LMS Stanier Mogul 13268

LMS Stanier Mogul 13268
13268 Kidderminster 20240419.jpg
13268 (April 2024)
Built By LMS Crewe Works
Configuration 4-6-0
BR rating 5MT
Status Operational
Loco Number 13268
Other Numbers 2968, 42968
Built 1934
Designed By William Stanier
Type Stanier Mogul
1973 Arrived on SVR
1990-1998 First steamed in preservation
1996-1998 Operation on the main line
2002-2013 Second ticket
2023 Re-entered service
Length 69ft 10¾"
Weight 69t 2cwt
Tractive effort 26,290 lb
Pressure 225 lb/sq in

Steam Locomotives

13268, later numbered 2968 and 42968, is the sole surviving example of a Stanier Mogul, one of the first classes designed by Stanier after his arrival on the LMS.


The Stanier Mogul

The Mogul was only the second new design to be completed for (Sir) William Stanier following his appointment as CME for the LMS in January 1932. Although they were built at Crewe, they were designed at Horwich and were a development of the Hughes Crab 2-6-0 (the "Horwich Mogul"). They had a Horwich-style cab and narrow riveted (Fowler type) tender, with coal rails. Features that Stanier brought from the GWR included a tapered boiler which had a higher working pressure than the Crab. This allowed the cylinders, which were 3" smaller in diameter, to be mounted horizontally: the only Stanier design to do so.

Forty were built between October 1933 and March 1934 as part of a single Lot (Lot 104). Stanier then produced a larger 4-6-0 for his mixed traffic class, the LMS Black Five Class. Probably due to the success of this design, no further Moguls were built.

The Moguls were originally designated as class 4F when new, subsequently altered to 5P4F in 1934 and 5P5F in 1938/9. BR rated the class 6P5F and 5MT. They were initially numbered 13245–13284 (following on from the Crabs), becoming 2945–2984 in 1934 (the Crabs becoming 2700–2944). BR added 40000 to their numbers so they became 42945–42984. The Moguls were always painted black, normally lined out except during the 1940s and towards the end of steam.

The type was sometimes referred to by railwaymen as "North West Crabs". The Class was also known as 'Lobsters'[1], presumably as a variant of 'crab'. They were mainly found on the ex-LNWR system where they were regularly used on heavy freight duties, often at night. As a mixed traffic loco they were also used on passenger workings, particularly on summer reliefs, and occasionally on express work, usually deputising when a larger locomotive was unavailable (see below).

13268 in service

13268 entered traffic on 24 January 1934, allocated to Willesden shed. The locomotive was renumbered as 2968 in September 1935, and over its lifetime was allocated to a wide variety of sheds on the LMS Western Division, mostly in the North-West but including spells at Aston, Bescot and Nuneaton. It became British Railways' 42968 in December 1948. On 31 December 1958, 42968 replaced 46239 City of Chester on an Up express service after it failed at Carnforth, working the train as far as Crewe. It was noted on another express passenger service at Bromsgrove on 8 August 1959, the 08:40 Bournemouth to Bradford (Exch).

By 1960, 42968 had covered over 700,000 miles. Its final shed before withdrawal in 1966 was Springs Branch. On of the locomotive's duties that year was a Wigan Area brake van tour on 13 August 1966. Its last recorded working was on 14 December 1966 when noted passing Preston on the 6:35pm parcels train ex-Liverpool Lime Street Station.

13268 in preservation

Restoration and first boiler ticket, as 2968

Following withdrawal on 31 December 1966, the then numbered 42968 was purchased for scrap by Woodham Bros. By 1969 all other members of the class had been cut up, and the Stanier Mogul Fund was formed in 1970 to preserve her as an important example of an early Stanier locomotive. Fund raising was helped by a raffle organised by the SVRA North West Branch in 1973.[2]

After four years the Fund had raised Woodham Bros's asking price, with a cheque for £3,575 (including VAT) being handed to Dai Woodham on 1 September 1973, in time to avoiding a pending £500 increase. A working party at Barry on 10-14 November prepared the loco for rail movement, after which the loco was hauled to the SVR, arriving at Bewdley on 14 December 1973.[3]

Restoration began at Bridgnorth following a move there in July 1974. At the time, SVR News reported the SMF's optimistic estimate that this would take around three years and cost around £3,000.[4][note 1] Initially the locomotive was stored outside and moved from place to place around the yard, making work increasingly difficult. By Autumn 1975 some work had been carried out to prevent further deterioration, but the locomotive was stored awaiting 'finance and labour'.

