0-4-4T CALEDONIAN RAILWAY, 439 CLASS NO. 419

(BR No.55189)
Accession number: 10006
Acquired: 1964
Location: Operational
Built: 1907, CR St.Rollox Works,
Springburn, Glasgow
Order No.: Y84
Cost: £1,627

Background Information

From 1898, J.F.McIntosh designed a series of standard tank engines for the Caledonian Railway’s short distance mineral and passenger trains. The initial design was for 0-6-0T locomotives. In 1899, he introduced an 0-4-4T design specifically for the Cathcart Circle and the Balerno branch. This was followed in 1900 by the largest and most successful class for general suburban and branch passenger work – the “439” 0-4-4T. This was a noncondensing version of a design already used on the Glasgow Central Low Level lines.

These engines had large driving wheels and the standard Caledonian fitting of a Westinghouse air brake. This made then fast into and away from station stops. The Caledonian built 76 locomotives to this design. The London, Midland & Scottish Railway built more after 1923. They were used all over the Caledonian system. The locomotive (as No.55189) was withdrawn from British Railways service in 1962. As the last example of the class, it held great appeal for the Scottish Railway Preservation Society. But the asking price of £750 proved difficult to raise. Only a generous donation by Worcestershire farmer Mr W.E.C. Watkinson secured it for posterity.

After restoration at Cowlairs Works, No.419 was delivered to the society’s Falkirk Depot in April 1965. It once again had Caledonian Railway livery. Its first public steaming in preservation happened in 1971. Since then, it has carried the SRPS flag at open days, celebrations and railway events all over Britain. It took part in the Stockton & Darlington 150th anniversary cavalcade in 1975.