The London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Hughes Crab or Horwich Mogul is a class of mixed traffic 2-6-0 steam locomotive built between 1926 and 1932. They are noted for their appearance with large highly-angled cylinders to accommodate a restricted loading gauge.


These locomotives were referred to as "Crabs". Several authors have claimed that this refers to the resemblance to a crab's pincers of the outside cylinders and valve motion.[1][2][3] Another suggestion is that the nickname refers to the "scuttling" motion felt on the footplate when the engine is being worked hard,[2] due largely to the inclined cylinders, producing a sensation that it is walking along the track. In some areas they also received the nickname "frothblowers" from their tendency to prime easily when the boiler was overfilled, or the feedwater contaminated.[4]


Designed by George Hughes, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LMS, and built at the ex-L&YR works at Horwich and the ex-LNWR works at Crewe, they were put into service by his successor, Henry Fowler. The design incorporated a number of advanced features for the time such as long travel valves, compensated brake gear, a new design of tender and a new boiler, the latter based on the one fitted to Hughes' four-cylinder Baltic tank locomotives built at Horwich.

Fowler tried to have the design altered to use standard Derby components. However the design process and pre-production were sufficiently advanced to prevent the fitting of a smaller Derby pattern boiler, and the cylinders and motion also remained as designed by Hughes. The tender was replaced by a Derby standard type, which was narrower than the cab. Standard Midland Railway boiler fittings and brake equipment were also substituted, and the class became something of a hybrid design. Nevertheless they performed rather well in most circumstances and gained a strong reputation in some areas, especially in Scotland, where they became the preferred locomotive for heavy unfitted mineral work on difficult routes, even after the introduction of the Stanier mixed traffic 4-6-0s.

Accidents and incidents

  • On 23 February 1937, an express freight train hauled by locomotive No. 2765 was derailed at West Hampstead, Middlesex.[5]
  • On 19 May 1957, locomotive No. 42806 was derailed at Parkhouse, Ayr.[6]
  • On 21 January 1960, in the Settle rail crash, a freight train derailed following damage to the track from a failed connecting rod assembly on a passenger locomotive on the adjacent track. The derailed locomotive, No 42881, struck the stopped passenger train, killing several passengers.


Numbers Lot No. Date Built at
Original LMS 1934 BR
13000–06 2700–06 42700–06 20 1926 Horwich
13007–29 2707–29 42707–29 20 1927 Horwich
13030–35 2730–35 42730–35 21 1926 Crewe
13036–99 2736–99 42736–99 21 1927 Crewe
13100–07 2800–07 42800–07 54 1928 Crewe
13108–09 2808–09 42808–09 54 1929 Crewe
13110–29 2810–29 42810–29 63 1929 Horwich
13130–49 2830–49 42830–49 68 1930 Horwich
13150–224 2850–924 42850–924 69 1930 Crewe
13225–34 2925–34 42925–34 80 1931 Crewe
13235–44 2935–44 42935–44 86 1932 Crewe

Initially numbered 13000–244, as standard locomotives they were given the lower numbers 2700–2944 in the LMS 1933 renumbering scheme. After being taken into British Railways stock an additional 40000 was added to their numbers, becoming 42700–42944.


In 1931 five engines, 13118, 13122, 13124, 13125 and 13129 were fitted with Lentz valve gear. They were renumbered as 42818, 42822, 42824, 42825 and 42829 after nationalisation. In 1953 the Lentz valve gear on these engines was replaced with Reidinger valve gear.

LMS Stanier Mogul

When an order was placed by the traffic department for delivery of 40 more examples of this type, the new Chief Mechanical Engineer, William Stanier, decided to introduce a taper boiler version, in line with his policy of using taper boilers on all new locomotive designs. There were so many changes to the layout of the locomotive, such as higher boiler pressure and smaller cylinders, that it became a new design, the LMS Stanier Mogul.


The class survived intact until 1961 when three were withdrawn. The remainder of the class were withdrawn over the next six years.

Table of withdrawals
Year Quantity in
service at
start of year
Locomotive numbers
1961 245 3 42864/93, 42930.
1962 242 61 42713/14/20/24/26/42–45/49/52/64/66/73/75/79/81/84/86/97,
1963 181 52 42704/06/11/18/21/23/28/29/35/46/47/50/58/59/62/67/68/70/71/74/85/90/92/94/96/98,
1964 129 54 42701/03/05/07–09/17/19/25/31/38/48/54–57/60/61/63/69/76/88/93,
1965 75 48 42710/16/22/30/32/33/41/51/53/72/77/78/80/83/87/91/99,
1966 27 25 42700/02/12/15/34/36/37/39/40/65/82/89/95,
1967 2 2 42727, 42942.