In 1977 the group secured a "semi-permanent' resting place at the side of the goods shed" and momentum picked up.[5] 1981 saw work in progress on the motion and brake rigging, with the boiler loosened ready for attention from the boilersmiths. The following year a new drag box was completed and new forged motion parts obtained.[6] In 1985 mechanical repair work was completed, but new pipework was being fabricated in line with a new SVR policy that ex-Barry engines should be fitted with new pipework before the boiler was repaired.[7] Work on the tender took place in 1986 while funds were raised for the boiler overhaul which began in early 1987.[8] After passing its hydraulic test, the boiler was steamed for the first time on 11 October 1988. A new smokebox ring was required which delayed the final assembly during 1989.[9]

The loco moved under its own steam for the first time in preservation on 12 November 1990, completing two light engine round trips between Bridgnorth and Highley. After further light engine trips on the following Thursday, two ECS return trips to Kidderminster were scheduled for Monday 19 November. The first of these was terminated at Highley due to a bomb scare at the BSC Foley Park factory, but the afternoon trip was completed without incident.[10] The locomotive officially entered SVR service on 13 April 1991 in LMS livery numbered 2968. Unfortunately, it had to be withdrawn from traffic in December 1993 due to a loose tyre. The autumn 1993 "Tyre a Mogul in 1994" raffle organised by the SVR Macclesfield Branch and drawn in January 1994 raised over £4,000 net to assist with the total cost of more than £15,000. Following tyre replacement 2968 re-entered service in December 1994. The tender tank was also due for replacement so 2968 temporarily borrowed the Stanier tender from Black Five 45110

In 1996 2968 was mainline-certified, and over the next two years hauled a number of main-line railtours, including the Settle-Carlisle line from Crewe to Carlisle. She also took part in the 1998 "Steam On The Met" event. 2968’s main line career included a couple of ‘firsts’:

On 22nd November 1997, it and 7325 were the first steam locos in preservation to work a train over the 1:38 Lickey Incline.
On 3rd January 1998, it set off on a rail tour from Shrewsbury to Newport and Gloucester via the Central Wales line. At Llandrindod Wells it was discovered that the track ahead was flooded, so 2968 drew the train back to Craven Arms running tender first, then ran around to take a detour via the Welsh Marches route. This was the first time that a steam-hauled special had been rerouted mid-tour.

In 2001 the Stanier Mogul Fund produced “A Pictorial History of 2968 The Mighty Mogul”. This includes comprehensive reports and pictures of the locomotive’s main line tours. Copies of this publication may still be available from the SMF’s sales stand. A complete list of main line appearances is as follows:

Date Tour name Route Notes Web SVR News
31 Aug 1996 Kidderminster-Gloucester + return Test run with support coach 121-44
07 Dec 1996 Lyndum Fayre Dorridge - Lincoln - Dorridge SBJ
21 Dec 1996 Cumbrian Mountain Express Crewe - Carlisle Deputising for 60009 Union of South Africa
04 Jan 1997 Cumbrian Mountain Express Carlisle - Crewe Deputising for 60009 Union of South Africa SBJ 122-4
11 Jan 1997 Taffy Apple Worcester Shrub Hill - Swansea - Worcester D/H with 7325 UKS 122-4
08 Mar 1997 Mogul Mountaineer Crewe - Copy Pit - York SBJ 123-7
18 Oct 1997 Welsh Dragon Port Talbot - Shrewsbury Gross load 365 tons, or 50% overload SBJ 125-9
19 Oct 1997 Ynys Mon Express Crewe - Holyhead - Crewe SBJ 126-46
25 Oct 1997 Meldon Meanderer Bristol - Exeter - Meldon Quarry D/H with 7325, replacing 7802 (failed with hot box at Bristol) SBJ 125-70
08 Nov 1997 Pilgrims Progres Exeter - Plymouth - Bristol D/H with 7325 SBJ 125-70
15 Nov 1997 Hardy Flyer Bristol Temple Meads - Yeovil Pen Mill - Bristol D/H with 7325 SBJ 126-48
22 Nov 1997 Lickey Incliner Bristol-Bromsgrove-Stourbridge-Gloucester D/H with 7325, first preserved steam on the Lickey Incline SBJ 126-2
12 Dec 1997 Chester Chuffer Wolverhampton - Chester - Wolverhampton UKS 126-49
03 Jan 1998 Central Wales Adventurer Shrewsbury - Llandrindod Wells* - Craven Arms* - Gloucester *Tour re-routed due to flooding UKS 126-50
31 Jan 1998 Inclined Salopian Gloucester - Lickey Incline - Bescot D/H with 7325 UKS 126-49
16 May 1998 Steam on the Met Amersham-Watford shuttles UKS
17 May 1998 Steam on the Met Amersham-Watford shuttles UKS 127-15
23 May 1998 Steam on the Met Amersham-Watford shuttles UKS
24 May 1998 Steam on the Met Amersham-Watford shuttles UKS
25 May 1998 Steam on the Met Amersham-Watford shuttles UKS 127-32
For further information on sources and references, see The Severn Valley Railway on the main line

A boiler inspection in February 1998 found that firebox crown stays were wasted below Railtrack requirements for main line working, curtailing further railtours. However the locomotive continued in SVR service and was invited by London Underground to take part in that year's 'Steam on the Met'.[note 2] During the next annual boiler examination in October 1998, the condition of the firebox side stays was found to be poor and the locomotive was immediately withdrawn from traffic and placed into store at Bridgnorth[11].

