Wolverton & Stony Stratford Tramway 0-4-0 Locomotives in Great_Britain

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class Tramway (Locobase 13306)

Data from "Tramway Locomotive: Wolverton and District Light Railways Company", Engineering, Volume 44 (12 August 1887), pp. 217, 222. See also J Walwyn White, Light Railways: Papers read before the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and the Society of Chemical Industry (Bedfordbury, 1895), p. 15.

Very similar to the tram locomotives Krauss delivered to the Chiemseebahn in the same year (Locobase 5135), but smaller, these tram motors had a very different destination. According to the Engineering article, British tramway and light-railway operators were looking overseas for just such motive power.

This engine was rated at 40 hp and was governed to run no faster than 10 mph (16 km/h). Board of Trade regulations also required that the running gear had to be shrouded, steam exhaust had to be directed into condensers to avoid visible steam, smoke as well had to be invisible and had to be almost noiseless.

Krauss delivered two to this recently opened system that was used primarily to connect the workers's homes with the London & North Western's carriage works at Wolverton. They proved undersized and were later replaced by Thomas Green tramway engines. One reason for their inadequacy may have been the passenger cars, which could hold as many as 100 seated passengers.

The line proved overextended and went into liquidation in 1889. In 1891, a consortium of Bedford business financed the reopening of the Wolverton-Stony Stratford section as the Wolverton, Stony Stratford New Tramway. It operated for almost 30 years before entering liquidation again in 1919.

In 1895 the line was described by J Walwyn White as both "...a steam tramway and light railway, and is, in fact, a combination of the two." The 2 1/2-mile long line to Stony Stratord was laid with 61-lb/yard (30.5-kg/metre) grooved tram rail; a 3-mile extension to Deanshanger made do with 41-lb/yard (20.5-kg/metre) Vignoles rail. Curve radii were very tight at 32 feet (9.75 metres), and the maximum gradient was 5 1/2% (although almost all of the run was quite flat). At 1 shilling per train-mile, cost to operate was "decidedly high"

Class unknown (Locobase 20888)

Data from "Saddle Tank Locomotive for the Wolverton & Stony Straford Tramway, L&NW Ry", The Locomotive Magazine, Volume XXVIII [28] (15 August 1922), p. 225; and "The Wolverton and Stony Stratford Tramway", Volume XXX [30] (15 February 1924), pp. 48-49.. See also Wikipedia's Wolverton and Stony Stratford Tramway entry at [], last accessed 11 May 2021.

The photograph accompanying the LM article shows a possibly deceptive scene. Bagnall's small saddle-tank heads up a two-car, double-deck train. Its running gear hid behind shields that protected nearby pedestrians from the thrashing mechanism.The surprisingly thin saddle tank was draped over the boiler. The reporter heard that the engines was "giving very satisfactory service."

Given the W&SS Tramway's total route length of two miles (3.2 km), Locobase wondered what amount of passenger traffic might have been needed. The two towns were not far north of the later-to-be-famed Bletchley.

But LM explains that the road's primary purpose was to convey the carriage works employees from their residences in Stony Stratford to work in Wolverton. The tramway first opened in 1886, its double-decked Midland Railway Carriage and Wagon Company coaches hauled by three Krauss 0-4-0Ts. These pioneers used 8: x 12" (203 x 305 mm) cylinders and 175 psi (12.07 bar) to turn 30" (762 mm) drivers.

A pair of Green tram locomotive came on the line in 1887. Responding to a demand for more power, the builder fitted 9" x 14" (229 x 356 mm) cylinders. Wheels and boiler pressure were the same. The boiler held 73 Muntz metal tubes. Loaded weight was 9-9 1/2 long tons (20,160-21,280 lb)

A Brush tram motor purchased in 1900, for some reason, came with 7 1/2" x 12" (191 x 305 mm) cylinders. LM's 1924 article said that the Brush proved overmatched by the train. "In particular, were breaking continually and the firebox bulged so badly that extra stays had to be put in along the sides of the box at the centers of the stayless areas."

Purchase of the Bagnall saddle tank 22 years later supported a major L&NW upgrade of the W&SS after it had fallen into disrepair. But its renaissance prove short-lived. On 4 May, first day of England's famous (or notorious) General Strike of 1926, "the staff allocated to keep the tramway running ...failed to report for duty and the line never carried passengers again.".

One of the huge double-deckers, the largest ever manufactured for a tramway in Great Britain, later became the centrepiece of the Milton Keynes Museum..

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID13306 20888
RailroadWolverton & Stony Stratford TramwayWolverton & Stony Stratford Tramway
CountryGreat BritainGreat Britain
Number in Class21
Road Numbers
Number Built211
BuilderKraussWG Bagnall
Valve GearBagnall Price
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 4.92 / 1.505 / 1.52
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m) 4.92 / 1.505 / 1.52
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase11
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m) 4.92 / 1.505 / 1.52
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)20,160 / 914435,840 / 16,257
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)20,160 / 914435,840 / 16,257
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)35,840 / 16,257
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)300 / 1.14360 / 1.36
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 0.70 / 1
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)17 / 8.5030 / 15
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)30 / 76233.50 / 851
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)180 / 12.40150 / 10.30
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)8" x 12" / 203x30510" x 15" / 254x381
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)3917 / 1776.725709 / 2589.56
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 5.15 6.28
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)57 - 1.75" / 4479 - 1.875" / 48
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m) 7.50 / 2.29
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)25.61 / 2.3831.20 / 2.90
Grate Area (sq ft / m2) 6.03 / 0.566 / 0.56
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)140 / 13.01312 / 28.99
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)140 / 13.01312 / 28.99
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume200.54228.82
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation1085900
Same as above plus superheater percentage1085900
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area46104680
Power L134562875
Power MT755.87353.70

All material Copyright © SteamLocomotive.com
Wes Barris