When a class of engine is christened by enthusiasts ï¿½Doodlebugsï¿½ or ï¿½Flying Pigsï¿½, amongst a number of other less than admiring nicknames, there is an implication that the LMS Ivatt Class 4 2-6-0s were not the most admired of locomotives. Little has been written about them compared with their more glamorous brethren and it seems that in their early days there was some confusion about their purpose. They were the last steam design produced by the LMS and intended as a replacement for the 4F freight engines, but much of their time was spent on passenger work. They were quickly re-designated mixed traffic engines by their new British Railways owners and this book uses ï¿½4MTsï¿½ as an appropriate short-hand for these 2-6-0s.
In their early days the 4MTs had something of a Jekyll and Hyde existence: although fitted with all the post-war labour-saving fixtures and equipped with well-intended creature comforts for the enginemen, there was obviously something amiss in their proportions because they were often chronically short of steam. It took several years and some Swindon magic to make a few simple but transformational changes to put them right. After that, they settled down and became widely travelled and generally well regarded, at least by railwaymen if not by enthusiasts. As is now standard in the Book of series a large chunk of the material by volume comes from the Engine History Cards and Engine Record Cards aided and abetted by information begged and borrowed from a number of sources, and backed up by a large number of photographs.
Hardcover, 250 pages.