56038 is a small but characterful member of the Locoyard fleet. It is a highly modified Hornby Caledonian Pug. The Caley Pug has long been within the Hornby range, with 56038’s classmate 56025 Smokey Joe being in every Hornby catalog since 1983. For such a popular model, it is quite surprising how little has been published about the prototype on which it is based, which is the subject of today’s blog post.Before we look at the prototype, I think it’s best we talk about the term “pug”. In railway circles, a pug can mean different classes of locomotive to different people – for instance the Lancashire and Yorkshire Aspinall 0-4-0ST’s were called pugs and the North British used the term pug exclusively to the Y9 class (which is virtually identical to the 264 class – more on this in a moment!) However, to those who worked in Caledonia, a pug could be any small saddletank. For these reasons, I will do my best to use the term “pug” sparingly for the rest of this blog post to aid clarity!The 264 class has it’s origins in a 0-4-0ST (saddle tank) design by Neilson and Co (of Glasgow), intended to work on tight track-work in Scottish factories and harbours – particularly to support the then booming fishing industry. Where things become confusing is in how the class evolved into very similar classes. Dugald Drummond worked for the North British Railway until moving to the Caledonian Railway in 1882. However, before he moved on he authorised the purchase of two Neilson built 0-4-0 ST machines for the North British. Drummond was replaced by Matthew Holmes who is therefore credited with introducing the class at the North British. The class were very successful and 35 were built by the North British and were classified as G and later Y9 by the LNER. The 264 class was virtually identical to the Y9, but were introduced by Dugald Drummond on the Caledonian Railway in 1885. Eventually, the Caledonian Railway would build 25 members of the class. The Caledonian Railway would later be absorbed by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) and therefore the Caledonian 264 class are classified within the Big Four as an LMS machine, whilst the Y9 as a LNER locomotive.
The Caledonian 264 class, upon which this model is based; did have some visual differences to the Y9 that included full-width spectacle plates and Drummond fittings (the smokebox door dart in particular). The position of the safety valve is also distinctive – Y9’s would usually have their safety valves positioned forward of the cab, not on the dome.
56038 was one of the last 264 class to be built in 1908 at St. Rollox works and was originally numbered 431. 431 would originally of been given wooden dumb buffers, but these would have been replaced by more conventional sprung buffers. In 1923, it became LMS 16038 and at nationalisation in 1948 it became British Railways 56038. At this time, it was based in Dawsholm (North West Glasgow) . 56038 was withdrawn in 1959, at which time it was working in Inverness. Unfortunately it did not survive and was disposed at Kilmarnock Works. None of it’s 264 classmates survived, but one of the similar Y9 class and two Neilson standard 0-4-0ST’s are preserved.
Don’t forget the history of many other locomotive prototypes of the locoyard model fleet can be found by clicking on the “Prototype Info” links on the Loco Models page (click here for more). Thanks for reading 🙂