The London, Midland and Scottish Railway had the largest stock of steam locomotives of any of the 'Big Four' Grouping, i.e. pre-Nationalisation railway companies in the UK. Despite early troubles arising from factions within the new company, the LMS went on to build some very successful designs; many lasted until the end of steam traction on British Railways in 1968. For an explanation of numbering and classification, see British Rail locomotive and multiple unit numbering and classification.

Various locomotives were inherited from pre-grouping companies. Those from the smaller railways, and hence non-standard, were withdrawn quite early, while ex-Midland, LNWR and L&YR types persisted.

The Midland had long had a 'small engine policy', i.e. it preferred small engines hauling frequent, fairly short trains, and employing a second locomotive (double-heading) where necessary. Unfortunately this practice, while emininently suitable for the route from Sheffield, Derby and Nottingham to London was not at all suited to the route from Euston to Glasgow via Crewe, Preston and Carlisle (the 'West Coast Main Line') and it took several years to convince the senior staff responsible for such matters that this was the case.

The first sign of the change was the Royal Scot 4-6-0 class of 1927, officially designed by Fowler, but actually designed by the North British Locomotive Company with approval from Henry Fowler. Nevertheless, the majority of designs continued to be very much Midland in character.

This changed when William Stanier arrived. His large, streamlined 'Princess Coronation' class engines were iconic and flew the flag for the LMS against the competing Class A4 of the London and North Eastern Railway.

Locomotives acquired from constituent companies

See LMS locomotive numbering and classification for an explanation of the numbers allocated to inherited locomotives and the power classification system used below.

Ex-Midland Railway

The Midland shaped the subsequent LMS locomotive policy until 1933. Its locomotives (which it always referred to as engines) followed a corporate small engine policy, with numerous class 2F, 3F and 4F 0-6-0s for goods work, 2P and 4P 4-4-0s for passenger work, 0-4-4T and 0-6-0T tank engines. The only exceptions to this were its 0-10-0 banking engine for Lickey Incline on its Bristol-Birmingham line, and the 7F 2-8-0 goods engines built by the Midland at their Derby locomotive works for the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway.

Ex-London and North Western Railway

Ex-Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway

Ex-North Staffordshire Railway

The North Staffordshire Railway handed over 192 standard gauge engines into the LMS capital stock.

NSR Number[1] LMS Number Wheel arrangement Class LMS Power classification Notes
Passenger tender locomotives
86–87, 170–171 595–598 4-4-0 G 3P An Adams design from 1910. Renumbered 5410–5413 in 1928.
38 599 4-4-0 KT 3P Adams design built 1912. Renumbered 5414 in 1928.
Passenger tank locomotives
9, 11–12, 41–42 1431–1435 0-4-4T M 3P An Adams design of 1907.
15, 17, 19, 54 1436–1439 0-4-4T New M 3P Slightly modified class M (longer bunkers), built 1920 by then locomotive superintendent Hookham
1A, 2A, 7, 10A, 17A, 18A, 22A, 23A, 27A, 29A, 48A, 71 1440–1451 2-4-0T B 1P Longbottom class between 1882 and 1895
21,[2] 24,[2] 35,[3] 40,[3] 52,[3] 61[4] 1454–1459 2-4-2T B 1P Rebuilt from Longbottom classes of 1878–1895
4–5, 30–31, 53, 70, 173–174 2040–2047 0-6-4T C 5F Adams class of 1914. Despite their freight engine power classification the class was considered by the LMS to be a passenger engine class and were painted in a passenger engine colour scheme.[5]
114–121 2048–2055 0-6-4T F 4P Adams class of 1916–1919
8, 13–14, 39, 45–46, 55 2180–2186 4-4-2T K 3P Adams class of 1911–1912
Goods tank locomotives
3, 16, 20, 32, 33–34, 36–37, 43–44, 47, 49–50, 56–57, 60, 62–63, 73, 124A, 125A, 126–153 1550–1598 0-6-0T D 2F Longbottom class of 1882–1889
23 1599 0-6-0T 4 Cylinder D 3F Hookham 4-cylinder experimental. 1599 not carried by the engine before it was rebuilt in 1924 as tender locomotive and numbered 2367; renumbered 8689 before being withdrawn.
58A, 59A 1600–1601 0-6-0ST ST 1F Built by Hudswell Clarke in 1866
74–75 1602–1603 0-6-0T KS 1F Built by Kerr Stuart in 1919
58–59, 76–77, 154–155, 2234–2239 0-6-2T DX 2F Longbottom class of 1899–1902
1–2, 10, 18, 22, 25–29, 48, 51, 64–65, 69, 72, 89, 93–99, 124–125, 156–158, 165–168, 172 2240–2273 0-6-2T L & New L 3F Adams class of 1903–1923. 2270–2273 (NSR numbers 1, 2, 10 & 48) were constructed by the LMS and were the last locomotives built at Stoke works.
Goods tender locomotives
66–68, 70A, 74A, 75A, 104–113, 116A, 118A, 119A, 120A, 121A, 122–123 2320–2342 0-6-0 E 1F Clare class of 1871–1877. Engines remaining in 1928 renumbered 8650–8664
78–83, 100–103 2343–2350, 2357–2358 0-6-0 ‘100’ 2F Longbottom class of 1896–1907; In 1928 renumbered 8665–8672, 8679–8680
159–164 2351–2356 0-6-0 ‘159’ 2F Longbottom class of 1900; In 1928 renumbered 8673–8678
6, 84–85, 88, 90–92, 169 2359–2366 0-6-0 H 3F Adams class of 1909–1911; In 1928 renumbered 8681–8688

In addition to the above, also added to the capital stock were the three NSR 0-2-2 railmotors numbered 1–3. These were not renumbered by the LMS before scrapping in 1927.

