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Unidentified 0-4-0T


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Does anyone know where and when this was taken and exactly what it is? It's clearly a standard gauge 0-4-0T of some sort, presumably a well tank, as there doesn't appear to be anywhere else to put a water tank. It must have a narrow boiler but I wonder if it was built like this, or was converted to carry railway staff - I don't imagine the men on it are paying passengers!

 

The PW looks quite light and the rails is spiked, rather than chaired, so a light railway, or contractor's line?

LittleJohn.png.12921ea97842ae5e81159fe568fd9d8a.png

 

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3 hours ago, Steamport Southport said:

Looks Irish broad gauge to me.

 

Possibly Australian?

 

 

 

 

Jason

I hadn't noticed, but you could be right about broad gauge. I have a feeling that it could have been built by Fletcher Jennings. That's really only based on the wheels, cylinders and slide bars, which look like those on the Bluebell Railway's Baxter.

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1 hour ago, sir douglas said:

ive justr tried looking for anything with that name, all i can find is for the Severn & Wye rly but that was 0-6-0 and built to SG

I have just had a look at the Industrial Locomotive Society name index. There are three engines with the name Little John. One is a Hudswell Clarke, one a Yorkshire and one a Fletcher Jennings, so I may be right about it being a Jennings. The index doesn't give any details of the locomotives, their build dates, owners, or anything but a works number, which in the case of the FJ is 140.

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FJ 140/1874 Little John was built for the Severn & Wye Railway, eventually becoming Midland Railway 1123A and being scrapped in 1905. It's clearly not the locomotive in the photograph.image.png.fb2c30562799f2ddcf3706bd5cdade31.png

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It's got a superficial resemblance to the Cockerill tram loco currently on the NYMR, although that's a vertical boiler type. It's hard to make out from the photo where the boiler is, but presumably along the centre line. Given that the footplate is completely exposed but the longitudinal seat(s) are covered, could be it be some sort of inspection loco? It does seem to have conventional buffers and drawgear though.

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Both the height of the buffers and the way they are mounted on the cab back sheet doesnt look right to me, and the footboards stick out beyond the footplate far enough to make me wonder what sort of loading gauge it was built to.  Could the picture be a fake?  A Victorian version of Photoshopping?

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If it was built for say be Australia or South America, the loading gauge would not be so much of an issue. If it's got about 3 foot wheels, the buffer height would be about right. But I agree it's very unusual, certainly by British standards.

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To me it looks like a small narrow gauge saddle tank regauged for standard or broad gauge.

 

The boiler appears to be tiny and low down. I am pretty sure that's the reverser on the far side of the firebox, and the handbrake column on this side, both a long way inboard of the cab sides. The driver's hand appears to be on the regulator handle, and it looks like there are two Salter safety valve springs, with the pressure gauge between them.

 

Then, through the arch of the "weatherboard" (set a lot further back than a weatherboard would usually be), there is what looks like the curve of the top of the saddle, but since this appears to be where the safety valves are, it is probably a dome or steam turret. It's very high up though.

 

Scanning through photographs makes me think it might be something like this, a Neilson Natal Government Railways Class K:

image.png.5446e2c31aa274f520b260ef565927fe.png

It isn't this of course, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to find a Neilson behind the benches, perhaps with a box tank perched on top of the boiler.

Edited by Jeremy C
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I can't see a chimney and wondered whether this is a vertical boiler job, but on balance I think there maybe a chimney behind the gent on the left.

 

It's wider than it looks.  The two footboards the gents are resting their feet on are hinged down and I believe I can see clips to secure them in the folded up position, in which configuration it is presumably within the loading gauge.    Also there is the question of how they boarded as the footsteps are on the wrong side of the weatherboard, and I can't see a ladder - were there platforms?  Would they use the slide bars as steps??  However you can see what may be a bolt at the base of the weather board.  I wonder whether that was in three parts with a door which hinged across towards the bunker to clear the steps when required? 

 

I surmise this is a contractor's loco and the "passengers" are proprietors or at least overseers.  I'm assuming the other side is similar, though there's no reason why it needs to be - it could be equipped to carry some sort of materials.

 

The distance between the buffers looks to me about right for standard gauge.  Why does it look Irish - is it because the passenger compartments resemble the Listowel & Ballybunion coaches?

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15 hours ago, Jeremy C said:

To me it looks like a small narrow gauge saddle tank regauged for standard or broad gauge.

 

The boiler appears to be tiny and low down. I am pretty sure that's the reverser on the far side of the firebox, and the handbrake column on this side, both a long way inboard of the cab sides. The driver's hand appears to be on the regulator handle, and it looks like there are two Salter safety valve springs, with the pressure gauge between them.

 

Then, through the arch of the "weatherboard" (set a lot further back than a weatherboard would usually be), there is what looks like the curve of the top of the saddle, but since this appears to be where the safety valves are, it is probably a dome or steam turret. It's very high up though.

