ACE Trains E/5-3 0-6-0 Fowler 4F
Designed chiefly for medium freight work, the distinctive looking 0-6-0 LMS 4F class locomotive dates back to the early 1920s and a design by Henry Fowler for the Midland Railway. Originally built as class 3835, 197 were constructed representing the ultimate development of Midland Railway’s six coupled tender engines. On ex Midland lines double heading was a common sight on extended freight trains. A successful locomotive a further 575 were built by LMS with minor specification changes to the earlier Midland design up until 1941. Five locomotives built to the Midland Railway format were also produced for the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway (SDJR) in 1922. Numbered 57-61, they were painted in the unique Prussian Blue livery. In 1930 SDJR was absorbed into the LMS network with most locomotives ultimately repainted in black thus losing their distinctive imagery.
Whilst designed for goods work, they were also used on local passenger services becoming a common sight on the LMS system. The Fowler 4F on passenger duties gave the impression of waddling along at great speed and were commonly referred to as ‘duck sixes’ by train spotters. In excess of 700 locomotives were taken over by British Railways following nationalisation in 1948. The Fowler 4F hung around for a long time with the last being withdrawn in 1965, but only one in the locomotive class making it into railway preservation.