Research material for the 4MT build.

For any loco build it is imperative to get some good quality period photographs to work to. For many years I have had excellent service from The Transport Treasury. They have an ever expanding range of photos and a very prompt service.

Fortunately with so many examples of the loco in preservation there are ample opportunities to get detailed photos from various sources, for example this gallery. However this is a little bit of a double edged sword, you have to be careful of any preservation modifications and it means that you have no excuse at all for getting the details wrong. For this reason I tried to avoid selecting one of the preserved models, but I ended up selecting 80135 for a variety of reasons. There were several photos available from Transport Treasury and the loco was stabled for a few years at Shrewsbury and Oswestry. So given that I’m trying to build a model of Tewkesbury shed I sort of have a theme of Western Midland Region / Cambrian bias. Finally there is a cracking shot of 80135 climbing Talerddig in the RCTS which sealed my choice.

RCTS book : Volume 3 The Tank Engine Classes

RCTS book : Volume 3 The Tank Engine Classes

As mentioned the main book I’ve used is the excellent RCTS BR Standard Steam Locomotives : Vol.3. The Tank Engine Classes . It’s a little light on drawings for my liking but there plenty of technical details and photographs.

Although ostensibly a “Standard Class” locomotive there were a number of detailed differences, many of which are detailed in the book.

  • Early locos were fitted with fluted coupling rods, then most of them from 80079 onwards changed to solid rectangular coupling rods.
  • 80000 to 80120 were fitted with LNER style side bolt return cranks, subsequent builds were then fitted with the LMS style 4-bolt returns cranks. Some like 80097 were retro fitted with the LMS 4 bolt design.
  • All locos were fitted with the necessary pipework for water scoops but only those destined for the Midland region were fitted with the scoops and operating gear.
  • The pipework fitted for scoops included the vents on the top of the tanks, whether they had scoops or not. On the early locos these vents were just in front of the cab spectacle plate. On the drivers side this impeded visibility so from 80059 these vents were moved further forward on the tanks.
  • Also Speedo drives were fitted on the rear left driver from 80059 onwards.
  • The Scottish locos had a recess on the lower left cab side for fitting tablet equipment but not all of them were fitted with the actual tablet mechanism.
  • Lamp iron brackets and route board brackets varied between regions.
  • Some Southern region locos were fitted with lifting brackets on the cabs.
  • There were plans for a double blast pipe version, but it was never fitted. Similar to the Standard 4 arrangement, it might make an interesting model for someone modelling locos “that never were”.
  • From a photo in the book 80005 was at one point fitted with a snow plough, and the modifications also list snow ploughs for 80020 and 80109.


There are the couple of galleries on RMWeb which I have used for detail shots

plus a flickr gallery by Heather Kay of the NYMR 4MT as it was being disassembled for overhaul.