0 'Mogul', rated 2MT by BR following nationalisation. The design of the BR Standard class 2 2-6-0 closely followed the Ivatt Class 2 design.


46443 in service

46443 was built at BR’s Crewe works in April 1950 and was based at Derby for 11 years. In 1961 46443 moved to Saltley, where duties were limited to infrequent rush hour journeys. A final move to Newton Heath (near Manchester) in 1966 was followed by withdrawal in March 1967.[1]

46443 in preservation

46443 was purchased from BR by Richard Willcox immediately after withdrawal. BR agreed to the locomotive moving to the SVR in steam, with a final week being spent on shed pilot duties to assess the steaming capabilities. The move from Newton Heath to Bridgnorth via Crewe, Stafford, Bescot, Dudley, Stourbridge and Kidderminster took place on 22 April 1967, with 46443 becoming the second engine to arrive on the Severn Valley Railway.[2][3]

46443 saw use on the SVR in the early gala events before the official opening of the SVR. On 27 September 1969, 46443 and 3205 together with a number of other items of SVR rolling stock were piloted by a BR Class 47 from Bewdley to Tyseley to take part in an open day there. The route taken was via Stourport, Worcester, Honeybourne, Long Marston and Stratford-upon-Avon.[4] 46443 and 3205 had both originally arrived on the SVR facing south, but 46443 returned from the open day facing north, becoming the only locomotive to be turned to face in a different direction before the SVR opened in May 1970.[5]. 46443 was one of the locomotives used on the opening weekend in May 1970. SVR(H) bought the locomotive in 1972. She was taken out of service in early 1973 after the right trailing axle box caught fire. Repairs lasted until the following year, with the locomotive re-entering revenue earning service on 19 May 1974.[6]. She continued in use until being withdrawn at the end of 1979 due to the poor condition of the flue tubes. She had covered more than 29,000 miles on around 600 steaming days, more than any other SVR locomotive in the same period.

In late 1983 SVR(H) announced that the locomotive had been sold as part of the deal that brought 45690 Leander to the SVR, and that the locomotive would move to Loughborough after repairs to the boiler had been carried out.[7] However the move did not take place, and a fund was launched to 'buy back' the locomotive,[8] during which time it gained the nickname 'The Peoples Engine'. A part of the successful fund-raising entailed the sale of T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase "46443 The Peoples Engine". Part of the proceeds of the summer 1984 SVRA raffle were alo earmarked to help the fund (the rest being used to fund better washing facilities for working volunteers).[9] It is now owned by the SVR 46443 Fund, having been re-acquired in Autumn 1984.[10]. Following completion of the boiler repairs, the locomotive re-entered service in October 1984.[11]

Although only a Class 2 locomotive, 46443 has fully earned a place in the list of SVR locomotives that have worked on the main line. During the 1985 GWR 150 celebrations 46443 hauled a number of Bristol-Portishead shuttles. In July 1987, 46443 was asked to punch well above her weight when sent to Wales to replace Class 4MT 75069 on the BR Cardigan Bay Express service. On arrival, the BR footplate crews expressed the opinion that they would be "creeping around with three coaches at 20 mph!'. The first on-time arrival at Barmouth brought forth the comment "She steams quite well, doesn't she!". An early return to Machynlleth gave rise to "She isn't a bad little engine, is she!". Within two days, "I'd take ten to Pwllheli with her anytime!".

Date Tour name Route Notes Web SVR News
02 Jun 1985 GW150 Portishead Shuttles Bristol Temple Meads - Portishead return 79-2
21 Jul 1985 GW150 Portishead Shuttles Bristol Temple Meads - Portishead return 77-38
15 Sep 1985 GW150 Portishead Shuttles Bristol Temple Meads - Portishead return Spent total of 3 weeks in Bristol SBJ 79-26
22 Sep 1985 Wapping Wharf Steam Shuttles Bristol Temple Meads - Bristol Harbour (Wapping Wharf) SBJ
27 Jul 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 46443 first trip 85-11
28 Jul 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2
29 Jul 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2
05 Aug 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 86-42
10 Aug 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 86-36
12 Aug 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 SBJ
24 Aug 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 86-43
25 Aug 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 86-40
26 Sep 1987 Bham Moor St - Dorridge Shuttles, also Bham -Stratford Last day of the old Moor Street Station 87-34
For further information on sources and references, see The Severn Valley Railway on the main line

In addition to these main line appearances, service continued on the SVR until 1991, when 46443 failed with burst small tubes while on hire to the Llangollen Railway.[12].

Following a full re-tube and other repairs, 46443 returned to service in summer 1993. On 16 August 2004, the locomotive was involved in a collision with a van on Fishermen's Crossing.[13] The SVR was later cleared of any blame for the accident.[14] 46443 was prematurely withdrawn from service after the 1998 Autumn Steam Gala weekend, once again suffering from issues with boiler tubes.[15]

46443 returned to service once more in time for the 2001 Santa Special services.[16] She served a full 'ten year ticket' but shortly after gaining an extension, suffered a steam leak due to a corroded superheater header and was finally withdrawn in October 2011 having covered 145,997 miles in preservation.[17]

The locomotive is now on display in The Engine House awaiting its next overhaul. 46443 features on the pub sign of The Railwayman's Arms at Bridgnorth.

46443 in film and television

46443 has appeared in a a number of film and TV productions filmed on the SVR including The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976), The Thirty Nine Steps (1978), Hanover Street and A Man Called Intrepid (1979).

See also


  1. Information display board in The Engine House
  2. SVR News 18
  3. A G Cleaver, "The Early Days Of The 'Severn Valley'", SVR News 190 (2015) p19.
  4. SVR News 14
  5. SVR News 115, “North and South before the Turntable”, Quentin Haigh
  6. SVR News 34
  7. SVR News 70
  8. SVR News 71-72
  9. SVR News 73, 74
  10. SVR News 73
  11. SVR News 75
  12. SVR News 100/101
  13. SVR News 148
  14. SVR News 149
  15. SVR News 128
  16. SVR News 139
  17. SVR News 176