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Lists of steam loco numbers and their types?


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I'm not sure where to ask this, so I shall start here.   I am trying to build a layout for the first time and am struggling with what loco's would fit on my setting.  Is there a publication of steam locomotive numbers that depict the engine type?   What I am looking for is a list of loco's showing, for example:- 42xxx = type 4a or whatever.  I have seen photo's of loco's and can discern their side number but do not know what type of engine it is.

I hope that I have explained myself sufficiently for someone to understand and provide an answer please.

cheers,
Mike

Edited by Royal42
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  • Royal42 changed the title to Lists of steam loco numbers and their types?

If you want books then the reprints of the Combined Ian Allan ABCs are useful.

 

I pick them up just for browsing as much as anything.

 

As an example the Spring 1955 edition. It has lists of locomotives from all the regions and their allocations for a certain date. Includes photographs as they were meant for young trainspotters to identify the locomotives.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/British-Railways-Locomotives-1955-Combined/dp/071103799X/ref=asc_df_071103799X/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=310817460405&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4079371396234164799&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9075133&hvtargid=pla-564205164205&psc=1&th=1&psc=1

 

Most years are available from 1948 to 1968. Just picked a random one.

 

 

Jason

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17 minutes ago, Bucoops said:

Would BRdatabase help?

 

https://www.brdatabase.info/

 

Wow! that was quick and seems to do just what I asked.  Thank you so much for the fast and successful response.

3 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

If you want books then the reprints of the Combined Ian Allan ABCs are useful.

 

I pick them up just for browsing as much as anything.

 

As an example the Spring 1955 edition. It has lists of locomotives from all the regions and their allocations for a certain date. Includes photographs as they were meant for young trainspotters to identify the locomotives.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/British-Railways-Locomotives-1955-Combined/dp/071103799X/ref=asc_df_071103799X/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=310817460405&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4079371396234164799&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9075133&hvtargid=pla-564205164205&psc=1&th=1&psc=1

 

Most years are available from 1948 to 1968. Just picked a random one.

 

 

Jason

Hi Jason,

Bucoops has provided an excellent link; however, I am not always at my PC to check these things and, so, a book would also be useful.  Can you please confirm these ABC editions also have the number and show the type etc?

cheer,
Mike

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The ABCs don't have pictures of all the types.

There was also the Observer's Book of Locomotives.  These were kept current, so one edition wouldn't have all the locomotives, but would have all for the time of publication. 

 

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A review on Amazon UK of the reprint of the 1955 Combined volume:

 

“Nostalgia and history. A record of every locomotive operated by British Rail in the autumn of 1954.Detailing every class of engine with a brief description, technical details, numbers manufactured and the date of introduction, together with many grey scale photos. These books were produced for train spotters and include every engines individual number and name where given. Sheds and shed codes are included.”
 

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Also useful might be  ST Publications: "Steam Locomotives Operating on British Railways between 1948 and 1968".

As the title suggests lists all steam locomotives that came too and built by BR after nationalisation, no pictures but a brief description of  technical details.

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Another useful site for listing locos present at a particular time is Shedbash. It will give you a lot of home loco details and also clues to where locos working into the area came from. This is the shed index

https://shedbashuk.blogspot.com/p/index-of-shed-visits.html?m=0

 

I linked another blog on the Wolverhampton West Park thread recently. It's possible to search for locations by name on there.

 

 

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6 hours ago, BR60103 said:

The ABCs don't have pictures of all the types.

There was also the Observer's Book of Locomotives.  These were kept current, so one edition wouldn't have all the locomotives, but would have all for the time of publication. 

 

 

They had the vast majority though. It just ignored the sub classes. Such as it would have a J39, but wouldn't have a picture of the very similar J38.

 

I wouldn't bother with the Observers books as you are just buying other peoples stuff and they will all be well over sixty years old. I was only referring to the reprints, not something Little Johnny has underlined the locos in.

 

If you do want an Observers book get this. But I wouldn't pay over about £4 for a copy though. Has a photo and a brief description of all the important classes of British steam locomotives.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Observers-Directory-British-Steam-Locomotives/dp/B0012J0R5G

 

The problem is you normally have a book which is very list heavy or photo heavy. Very rarely both.

Edited by Steamport Southport
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Or for a cheap reference book, published in thousands so a good bargain s/h;- 

Steam Locomotives of British Railways by H.C. Casserley, 

Edited by bike2steam
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Some useful websites. I've linked to the loco section on each.

 

LNER 

 

https://www.lner.info/locos/locos.php

 

Southern

 

https://sremg.org.uk/photoind.shtml

 

GWR

 

http://www.greatwestern.org.uk/index-st.htm

 

http://www.gwr.org.uk/notes.html

 

Unfortunately I don't think there are any similar LMS websites.

 

As with most similar websites they are done by individuals in their own time, there will be mistakes and omissions. Try and cross reference with other sources if possible.

 

 

Jason

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I remain a trifle puzzled by the OP. Perhaps we could save him a great deal of time by understanding the location and era of his intended model? After all, while in C21 a Class 66 might be seen in many parts of the country every day, the same did not apply to most steam locos, which were far less well-travelled, and had distinct bailiwicks, typically according to their original constructor. 

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2 hours ago, Oldddudders said:

I remain a trifle puzzled by the OP. Perhaps we could save him a great deal of time by understanding the location and era of his intended model?