 

Scanning through photographs makes me think it might be something like this, a Neilson Natal Government Railways Class K:

 

It isn't this of course, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to find a Neilson behind the benches, perhaps with a box tank perched on top of the boiler.

There's nowhere for a saddle tank to fit. It's got to be a well tank and, as I already said, the wheels look like those on Baxter, and on Jennings well tanks. The safety valves are in the same place, as is what appears to be the dome.

image.png.0cba08729178f9460482d4dce35c2f9c.png

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If a Fletcher Jennings, the works number suggests a build date in the range 1874-1877.  Captain Baxter is 158 of 1877.

 

We do have pictures of a Broad Gauge (7') Fletcher Jennings 0-4-0WT of the period, as supplied to the Table Bay Harbour Board.

 

So far as I can tell, 128 of 1874 and a second in 1879.

 

  Harbour_Board_TB_0-4-0WT_1879.jpg.edfcc068692193c609c865d493f72506.jpg

 

 

922068858_FletcherJennings128of18741.jpg.9c2edd39ed9db0da1c8aabf662023a86.jpg

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Edwardian said:

If a Fletcher Jennings, the works number suggests a build date in the range 1874-1877.  Captain Baxter is 158 of 1877.

 

We do have pictures of a Broad Gauge (7') Fletcher Jennings 0-4-0WT of the period, as supplied to the Table Bay Harbour Board.

 

So far as I can tell, 128 of 1874 and a second in 1879.

 

  Harbour_Board_TB_0-4-0WT_1879.jpg.edfcc068692193c609c865d493f72506.jpg

 

 

922068858_FletcherJennings128of18741.jpg.9c2edd39ed9db0da1c8aabf662023a86.jpg

 

 

 

Thanks for finding and posting those. It shows just how much width would  be available at either side of the boiler for the passenger areas.

 

We don't actually know the works number of the loco in question. I only thought it was 140 because the name Little John comes up in the ILS loco name index as being a FJ, which is shown there as w/n 140. Jeremy C, however, says that FJ w/n 140 was named Little John, but was the Severn & Wye 0-6-0T, shown in his post.

I am confident that the loco in my OP is a Fletcher Jennings, but we're no nearer knowing its number, or where the photo was taken. It's certainly broad gauge, so it's either outside the UK, or on the old GWR. The only other place other than the GWR that I can think of with broad gauge would be the Holyhead breakwater railway.

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30 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

Have you posed this one to the IRS forum? I ask because I’m sure I’ve seen the photo before, almost certainly in an IRS journal, but I’ve given all my copies away.

I'm not aware of them having a forum. A forum seems to be a bit modern for the IRS! I have a lot of the IRS Record but I don't think I've seen this in any of them. I do have a lot of early issues missing, so perhaps it's in one of those?

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They have an email group, on I think io.

 

I was a participant until recently, but accidentally unsubscribed a couple of months ago, and decided not to resubscribe. 99% of the discussion recently has been about identifying locos in photo collections that have been passed to the IRS, and a lot of it leaves me cold, but this sort of thing is what they excel at.

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22 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

They have an email group, on I think io.

 

I was a participant until recently, but accidentally unsubscribed a couple of months ago, and decided not to resubscribe. 99% of the discussion recently has been about identifying locos in photo collections that have been passed to the IRS, and a lot of it leaves me cold, but this sort of thing is what they excel at.

 

https://groups.io/g/IndustrialRailwaySociety

 

Would appear to be this one.

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18 hours ago, Michael Hodgson said:

Also there is the question of how they boarded as the footsteps are on the wrong side of the weatherboard, and I can't see a ladder - were there platforms?  Would they use the slide bars as steps??  However you can see what may be a bolt at the base of the weather board.  I wonder whether that was in three parts with a door which hinged across towards the bunker to clear the steps when required? 

I'd suggest going up the cab steps, keep right foot on the footplate, put left foot on the angled footboard,  and then round the outside of the weatherboard. Probably no more difficult than climbing from a loco cab on to the running board whilst in motion, which was standard procedure at the time. 

 

Not sure about having the two safety valves within reach of the driver though. That's just asking for a boiler explosion. 

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1 hour ago, Nearholmer said:

Have you posed this one to the IRS forum? I ask because I’m sure I’ve seen the photo before, almost certainly in an IRS journal, but I’ve given all my copies away.

 

I "Googled" the image. Nothing came up.

 

Lots of quirky things that look vaguely like it came up though. So I reckon the AI is pretty good. Even the driver is in a similar pose.

 

spacer.png

 

https://www.1133.at/document/view/id/952#&gid=1&pid=18

 

 

Jason

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That looks like a standard German steam tram, probably Krauss, with its skirts lifted (ooh, er!!).

 

There were two little ones of those (maybe three) owned and operated by the Wolverton &Stony Stratford Steam Tramway, so I think they became LNWR locos.

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