LMS Stanier 8F 48773
At The Engine House
The ‘Stanier 8F’ was the standard heavy freight locomotive of the LMS, introduced in 1935 by William Stanier. Over 850 were built by all the ‘Big Four’ railways and private builders for service at home and overseas, and was one of the few steam designs in use right up to the end of steam on BR in August 1968.
It emerged from the North British Locomotive Company’s Hyde Park Works, Glasgow, in August 1940, as part of a War Department order of locomotives for service in France. The fall of France saw the engine retained by the L.M.S. for a time, but in 1941 it was requisitioned and dispatched to Persia. Three years were spent on the gruelling Trans-Iranian Railway preceding transfer to the Suez Canal Zone in 1944. In 1952, the engine returned to Britain, and was overhauled at Derby works before reaching the Longmoor Military Railway.
In 1957, the engine was acquired by B.R., and ‘converted’ to B.R. requirements. In September of that year, it became one of 666 members of the class owned by B.R. as No. 48773, allocated to Polmadie depot, Glasgow. It was withdrawn at the end of 1962, and stored in serviceable condition, having just received heavy repairs at Horwich Works. It was returned to traffic in November 1963 at Carlisle Kingmoor, and worked from Stockport, Buxton and Bolton depots before final allocation to Rose Grove depot, Burnley.
The `Stanier 8F Locomotive Society Limited‘ was formed in 1968 to save an 8F, and 48773 was selected as the one in the best all-round condition. Desperate fund-raising enabled purchase of the loco shortly after it worked a ‘last day’ special on 4th August, and it was moved to Bridgnorth on 4th January 1969.
Subsequently, the locomotive was restored as L.M.S. No. 8233 and placed in S.V.R. service. In August 1975 it participated in the Stockton and Darlington Railway 150th Anniversary celebrations at Shildon, Co. Durham. In 1985, the engine returned to traffic after a lengthy overhaul, and it was dedicated as a war memorial by the Bishop of Hereford at a ceremony at Highley on 27th September 1986.
It was last used in traffic in January 2008, and is now on display at the Engine House.