Model of the Week – Fairburn 4MT 42096

Today we start a new weekly series of blog posts, that look at the model’s in the Locoyard collection, to link to a new web page.  These are not model reviews, but a reflection on the prototype’s that are represented, to link the models with the real thing.

We start the series with what is the most regular performer on the layout – Bachmann’s model of Fairburn tank 42096.  The Fairburn 4MT 2-6-4T was the only locomotive class developed by Charles Fairburn whilst he was Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LMS.  Fairburn’s career was cut short around one year after succeeding William Stanier when he had a heart attack.  The 2-6-4 tank engine was a mixed traffic 4MT classification and a development of a Stanier design.

Bachmann Fairburn 4mt 4209642096 was never an LMS locomotive and was built in Brighton in 1950 for use on the Southern Region by British Railways.  BR’s Southern region was desperate for new motive power; with many routes operated by locomotives that had long since lived past the life expectancy that they had been designed for.  Before the standard 4MT tank had been developed, Fairburn’s design was used by BR to fill in this gap in the fleet.  The BR standard 4MT tank itself was a development from Fairburn’s design and these would replace them in the Southern region in later years.

Bachmann Fairburn 42096Compared to the BR standard 4MT tank, Fairburn’s machine was not popular – they did not run as well or were as economical.  This is also quite at odd’s with the model, which performs fantastically (click here for it’s review).

Bachmann Fairburn 42096 (2)

42096 carries the shed plate 75F – Tunbridge Wells West – what is now the headquarters of the Spa Valley Railway.  The locomotive wouldn’t remain a Southern locomotive forever and ended up moving to the North West, allocated to Lostock Hall (24C) just south of Preston.  Sadly, at just 16 years old, 42096 was withdrawn and scrapped a year later in 1967.

Bachmann Fairburn 4MT Tank (Bunker)Two members of this class – 42073 and 42085 (both Brighton BR-built machines) have survived and are based in the Lake District on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway.