No 42073 prepares to work the 1300 train to Lakeside with the invited party on board.
Bachmann Fairburn launch
Last Thursday Bachmann Europe Plc launched its new Fairburn 2-6-4T locomotive alongside the real locomotives at Havethwaite Station on the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway. The railway is the home to two Fairburn 2-6-4T locomotives which entered preservation after withdrawal from British Railways in 1968.
Graham Hubbard, Managing Director of Bachmann Europe Plc handed over the first Fairburn 2-6-4T off the production line to Michael Maher, General Manager of the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway during a short ceremony.
Left to right Graham Hubbard, Michael Maher General Manager of the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway and (front) Barry McQueen, Town Crier.
The new Bachmann Branchline OO gauge model is DCC ready and three versions are currently being released. These include No. 2691 in LMS livery (Catalogue No. 32-875), No. 42096 with early emblem (32-876) and No. 42073 with the late crest (32-877). The recommended retail price of each model is £70.35p.
Graham Hubbard, Managing Director of Bachmann Europe Plc said today "we are delighted to be launching our new Fairburn tank at the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway where the two remaining locomotives can be found at work. By launching our new model here, we hope it will encourage many modellers to come and enjoy a ride behind these locomotives in future".
Michael Maher receives the first Fairburn tank from the production line
Designed by Charles Fairburn a total of 277 were constructed between 1945 and 1951 at the LMS Derby Works and after Nationalisation in 1948, at the former Southern Railway works in Brighton, who built 41 of them.
The building of locomotives during the war was somewhat restricted and it was during this time that the only class attributed to Fairburn was built. With additional locomotives being required following the end of the Second World War, Fairburn took time to evaluate the Stanier locomotives by conducting a series of trials. As a result Fairburn calculated that a reduction in the coupled wheelbase would be beneficial, as would a reduction in the overall weight. Fairburn managed to reduce the total weight to 85 tons 5cwt, weighing in 2.5 tons less than the Stanier examples.
As part of the 1948 Locomotive Trials, two Fairburn tank locomotives (No's. 2198/9) were sent to work on the Southern Region. The Central and South Eastern Divisions contained a number of non electrified lines over which a number of ageing pre-Grouping locomotives were used. They obviously impressed the Brighton built examples went into service on the Southern Region, allowing many older locomotives to be retired. They remained until 1960 when BR Standard 2-6-4T's from the London Midland Region were exchanged for the Fairburn tanks.
Elsewhere the Fairburn tanks were spread far and wide. In Scotland they worked suburban trains around Glasgow and Edinburgh. Some were allocated to the North Eastern Region working mainly on semi-fast services around Leeds and Newcastle. Workings from Leeds included hauling the Bradford portions of London - West Riding trains which were split at Wakefield from the Leeds Central portions.
London Midland Region workings were widespread and the Class were regular performers on London area suburban trains in and out of Euston, Fenchurch Street, Marylebone and St. Pancras. Other London Midland Region examples could be found at work around, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.
The first Fairburn tank was withdrawn in 1961 and the last in 1965. In its formative years, The Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway secured two locomotives (No's 42073 / 42085) from British Railways for preservation in 1968. Once the line had been secured they moved to Haverthwaite where they remain in service on the line to Lakeside.
Chief Mechanical Engineer, London Midland & Scottish Railway
Charles Fairburn's reign as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) was tragically but a short one. In 1945, a year after he had been appointed successor to Sir William Stanier, he suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 58.
Fairburn's rise to the top job did not follow the normal path. After graduating from Oxford he spent 2 years at Derby as a pupil of Sir Henry Fowler of the Midland Railway. He then joined Siemens at Stafford before working on the Shildon - Newport electrification scheme of the North Eastern Railway as an assistant to the project engineer. After serving in the Royal Flying Corps, the predecessor of the Royal Air Force during the First World War, he became the head of railway electrification projects for English Electric. Fairburn became head of the traction department working on diesel and electric locomotives before being appointed Chief Electrical Engineer of the LMS. When Stanier was seconded to work for the War Department in 1942, Fairburn became Acting Chief Mechanical Engineer. Following Stanier's retirement in 1944, the LMS made the temporary appointment permanent.
After his death in 1945, H.G. Ivatt succeeded Fairburn and went on to produce a number of locomotives including the 2-6-2 tank and 4MT 2-6-0 which both feature in the Bachmann range.