This week’s model star is S&DJR 4F no 58, a regular runner in the Locoyard collection and recent stand-in for the broken-down Christmas Pannier tank engine. This model is an unusual member of a large class of locomotive’s, resplendent in Prussian blue. Let’s delve into the history of this prototype…
The Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway (S&DJR) has an interesting history, with a variety of owners and changing regions that lead to it being served by many different locomotives. In the early twentieth century, the railway was in joint ownership between the LSWR and the Midland Railway – the later being in charge of motive power. Therefore, it was no surprise that Midland Railway designs were used by the S&DJR – including Fowler’s 4F 0-6-0.
Fowler’s 4F 0-6-0 was known as the 3835 class to the Midland Railway and was first introduced in 1911. Five of the 197 examples were built for the S&DJR by Armstrong Whitworth (numbers 57-61) and they were delivered in 1922.
The S&DJR used these locomotives for mixed traffic duties, classifying them as Class 5 for passenger work and Class 4 for freight. The S&DJR became part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) in 1930 and 58 was renumbered 4558. It continued to serve the same route, being based at Bath Green Park.
In 1948 the railway network was nationalised and this locomotive became British Railways number 44558. In the last years of it’s life it carried on it’s mixed traffic role, even on occasion double-heading the Pines Express.
None of the S&DJR 4F’s survived, but one Midland-built locomotive has been preserved – number 43924 on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. The LMS also built another 575 slightly modified examples of the class and three of these survived – 44027, 44123 and 44422.
This model is an excellent performer and easily one of the best models money can buy in 00 scale (click here to read the review). 58 is a regular on the locoyard roster. Links to other model of the week articles can be found in the Loco Model Page (click here to see more). Thanks for reading folks 🙂