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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 19 - Spring 1974

Standard Class 4 2-6-0 76017

76017 - A BR Standard Class 4 2-6-0 at Quainton

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P I Clarke - Southampton Central, June 1965

On 5th January the excitement of a new arrival in the family was enjoyed by those members who have struggled for so many months to see the safe delivery of 76017 to Quainton. It was a fine start to the New Year and should bring the visitors flocking to our depot this Easter, because it is the only Standard Class 4 2-6-0 to be saved from the breaker's torch [Note 1]. Compared with all the other engines at Quainton, 76017 is a mere youngster of 21 years; in fact only Juno is of more recent vintage. It was the summer of 1952 when construction of the first order for the largest of the Standard 2-6-0's was started at Horwich Works. Frames were cut for the prototype, 76000, and the engine was steamed on 13th November. Its design closely followed the LMR Ivatt Class 4 2-6-0, (43106 of this class is preserved on the Severn Valley Railway [Note 2]), and this should make 76017 very much at home with 46447 and 41298, both Ivatt designs, at Quainton. The leading dimensions of the Standard Class 4 are: Cylinders(2), 17½in by 26in; Coupled Wheels 5ft 3in; Boiler Pressure 2251bs; Heating Surface (total) 1446 sq ft including 254 sq ft of superheater surface; Tractive Effort 24,170 lbs; Weight in Working Order of the engine 59T 2C. The first five locomotives, 76000- 4 went to Scotland but 76005 - 19 were allocated to the Southern Region and in June 1953, 76017 arrived at Eastleigh shed where it was first seen on 24th of that month.

The tender carried by 76017 in the picture is the Standard BR 2 type, 3500 gallons capacity, No. 931 / 1953, the tank of which was built at Derby. This tender was carried by the engine throughout its working life but the tender brought from Woodham's yard, Barry was taken from 76077.

The new arrival at Quainton is owned by a group of about 10 members who have already spent a lot of time at Barry giving their engine a coat of protective paint and making a thorough inspection for wear and general condition. The cab is in a very good state of preservation because a West Country class engine had been buffered against the Mogul and the deflectors had kept out the weather although they had dented the cab pillars. A complete set of boiler and cab fittings are available for 76017 but the owners would like to know the whereabouts of a BR Standard steam brake and exhauster fitting. The locomotive was moved from South Wales by Wynn's Transport and a fast journey was made compared with some of the past epics. The route was via the motorway to Newbury, the A34 to Oxford and then by Thame and Whitchurch to Waddesdon where the driver took the village turning and had to negotiate the narrow lane to Quainton Road. The offloading was also carried out very smoothly much to the relief of all concerned.

The first seven years of 76017's life was spent at Eastleigh, (71A), where it was one of a hard working contingent of Standard 4's which took over most duties formerly worked by the ageing LSWR 4-4-0's and 0-6-0's. Their work included passenger and freight traffic on the network of lines around Southampton. Some examples of 76017's actual operations have been noted. On 27th June 1953, very soon after arrival in the South it was seen on the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton line with the 2.56 p.m. Oxford to Southampton Terminus passenger train; on 19th September 1953 it was at the head of the 5.16 p.m. Reading to Portsmouth and on 3rd April 1954 on the 8.20 a.m. Eastleigh to Reading. On 21st May 1954 76017 was working the evening passenger train from Andover to Eastleigh and on 21st August it was in charge of the 10.34 a.m. Portsmouth to Cardiff as far as Salisbury. In the summer months there were heavy holiday trains requiring the services of the Class 4's and on 13th September 1958, 76017 was used on the 11.00 a.m. Bournemouth Central to Sheffield while on 18th August of that year it was seen leaving Littlehampton on the 6.30 p.m. through train to Salisbury.

76017 was transferred to Salisbury shed (728 - to 30th December 1962, and then renumbered 70E) where it remained until it was withdrawn from traffic in December 1965. Its duties still involved Portsmouth trains but in addition there were stopping trains to Yeovil and services to work to Bournemouth via Fordingbridge.

One exploit for which 76017 became well known occurred on 22nd September 1954 while working the 9.50 a.m. Didcot to Eastleigh goods train down the DNSR route. On approaching the crossing loop and station at Whitchurch Town the engine was unable to stop on the falling gradient. At the loop it was due to cross the northbound 10.22 a.m. Eastleigh to Newbury passenger train. The signalman acted quickly to avoid a more serious accident by diverting the runaway into the shunting spur at the end of the loop and running forward to warn the oncoming passenger train. 76017 plunged down the side of the embankment and came to rest at an angle to the vertical. Damage to the engine was not severe and Eastleigh soon straightened the bent front end and side.

Now 76017 has a new home and we all congratulate her owners on their preservation objective. Already work has started on the task of preparing for a boiler test and some cleaning has been carried out on the tender. We look forward to giving regular reports on the progress of restoration on this latest

1 - Since this article was written three other of the class have been preserved: 76077 - currently at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway awaiting restoration, 76079 - has been operational based on the East Lancashire Railway, but now at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and 76084 - currently on North Norfolk Railway.
2 - Currently operational at the Severn Valley Railway

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1974 and so does not reflect events in the 40+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

76017. A BR Standard Class 4 2-6-0 at Quainton - Quainton News No. 19 - Spring 1974

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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