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British Railways Standard Class 4MT
2-6-4 Tank Locomotive No. 80151

80151 at Sheffield Park - Steve Lee - 18 August 2019

80151 at Sheffield Park (Steve Lee - 18 August 2019)

80151 in 2004 - Jon Bowers 80151 is a member of the BR Standard 4MT 2-6-4T class, which was designed at Brighton under Riddles and introduced in 1951. They were based on an existing 2-6-4T design built by Fairburn for the LMS (itself derived from earlier Stanier and Fowler designs) and share many components with the Standard Class 4 4-6-0 tender engines, of which the Bluebell's 75027 is an example.

Right: 80151 during a photo charter in 2004 (Jon Bowers)

155 of the engines were built at Brighton, Derby and Doncaster. Designed to a common loading gauge and able to work over all but the lightest of lines, they found useful employment on a wide variety of traffic including tightly-timed commuter trains (notably on the London, Tilbury and Southend line), general passenger trains and branch line work. 80151 comes from the final batch, constructed at Brighton in 1956 and early 1957, the last locomotives to be built there.

80151 is the youngest of the class to be preserved. It spent its entire working life based on the Southern Region, during which time it was allocated to the following sheds: Brighton (from new), Redhill (from December 1963), then (from May 1965) Salisbury and moving finally to Eastleigh in October 1966.

80151 at Brighton - Charlie Verrall - 2 September 1962

80151 at Brighton (Charlie Verrall - 2 September 1962)

80148, 76058 and 80151 at Basingstoke, 1967 - Nostalgia Collection/Ray Ruffell The Standard Class 4MT tanks were more handsome in appearance than their LMS forebears, and were well liked by their crews for their comfortable cabs, free running, good steaming and economical operation. They performed their duties well until the arrival of diesel units for local services and the electrification of suburban routes rendered them redundant. Mass withdrawals began in 1964; the final thirteen were condemned by the Southern Region in May-July 1967. One of these was 80151, then based at Eastleigh shed. Like many of its fellows it was sent for scrap to Woodham's yard at Barry.

Left: 80148, 76058 and 80151 en-route to Barry Scrapyard, at Basingstoke, 23 July 1967 (Nostalgia Collection/Ray Ruffell)

The engine was bought for preservation in 1974 by a group based in Essex, and work proceeded slowly until 1998 when it was transferred to the Bluebell Railway. Restoration was completed as quickly as possible and 80151 re-entered traffic in 2001. Since then it has been a reliable and consistent performer; designed to run equally well backwards and forwards, it is ideally suited to the type of trains normally operated on the Bluebell. In early 2011 it received some boiler work, and the loco's certification was extended until May 2012.

80151 taking water at Sheffield Park - Derek Hayward -  28 October 2003 Right: 80151 taking water at Sheffield Park (Derek Hayward - 28 October 2003)

Its most recent overhaul started at the end of September 2015, one of the first major tasks being to remove the driving wheels for re-tyring, new tyres already having been obtained. The overhaul, which cost over half a million pounds saw heavy maintenance and boilerwork undertaken in-house.

It is particularly appropriate that a member of this class should be working on the Bluebell Railway, as the 4MT tanks worked many of the passenger trains on the line during its final years under BR operation, and 80151 itself, built at Brighton Works, is known to have worked the line's services on occasion. 80064 was also part of the Bluebell fleet for a time, working between 1984 to 1991, and another member of the class also survives on the Bluebell, No. 80100, which was rescued by the Bluebell from Barry scrapyard in 1978 and is stored awaiting restoration.

It is most appropriate that the Bluebell, set up to preserve something of the LB&SCR, is now the home to both the oldest surviving Brighton-built locomotive, 1872-built No. 72 'Fenchurch', and 80151, the youngest.

  Class: Standard Class 4MT Tank
Wheels: 2-6-4
Class Introduced: 1951
Designer: R.A. Riddles
Built: January 1957 at Brighton Works
Purpose: Mixed traffic
Total number built: 155
Number: 80151
Withdrawn from BR service: May 1967
Arrived on Bluebell Railway: 3 July 1998
Owner: The 80151 Locomotive Company Limited *

Length: 44ft 10in overall
Weight: 86 tons 13 cwt
Water capacity: 2,000 gallons
Coal capacity: 3.5 tons
Boiler pressure: 225 lb/
Driving wheels: 5ft 8in diameter
Pony & trailing wheels: 3ft diameter
Cylinders: (2, outside) 18" x 28"
Tractive effort: 25,100 lbs
BR power classification: 4MT

Previously operational: Oct 2001 to 19 May 2012
Returned to service: 27 July 2019
Current status: Available for service

* Note: The Bluebell Railway Trust currently holds 40.3% of the shares in The 80151 Locomotive Company Limited.

80151 - Nick Beck

80151 has always faced South on the Bluebell Railway, so this 2005 shot by Nick Beck is of it heading a northbound train



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Valid HTML 4.0 Transitional! © Copyright, text Jon Elphick, August 2005, and photos Steve Lee, Derek Hayward, Jon Bowers, Charlie Verrall and Nick Beck, and courtesy Peter Townsend (Nostalgia Collection/Ray Ruffell).
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