Three have survived to preservation

Note: Loco numbers in bold mean their current number.

Numbers Built Builder Withdrawn Service Life Location Condition Photo Notes
13000 2700 42700 Jun 1926 Horwich Works Nov 1964 39 Years 9 Months National Railway Museum, York Static Display LMS Hughes Crab.jpg The first-built locomotive, 2700 is part of the National Railway Collection and currently on static display.
13065 2765 42765 Aug 1927 Crewe Works Dec 1966 39 Years 3 Months East Lancashire Railway Operational LMS Crab Mogul No 13065 (15399960598).jpg Following an overhaul returned to service in 2014 wearing crimson lake livery and her pre-LMS number 13065. She is currently the only Crab to have also run in preservation.

In January 2016, 13065 operated with Flying Scotsman: due to the extensive repairs to Flying Scotsman, it needed to be weaned into full operation and relied on several steam and diesel engines including 13065 to accompany it for health and safety reasons (including Passenger safety).[citation needed]

13159 2859 42859 Mar 1930 Crewe Works Dec 1966 36 Years 9 Months Private Site Awaiting Restoration LMS Hughes Class 5MT 42859 (8429874229).jpg 42859 had been stored at RAF Binbrook in a dismantled state since 1995 whilst the owner undertook its restoration.[7][8]

However, in November 2012, after the driving wheels and tender frame were removed without the owner's permission,[9] an injunction was obtained to prevent any further removal of parts.[8] The driving wheels were later discovered by the police during a raid of a nearby industrial unit in an unrelated operation; the owner of the premises was served with a notice preventing the wheels' removal.[10] In June 2013, it was announced that the matter had been classified as a civil dispute by Lincolnshire Police and will have to be pursued through the courts.[11] The boiler and frames were removed from storage in Binbrook under police supervision and moved to a secret location.[12] Legal proceedings for the return of the wheels and tender frame are underway.[12] The boiler was subsequently cut up in a Nottingham scrapyard having been sold by the owner to pay for the costs of moving it from Binbrook.[13] The owner stated that the boiler was beyond economic repair and that he has retained sufficient parts to allow a replacement to be built.[13] The wheels remain at RAF Binbrook under a court order.[citation needed]


Models exist in 00 gauge. An old and rather inaccurate model was produced by Lima, and an updated model has since been produced by Bachmann. N gauge models are produced by Graham Farish.


  1. ^ Haresnape 1981, p. 65.
  2. ^ a b Hunt, Essery & James 2000, p. 7.
  3. ^ Young & Tyreman 2009, p. 6.
  4. ^ Middlemass 1991, p. ?.
  5. ^ Trevena, Arthur (1980). Trains in Trouble. Vol. 1. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 40. ISBN 0-906899-01-X. 
  6. ^ Earnshaw, Alan (1993). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 8. Penryn: Atlantic Books. p. 29. ISBN 0-906899-52-4. 
  7. ^ Collins, Rod. "RAF Binbrook". Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Piggott, Nick, ed. (February 2013). "'Crab' owner in court bid to save engine after wheels disappear". The Railway Magazine. 159 (1,342): 10. 
  9. ^ Press Complaints Commission (2013-05-13). "Complaint - Steam Railway". Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  10. ^ Piggott, Nick, ed. (March 2013). "'Crab' driving wheels found". The Railway Magazine. 159 (1,343): 10. 
  11. ^ Piggott, Nick, ed. (June 2013). "Missing 'Crab' wheels a civil matter, say police". The Railway Magazine. 159 (1,346): 8. 
  12. ^ a b Piggott, Nick, ed. (September 2013). "'Crab' goes from Binbrook under police supervision". The Railway Magazine. 159 (1,349): 12. 
  13. ^ a b Piggott, Nick, ed. (March 2014). "'Crab' boiler is cut up - but owner plans to build a new one". The Railway Magazine. 160 (1,356): 6. 


  • Haresnape, Brian (February 1981) [1972]. Fowler Locomotives: A Pictorial History. Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0374-2. CX/0281. 
  • Hunt, David; Essery, Bob; James, Fred (2000). LMS Locomotive Profiles No. 2 - The Horwich Moguls. Didcot: Wild Swan. ISBN 1-874103-56-9. 
  • Middlemass, Tom (1991). Steam Locomotives' Nicknames. Silver Link Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-947971-70-X. 
  • Rowledge, J.W.P. (1975). Engines of the LMS, built 1923–51. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 0-902888-59-5. 
  • Young, John; Tyreman, David (2009). The Hughes and Stanier 2-6-0s. Locomotives of the LMS. Maidenhead: RCTS. ISBN 978-0-901115-96-6. 

External links