Second boiler ticket, as 42968

Work began on the 'bottom end' while awaiting space in the boiler queue. The boiler was eventually lifted for repair and moved into the boiler shop on 20 October 2000, by which time the SMF had decided that the locomotive would re-enter service in later BR mixed traffic lined black livery as 42968.[11] Boiler repair work included fabrication of a new copper tube plate for the firebox to replace the original cracked one. By autumn 2002 the boiler had been successfully steam tested and reunited with the frames, and following reassembly including fitting of a new cab roof, the overhaul was completed in in time for a return to service in 2003.[12]

During the overhaul, it had been the SMF's intention to return to the main line. However a number of obstacles arose:

  • EWS decided that they would only operate air brake fitted trains; the fitting of air braking to 42968 was ruled out on cost grounds.
  • Issues had been found with the TPWS equipment fitted to other mainline locos. The SMF authorised the necessary repair work and advertised runs over the Cambrian Coast line in October 2004. However RESCO were unable to provide staff to carry out the necessary certification in time.
  • Further runs were planned for March 2005. RESCO then decided that a full survey of the locomotive would be necessary at a cost of £12,495 plus VAT as the original registration from the first period of mainline running had not been maintained 'for some unknown reason'.

Faced with this additional expenditure, as well as the possibility of further costs being required to achieve re-certification, the SMF reluctantly decided that 'enough was enough'.[13] Instead, 42968 went on to enjoy "an immensely successful and reliable 10 years in service" on the SVR, recording twice the mileage of its previous running period and reaching the '100,000 miles in preservation' landmark on Boxing Day 2010. It also made visits to the Crewe Works Open Day and gala appearances at the Great Central, Worth Valley, Llangollen and West Somerset Railways. 42968 also appeared in the BBC 2 drama 'Dancing on the Edge' directed by Stephen Poliakoff.[14]

During 2009 the small tubes were replaced. In June 2010 the tyres on the tender wheels were found to have developed bad flats. The tender was withdrawn and the Stanier tender from Black Five 45110 was again attached to allow 42968 to remain in service. The tender’s tyres were replaced and the tender given a full overhaul during 2011-12, the engine regaining her correct tender in March 2012.

In summer 2011 John Hancock reported in SVR News that "Someone left an empty wheelbarrow on a crossing at Hampton Loade, I assume deliberately, and we found it. 2968 was unscathed, the barrow very scathed indeed. I last saw the battered remains on top of the oil tank at Bewdley shed, with a "Sold, Subject To Contract" sign in front of it."[15]

42968's second boiler certificate expired in January 2013.

Third boiler ticket, as 13268

The latest overhaul began in early 2014, with the boiler lifted from the frames on 22 July of that year.[16] The volunteers continued to work on the 'bottom end', while the boiler was moved to the 'Boilershop Park' in early 2016 for preparatory work ahead of a move into the boiler shop when space became available.[17]

By 2017 a new rear dragbox had been completed.[18] At the end of 2018 work was advancing on the chassis and completion of the boiler was forecast for the following year.[19] By the end of 2019 the locomotive had been re-wheeled, although the boiler was proving to be "the frustration of the boiler shop".[20]

Progress was then inevitably affected by the 2020 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The boiler successfully passed a hydraulic test in March 2023, marking the start of a new '10-year ticket',[21] and passed its steam test on 19 June 2023.[22] In October 2023 it successfully moved under its own power and was commissioned as No 2968 in unlined black. On 21 October 2023 it travelled light engine to Kidderminster to coincide with the AGM of the owning group the Stanier Mogul Fund.

A repaint into its original lined livery and original number 13268 took place in early 2024,[23] which was completed in time for a debut at that year's Spring Steam Gala.

See also


  1. Greaves and Norman's Pictorial History suggested an even more optimistic estimate of two years and £1,000 to complete the restoration. In the event it would take around 16 years and cost over £100,000.
  2. London Transport was not part of the Railtrack network and agreed that the locomotive's 'heritage' boiler certificate was acceptable.


  1. BR Database (Retrieved 26 March 2024)
  2. SVR News 29, 30
  3. SVR News 30
  4. SVR News 33
  5. SVR News 47
  6. SVR News 61, 66
  7. SVR News 75,76
  8. SVR News 80, 83
  9. SVR News 96
  10. SVR News 98
  11. 11.0 11.1 SVR News 135
  12. SVR News 140, 141
  13. SVR News 153
  14. SVR News 210
  15. SVR News 174
  16. SVR News 188
  17. SVR News 193
  18. SVR News 199
  19. SVR News 204
  20. SVR News 208
  21. SMF Overhaul Update
  22. National Preservation Forum
  23. SMF Paint Shop Update, March 2024