The reference for locomotives and railcars


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British Rail Standard class 5MT
Great Britain | 1951 | 172 produced
flickr/Historical Railway Images

When developing a class 5 standard locomotive for mixed service, a Pacific locomotive first came up for discussion. However, since this was considered too expensive, the choice fell on the wheel arrangement 4-6-0. This offered the additional advantage that, for a given total weight, a larger proportion was accounted for by the adhesive weight. The basis for the development was Stanier's LMS Class 5, which had proven itself in all areas of application and was still in production at the time.

The improvements still to be made to this mainly concerned the production and operating costs, which were to be reduced through the use of standardized assemblies and the simplest possible maintenance. A self-cleaning smoke box and a shaking grate for emptying the ash under the firebox were installed for faster turnaround after the end of the shift. The cab was standardized with many similarities to the other standard classes. Some pipes in the cab have been moved to the outside for easier access and cheaper production. The boiler had almost the same dimensions as the Black Five, but was made of manganese steel instead of nickel. In addition, the drivers were increased by two inches and the cylinder diameter by half an inch.

The production of the standard locomotive followed the production of the Black Five almost seamlessly. Between April 1951 and January 1952 only 30 were initially built in the workshops in Derby. A further 100 were later built at Derby and 42 at Doncaster, with the last being delivered in June and May 1957 respectively. The locomotives were used in many regions and were just as versatile as their predecessors. It is reported to have been more economical at higher speeds than the Black Five and the drivers would have credited it with a top speed of just under 100mph.

Variants with a double blast pipe and a 2-8-0 goods variant were proposed, but these were not implemented. This was mainly due to British Railways' modernization plans from 1955, which prepared the phase-out of steam traction. The locomotives were retired between 1964 and 1968 and today there are five of which two were still operational at the beginning of 2022.

Variantwith tender BR1with tender BR1Cwith tender BR1F
ManufacturerDerby, Doncaster
Axle config4-6-0 (Ten-wheeler) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length62 ft 7 in
Wheelbase27 ft 3 in
Fixed wheelbase15 ft 6 in
Total wheelbase52 ft 1 in
Service weight170,240 lbs
Adhesive weight130,032 lbs
Total weight284,816 lbs289,408 lbs293,888 lbs
Axle load44,128 lbs
Water capacity5,104 us gal6,755 us gal5,104 us gal
Fuel capacity15,680 lbs (coal)20,160 lbs (coal)15,680 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,850 hp (1,380 kW)
Optimal speed45 mph
Starting effort26,124 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter74 in
Boiler pressure225 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 19 x 28 in
Grate area28.7 sq ft
Firebox area171 sq ft
Tube heating area1,479 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,650 sq ft
Superheater area358 sq ft
Total heating area2,008 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
Robert Arthur Riddles
last changed: 02/2022

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