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The LMS 2P class locomotive, designed by Sir Henry Fowler for light passenger work, had its origins in the Midland Railway’s 4-4-0 483 Class, designed by Samuel Johnson and modified by Richard Deeley. Introduced in 1928, post-Grouping, the 2P’s dimensions were modified from the 483 class and the boiler mountings reduced. Between 1928 and 1932, 138 2P locomotives were produced at either Crewe, or Derby Locomotive Works. The locomotive layout was a basic and well proven two inside frame cylinder design, characteristic of the Midland Railway’s design philosophy and gave a performance increase over that of the 483.

The locomotives gave a steady performance in traffic, without ever excelling, but their sturdy and simple construction, coupled to their light secondary duties, meant low maintenance costs; the lowest average repair cost in pence per mile of any LMS passenger type.In addition to being employed by the LMS, three of the locomotives were allocated from new to the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway (S&DJR). 2P’s were often double-headed where loads dictated, primarily as the LMS had a shortage of larger heavy duty or express locomotives for such services.

Typically delivered painted in a red lined, LMS black livery, other colour schemes did prevail. The S&DJR locomotives were painted Prussian Blue and in later BR days the locomotives were appropriately lined out for mixed traffic working in accordance with British Railways policy.Their use on the steeply graded S&DJR between Bournemouth West and Bath Green Park was a particularly interesting development, given that their large 6ft 6½in diameter driving wheels were not considered ideal for lines of this type. Nevertheless, they put in a lot of useful work over this challenging route, frequently being found paired with Bulleid Pacifics or Standard classes, hauling heavy express passenger services such as the Pines Express.

The first two members of the class, 591 and 639 were withdrawn in 1934 following an accident at Port Eglinton Junction near Cumberland Street Station, Glasgow on September 6th, but the remaining 136 lasted well into British Railways days, the last locomotives in the class being withdrawn between 1954 and 1962, though regrettably, none were preserved. Locomotive 40626 entered service during December 1929 as LMS 626, having been built at Derby under order number Ord074 to Lot 67. The locomotive’s early allocation is unclear, but post-war it was allocated to Ardrossan Shed in Ayrshire before being allocated to Hurlford Shed on June 6, 1959, where it ended its days. Withdrawn from service on Ocober 31, 1961, the locomotive was removed to Inverrurie Works where it was disposed of a month later.