There were two other additions to the capital stock, the two locomotives of the 2 feet 6 inches (0.76 m) narrow gauge Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway. These two engines, number 1 E.R. Calthrop and number 2 J.B. Earle kept both their names and numbers under the LMS.

Four locomotives were added to the LMS service stock. Standard gauge 0-4-0 battery electric locomotive, built in 1917, and three, 3 feet 6 inches (1.07 m) gauge, 0-4-0ST locomotives called Frog, Toad and Bob that worked the Caldon Low tramway, owned by the NSR. None of these locomotives were numbered by the LMS.

Ex-Caledonian Railway

The class number used for Caledonian Railway engines was the stock number of the first member of the class to reach traffic. Hence earlier numbered classes could well have appeared later in time.

Ex-Furness Railway

The Furness Railway was a small company with a correspondingly small locomotive stock. It is known best for the Baltic tanks (which seemed to be a little more successful than the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway examples of the same arrangement). The Baltics did not survive for long. The only class that survived as far as nationalisation were some moderate sized 0-6-0 tender engines classified '3F' by the LMS. Six were still in traffic as of 31 August 1948.

Ex-Glasgow and South Western Railway

Ex-Highland Railway

Hughes (1923–1925)

George Hughes, formerly of the L&YR became the first Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the LMS. However, he retired just two years later in 1925. His one new design was a class of mixed traffic moguls known as "crabs".

He also built small numbers of slightly modified versions of pre-grouping designs including:

Fowler (1925–1931)

Sir Henry Fowler, deputy CME under Hughes, was formerly CME of the Midland Railway. He was largely responsible for the adoption of the Midland's small engines as LMS standards. This led to a crisis as these were underpowered. However, some moves towards larger engines were made, Royal Scots and Garratts. At the end of Fowler's reign, Ernest Lemon briefly took over as CME but was quickly promoted to make room for William Stanier.

Stock taken in from the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway

The Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway was jointly owned by the LMS and the Southern with the LMS responsible for locomotive affairs. However, its locomotives were kept separate until 1928 when they were taken into LMS stock. These mostly consisted of standard Midland types constructed by the Midland and the LMS. The S&DJR 7F 2-8-0 however was specific to the line.

Stanier (1932–1944)

William Stanier arrived in 1932 from the Great Western Railway and with the backing of Josiah Stamp, reversed the small engine policy.

Fairburn (1944–1945)

Charles Fairburn was somewhat restricted by the rules applied to the railway companies by the war situation (not to mention the fact that Stanier had left things in a state that required little or no new design). He was responsible for the construction of a number of locomotives to Stanier designs (mainly the 8F 2-8-0 and 5MT 4-6-0) and some detailed design variations on the latter. He died of a heart attack in October 1945.

Ivatt (1945–1947)

George Ivatt, son of the former GNR CME Henry Ivatt became CME in 1946. He continued building some Stanier types, but introduced some low-powered class 2 engines and a medium-powered class 4 mixed traffic design. A pair of main line diesels were also produced.

Modern Traction

The LMS experimented with various forms of non-steam locomotives, and pioneered the use of diesel locomotives in Great Britain.


LMS locomotive design should have ended in 1948 at Nationalisation, but had enormous influence over the design of British Rail's 'Standard' steam locomotives by former LMS man R.A. Riddles. Some of the designs were little changed from the comparable designs by Ivatt.

Riddles built quite a few examples of designs from the 'Big Four', including most of the Fairburn/Ivatt tankers. These were distributed around the system, with quite a few of the 2-6-2 designs going to the Southern Region.


Pre-grouping types were withdrawn early for being non-standard, and locomotives were routinely withdrawn after their lives expired.

Withdrawal of locomotives generally did not take place until the great locomotive cull of British Railways in the period 1962-1966. A pair of "Black Fives" were the last steam locomotives to be run on British Railways in 1968, although since then there have been almost weekly charter runs for the enthusiast and tourist markets and the occasional timetabled service (for instance at Dawlish and Stratford-upon-Avon).


A significant number of LMS locomotives have been preserved:

A smaller number of pre-grouping locomotives inherited by the LMS have also been preserved.

See also



  1. ^ Christiansen, Rex; Miller, Robert William (1971). The North Staffordshire Railway. Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles. pp. 309–315. ISBN 0-7153-5121-4. 
  2. ^ a b rebuilt from class B 2-4-0T in 1901
  3. ^ a b c rebuilt from class A 2-4-0T in 1898
  4. ^ rebuilt from class B 2-4-0T in 1900
  5. ^ Essery & Jenkinson volume 1 p. 79.