Hi Ian, he's looking at Birmingham New Street roughly 1950s, post-nationalisation bet when the turntable was still in use where the PSB was built.

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3 hours ago, Oldddudders said:

I remain a trifle puzzled by the OP. Perhaps we could save him a great deal of time by understanding the location and era of his intended model? After all, while in C21 a Class 66 might be seen in many parts of the country every day, the same did not apply to most steam locos, which were far less well-travelled, and had distinct bailiwicks, typically according to their original constructor. 

Hello Ian,

 

my request was a general query about whether such publications existed.  I know that books for aircraft registrations could be found and they tend not to be country/region specific; they are just sectioned by country within chapters.

 

I already have a few query threads about my actual requirements, such as track types, loco's and structures etc.: however, my intended plan is to build a diorama of Birmingham New Street, before the 1964-70 rebuild that changed it all.  I used to go train spotting there from 1955 to 1965 and want to do the diorama as I remember it back then.  The biggest problem for me is that this is my first layout and I know next to nothing about the engines and rolling stock. Not knowing these types makes it awkward for me to understand what engine or rolling stock I will need when I get to that phase.   I have done lots of Googling and found plenty of images but they do not necessarily give captions of types etc., but they do show the large number on the side.   I thought that, if I can find a publication whereby I could look up the number and then it would tell me the type of engine it was then that would be ideal.

 

I didn't realise that such publications would be region specific and I shall try to provide as much detail for my quest as possible in future.

 

cheers,
Mike

Edited by Royal42
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44 minutes ago, TheSignalEngineer said:

Hi Ian, he's looking at Birmingham New Street roughly 1950s, post-nationalisation bet when the turntable was still in use where the PSB was built.

For Birmingham New St, what is better than this set of 4 books?

 

This is Vol3, the only one available from the publishers new.

 

https://wildswanbooks.co.uk/Books/Birmingham-New-Street-LMS.htm

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6 hours ago, Steamport Southport said:

Unfortunately I don't think there are any similar LMS websites.

 

As with most similar websites they are done by individuals in their own time, there will be mistakes and omissions. Try and cross reference with other sources if possible.

 

 

 

True, but just go to;-         List of LMS locomotives as of 31 December 1947 - Wikipedia     

And click on which ever class you're interested in.        

Edited by bike2steam
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11 hours ago, bike2steam said:

Or for a cheap reference book, published in thousands so a good bargain s/h;- 

Steam Locomotives of British Railways by H.C. Casserley, 

I don't know if this is the same book, but I would recommend "Locomotives of British Railways" by Casserley and Asher. Make sure it is the combined edition, as it was originally published in four volumes, but many available around £4 - £5 s/h.  It includes brief descriptions of each type of steam loco that came into BR hands in 1948, and subsequently, providing full numbering details, and there is a photo of each class and any major variations.  Probably better than the ABC's for what the OP wants at this stage, although sometimes a bit tricky to pin down individuals when the numbering system is all over the place.

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13 hours ago, Royal42 said:

   I thought that, if I can find a publication whereby I could look up the number and then it would tell me the type of engine it was then that would be ideal.

 

I didn't realise that such publications would be region specific and I shall try to provide as much detail for my quest as possible in future.

 

cheers,
Mike

A further example of a book of that nature is 'The Last Steam Locomotives of British Railways', by P. Ransome-Wallis.

ISBN:1854224743 Which is for the 3 printing. I have a 2nd printing version which was pre-ISBN and has a different cover.

 

This photo album book is arranged by wheel arrangement, in gradually increasing power and so the locos appear in random order of railway company. While there is no list of numbers, it does show blocks of numbers, these show the situation in late BR days so there are many gaps.

The vast majority of the photos are by the author. The captions, usually provide a reasonable background information.

 

At the rear of the book, there is a list of common dimensions, boiler ratings and tractive effort.

 

There is also a good introduction on locomotive power classification, and how it was derived - the latter was something quite difficult to find pre-internet, except in specialist books.

 

To round off, is a list of Chief Mechanical Engineers, often from the 1830s.

 

I purchased this book 2nd hand at least 20 years ago and have found it useful as a 'go to' book, for when I know nothing about a particular loco class - examples being sub classes of various LNER Pacifics!

OK, the WWW can do the same, but that wasn't really available when I found this book.

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13 hours ago, Nick Holliday said:

I don't know if this is the same book, but I would recommend "Locomotives of British Railways" by Casserley and Asher. Make sure it is the combined edition, as it was originally published in four volumes, but many available around £4 - £5 s/h.  It includes brief descriptions of each type of steam loco that came into BR hands in 1948, and subsequently, providing full numbering details, and there is a photo of each class and any major variations.  Probably better than the ABC's for what the OP wants at this stage, although sometimes a bit tricky to pin down individuals when the numbering system is all over the place.

It is very similar but not quite the same as some illustrations do vary a little (but I'm not going to go through both to list which ones do vary ;) ).   Oveall the casserley & asher books are probably the best way of getting a 'snapshot' of the BR loco fleet at nationalisation plus the Standards.

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Posted (edited)
On 06/04/2021 at 09:49, Steamport Southport said:

 

swmbo is going to kill me as I have dipped into the pension and ordered that book.  I'll just blame you! :mosking:

 

Mike

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