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    LMS 7217

    Clives Curiosities

    Railway Reflection No.1 – LMS 7217

    When British Railways was formed it inherited around 20,000 steam locomotives of all shapes and
    sizes. The oldest, and perhaps one of the more unusual of them was the one pictured here. This is
    LMS 7217 (later LMS 27217) a 0-4-2 saddle tank crane engine which survived to become British
    Railways 58865.

    Ordered by the North & South Western Junction Railway from Sharp Brothers, Atlas Works, Great
    Bridgewater Street, Manchester, the loco (built as a 0-4-0 saddle tank) was delivered during 1858.
    Located in West London, the N & SWJR was a short line linking the London & North Western at
    Willesden with the London & South Western at Brentford. The engine was, however, built to haul
    passenger trains on the N & SWJR branch line to Hammersmith.

    LMS 7217
    LMS 0-4-2 saddle tank crane engine 7217 at Devons Road (Bow) engine sheds. – Clive
    Hardy

    The N & SWJR was soon taken over by the North London Railway (where it carried the number 37)
    and some years later the NLR chief mechanical engineer, J C Park, had number 37 rebuilt as a 0-4-2
    saddle tank crane engine at Bow Locomotive Works.

    The additional pair of wheels supported the weight of the crane. Though the crane could be rotated,
    the jib was in a fixed position in order to ensure stability.

    Crane engines could not only lift and move stuff around, but they could also carry out normal
    shunting duties. They tended to be employed around railway workshops. They were also used in
    industry.

    On 1 February 1909, the NLR was effectively absorbed into the London & North Western Railway
    (LNWR) and on 1 January 1923, the LNWR was merged into the London Midland & Scottish
    Railway (LMS).

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    In early February 1951, British Railways officially withdrew 58865 from service and by the end of the
    month it had been moved to Derby Locomotive Works. A couple of months later it was still in the
    Works yard though it had been covered with a tarpaulin. Any consideration of preserving the engine
    was given the thumbs down and it was cut up during October 1952.

    Railway Reflection No.1 - LMS 7217
    Written By

    Clive is our Transport and Railway writer, with years of experience he is a fount of knowledge on all things transport nostalgia.

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