Despite being a regular performer on the Watercress Line and my fairly regular visits to the railway, this locomotive has had relatively little coverage here on Locoyard and it is time for that to change! Ex-LMS Black 5 45379 re-entered for the first time in forty five years in 2010 and has since become highly regarded on the railway, which is no real surprise in light of the pedigree of the type as a class.
Stanier’s Black 5 class were almost an instant success when introduced in 1934 and after a few relatively minor tweaks soon became one of the most successful steam locomotive classes. 842 were built by the London Midland and Scottish Railway. When British Railway looked to produce a Standard 5MT design the result was a reworked Black 5, a testament to the design.
There are another 17 preserved examples of the class in preservation, although this is the only resident south of London for the time being. Clearly it is not a Southern class, but LMS Black 5’s could be found all over the country when in service and were particularly associated with the nearby Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway. A 00 scale version wouldn’t be that out of place at Locoyard really… as you can see I’ve already found an excuse to obtain a model of this class!
45379 has recently returned from a visit to the West Somerset Railway and the Watercress Line have clearly taken it as an opportunity to turn the locomotive around. The locomotive is now London facing, not country (this has not been updated on the Railway’s loco-roster yet).
These pictures were taken yesterday at the Watercress Line and there will be more featured next week, so as ever, watch this space!