The Hoylake Railway operated a few miles of track on the Wirral Peninsula on the opposite bank of the Mersey river near Liverpool, which mostly served passenger services. It was founded in 1863 and was known as the Hoylake & Birkenhead Railway from 1872 after some line extensions. Today it is better known under the name Wirral Railway, which it has borne since 1884. In the grouping in 1923 it came to the LMS.
After 1873 it was decided to extend the route from Hoylake to West Kirby and two new tank locomotives had to be procured. They came from the Yorkshire Engine Company and were given the names “West Kirby” and “Birkenhead”. In principle, they were of a standard type of this manufacturer, only the driving wheel diameter was slightly larger at 60 inches and the firebox was also slightly larger than most comparable engines.
Both engines completed their service relatively unremarkably on the short branch line. Both were later sold to industrial companies in the region. The “West Kirby” came to a company called Josiah Hardman Ltd. at Milton while the “Birkenhead” landed at the coal mine called “Talk o'th' Hill”. Locomotive Magazine stated in January 1918 that both were apparently still in service at the time.