The Hill Y4 (GER B74) 0-4-0 Shunters
A.J.Hill built the first example of this class for the GER
in 1913 for use at Canning Town to replace the smaller "209" (Y5) saddle-tanks.
This engine was particularly powerful for its size at the time. Four further locomotives were built
over the next ten years. These latter four were to a cut-down size for working in the
Bethnal Green area. In 1931 the first locomotive was also cut down in size to be uniform with the
other class members. All five members of the class spent their working lives in the Stratford area:
Canning Town, Devonshire Street, Mile End Yard, etc.
The locomotives were numbered 7226, 7227, 7228, and 7229; with 7210 listed as service stock. These were
renumbered in 1946 as 8125, 8126, 8127, 8128, and 8129 respectively.
All five received BR numbers with the '6' prefix. No. 68129 (originally Serivce No. 7210) was renumbered as
Departmental No. 33 in September 1952. All five were withdrawn between 1955 and 1963.
Instead of a rear bunker, coal was stored at the rear of the left side tank. Often coal was
also piled on the top of the firebox casing. BR fitted coal rails to boost the coal capacity. 7226
followed GER practice with a tool box on each tank, whilst the other members only had one tool box
on the left-hand running plate.
When driven too fast, the Y4s had a tendency to "plunge". This was accentuated by the poor quality
track which they ran over. This "plunging" was very uncomfortable for the crew, but more seriously,
could damage the drain cocks. The Works fitter "strongly disliked" the constant refitting of new drain
cocks to the Y4s!
The last Y4 was withdrawn in 1963. No Y4s survive.
5in gauge plans and castings for a live steam Y4 are available from Doug Hewson (Models).
R.J. Bray has also produced drawings for a 5in gauge live steam Y4. The current availability of parts and plans is
Thank you to the P.H. Groom collection for permission to use the above photograph of Departmental No. 33.