The Worsdell Class B13 (NER Class S) 4-6-0s
By the late 1890s, the "Race to the North" had died down, and the emphasis moved more to comfort rather than speed.
This led to an increase in express train weights, and a need for more powerful passenger locomotives that were not
necessarily as fast.
To meet this need, Wilson Worsdell designed the
Class R (LNER D20) 4-4-0 and the Class S (LNER B13)
4-6-0 in 1899 for the North Eastern Railway (NER).
D20 was a natural progression from the pre-existing
Class Q1 (LNER D17/2) with a larger boiler. The B13
was based on the D20 with further enlargement.
The boiler and firebox were both lengthened, and a third driving axle was added. They were the first passenger 4-6-0
locomotives of British design.
Seven of the first batch of ten B13s were built with slide valves. Later engines were built with piston valves, and the earlier locomotives
were later converted to piston valves.
The first three locomotives were also built with a deliberately short wheelbase of only 48ft 4in, so that they
could be turned on existing 50ft turntables. This resulted in a short tender and a short cab that proved more impractical
than the need to use large turntables or triangle tracks. The first three locomotives had conventional cabs fitted in 1901.
The B13s did not prove to be as free running as would have been expected from their dimensions. This was in contrast
to the smaller D20s which stole the limelight of the
larger engines. This led to the B13s only being used for main express services for a few years before they
were displaced by the
NER Class S1 (LNER B14) in 1900 and the
NER Class V (LNER C6) in 1903.
Despite their shortcomings, the B13s proved to be successful on less demanding services. Between 1905 and 1909,
thirty further engines were built to meet a need for locomotives to haul recently introduced fast goods
The fitting of Schmidt superheaters started in 1913. Twenty six of the thirty B13s were superheated by Grouping in
1923. The LNER finished the process by 1925.
As with the B14s, the saturated B13s had short smokeboxes that were lengthened with the
fitting of superheaters.
By the time the last B13s were built, they had found a place hauling fast, perishable freight services and
excursion trains. By Grouping (1923), they were allocated to Tweedmouth, Heaton, Neville Hill, Blaydon,
and Dairycoates. During the 1920s they were used throughout the main line network between Edinburgh and Doncaster.
By this time they were also hauling parcel services, passenger stopping trains, and the occasional mineral train.
Over time they were displaced by the B14s, B15s,
B16s, and K3 2-6-0s.
With the Depression in the late 1920s and early 1930s, traffic declined and withdrawals started in 1928. The last
B13 was withdrawn in 1938.
No. 761 was withdrawn in September 1934 and transferred to Service Stock. The superheater was removed, and it was used
as a counter pressure locomotive for road testing of other locomotives.
During this time, it was kept in the Paint Shop at Darlington North Road Works, and used infrequently.
In October 1946, it was renumbered 1699 in the Thompson
renumbering scheme. After Nationalisation in 1948, it was moved to the new Rugby Testing Plant before being scrapped
in May 1951 at Crewe Works.
||884 sq.ft. (126x 1.75in dia)
||276 sq.ft. (18x 1.1in dia)
||379 sq.ft. (18x 5.25in dia)
||107 tons 16cwt
||64 tons 6cwt
||43 tons 10cwt
|Max. Axle Load:
||19 tons 14cwt
The last B13 was scrapped in 1951, and none of the B13s survived into preservation.
I am not aware of any models of the B13s in any scale.
Thank you to the Malcolm Peirson for the above photograph of B13 No. 761.