Mersey Tunnel Railway 2-6-2 Locomotives in Great_Britain


Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class Class 2 (Locobase 3650)

See data from "Ten-Wheeled Tank Engines", Railway Engineer, Volume 20, No 1 (January 1899), pp. 10-13; and Locobase 3246 for an outline of the Mersey Railway tunnel. (Thanks to Alexander Blessing for his 30 November 2022 email pointing out road numbers, valve gear, the correct water tank capacity. He also suggested a third MTR entry to cover the Kitsons; see Locobase ) Works numbers were 2865-2870 in 1887-1888.

A double-ender design from Beyer, Peacock that introduced the Prairie tank wheel arrangement to Britain, this design was a bit smaller than the earlier 0-6-4T (Locobase 3246). The firebox had a deeply sloping grate to clear the rear driving axle. Their American-style trucks proved susceptible to breakage. (Three more tanks from Kitson's (works numbers 3393-3395) in 1892 appear in Locobase 21102.)

Between November 1903 and January 1905, the Mersey Tunnel management sold all seven Prairie tanks to the Alexandra (Newport and South Wales) Docks and Railway system. At the time of Grouping (for GWR, 22 March 1922), all seven were taken into GWR Docks. By 1932, all had been withdrawn.


Class Class 3 (Locobase 21102)

See data from "Ten-Wheeled Tank Engines", Railway Engineer, Volume 20, No 1 (January 1899), pp. 10-13. and Locobase 3246 for an outline of the Mersey Railway tunnel.. (Thanks to Alexander Blessing for his 30 November 2022 email for a third MTR entry to cover these Kitsons). Works numbers were 3393-3395 in 1892.

When the MTR bought more tunnel locomotives to accompany the 0-6-4Ts (Locobase 3246), they bought "Prairie" tanks from two builders. The Beyer, Peacock engines appear in Locobase 3650.

Ordered from Kitson's four years after the "Peacocks", the engines bore a law firm--Burcot, Burnley, and Bansted--for their names. The Ten-Wheeled Tank Engines editor claimed they differed "in every way from the Peacocks." They used a radial axle for the leading truck to avoid the radius bar breakage of the American-style trucks of the Beyer's engines. The cylinders drove the center coupled axle and crossheads worked between two slide bars.

Between November 1903 and January 1905, the Mersey Tunnel management sold all seven Prairie tanks to the Alexandra (Newport and South Wales) Docks and Railway system. At the time of Grouping (for GWR, 22 March 1922), all seven were taken into GWR Docks. By 1932, all had been withdrawn.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

ClassClass 2Class 3
Locobase ID3650 21102
RailroadMersey Tunnel RailwayMersey Tunnel Railway
CountryGreat BritainGreat Britain
Whyte2-6-2T2-6-2T
Number in Class63
Road Numbers10-1516-18
GaugeStdStd
Number Built63
BuilderseveralKitson & Co
Year18871892
Valve GearStephensonStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)11.50 / 3.5411.50 / 3.51
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)27.50 / 8.3827.50 / 8.38
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.42 0.42
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)27.50 / 8.38
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)99,344 / 45,06299,344 / 45,062
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)140,000 / 63,503151,200 / 68,583
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)140,000 / 63,503151,200 / 68,583
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)1372 / 4.361372 / 5.20
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)55 / 27.5055 / 27.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)55.50 / 141055.50 / 1410
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)150 / 10.30150 / 10.30
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)19" x 26" / 483x66019.5" x 26" / 495x660
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)21,562 / 9780.3722,712 / 10302.00
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.61 4.37
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)189 - 2" / 0189 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)10.17 / 3.1010.17 / 3.10
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)113.80 / 10.58122.78 / 11.41
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)24.50 / 2.2824.98 / 2.32
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1149 / 106.781157 / 107.49
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1149 / 106.781157 / 107.49
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume134.67128.74
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation36753747
Same as above plus superheater percentage36753747
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area17,07018,417
Power L127942734
Power MT186.01182.02

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