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Mr. J.E. McConnell

1851 — Large Bloomers
1852 — Patents
1854 — Small Bloomers
1861 — Class H

Mr. J. Ramsbottom

1859 — Problems
1863 — Samsons
1866 — Newtons

Mr. F.W. Webb

1874 — Precursors
1874 — Precedents
1876 — 2-4-0 Tanks
1879 — 4ft 6in 2-4-2Ts
1882 — Experiments
1884 — Dreadnoughts
1884 — Comp. 4-2-2-0T
1885 — Comp. 2-2-2-2T
1887 — Comp. 2-2-2-2T
1887 — Comp. 2-2-4-0T
1887 — Impr. Precedents
1889 — Whitworths
1889 — Teutonics
1890 — 5ft 6in 2-4-2Ts
1891 — Greater Britains
1894 — John Hicks
1897 — Jubilees
1898 — 5ft 3in 0-6-2Ts
1901 — Alfred the Greats

Mr. G. Whale

1903 — Benbows
1904 — Precursors
1905 — Experiments
1906 — 6ft 4-coupled Ts
1908 — Renowns

Mr. C.J. Bowen Cooke

1910 — George Vs
1910 — Superhtr 4-6-2Ts
1911 — Prince of Wales
1913 — Claughtons
1915 — Prospero
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Passenger Locos Section

Large Bloomer Class

Large Bloomer no 249 in 1861 Click on picture
for bigger image.
Photographer unknown

Vital Statistics

Official Name Large Bloomer Class
Water & Coal Storage Tender
Water Capacity 2000 gallons
Coal Capacity 2 tons
Wheel Arrangement 2-2-2
Driven Wheels Two: 7ft 0in
Carrying Wheels Four: LW 4ft 6ins, TW 4ft 0ins
Wheelbase 8ft 4in + 8ft 6in
Total Wheelbase 16ft 10in
Boiler 4ft 2in dia, 11ft 9in long
Boiler Pressure 100 psi (1851), 120 psi (1856), 150 psi (1861)
Grate Area 18 sq ft / 18.9 sq ft
Tubes 186/195, 2⅛ins dia, 12ft long
Total Heating Area 1449 sq ft / 1470 sq ft
Cylinders Two inside 16in diameter; 22in stroke
Weight 30 tons
Designer Mr. J.E. McConnell
Number in Class 40
Lifetime 1851-1888

Notes: The design of these engines was copied closely from the Bury, Curtis & Kennedy 6ft 2-2-2 class of 1848, but with plate frames, bigger boilers and 7ft driving wheels. The first twenty were built by Sharp in 1851-1853, and were promptly nicknamed 'Bloomers' during the wild excitement aroused by Mrs Bloomer's advocacy of trousers for women. The name stuck and was adopted officially. To distinguish them from the smaller version of 1854-1861 they later became known as Large Bloomers.

The engines were very successful and another twenty were built in 1861/2: five by Sharp, five by Kitson, and ten at the L&NWR's Wolverton Works.

There were detail differences among the original engines, especially in the boilers. In the 1860s and 1870s most of the class were rebuilt with Crewe boilers containing 178 tubes of 1⅞in diameter. The original tenders had a well below the footplate which contained 500 of the total 2000 gallons of water, but the wells were removed by Crewe; the rebuilt tender contained 1700 gallons and was fitted with water pick-up gear.

All the Large Bloomers were given names in 1872. Scrapping began in 1876, but the longest-lived lasted for 34 years, and the last one went in November 1888. It was the last ex-Southern Division engine on the L&NWR.

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