LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 4806

LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 No. 44806 is a preserved British steam locomotive. It was built at Derby in 1944.

LMS 4806
44806 Running around its train at Llangollen.
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
DesignerWilliam Stanier
BuilderDerby Works
Serial number154 (second series)
Build dateJuly 1944
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading dia.3 ft 3 12 in (1.003 m)
Driver dia.6 ft 0 in (1.829 m)
Length63 ft 7 34 in (19.40 m)
Loco weight72.20 long tons (73.36 t; 80.86 short tons)
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity9 long tons (9.1 t; 10.1 short tons)
Water cap4,000 imp gal (18,000 l; 4,800 US gal)
  Firegrate area
28 12 sq ft (2.65 m2)
BoilerLMS type 3C
Boiler pressure225 lbf/in2 (1.55 MPa)
CylindersTwo, outside
Cylinder size18 12 in × 28 in (470 mm × 711 mm)
Valve gearWalschaerts
Valve typePiston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort25,455 lbf (113.23 kN)
Power class
  • LMS: 5P5F
  • BR: 5MT
Axle load classBR: Route Availability 7
WithdrawnAugust 1968
Current ownerNorth Yorkshire Moors Railway
DispositionAwaiting Overhaul

Service history

Originally numbered 4806 by the LMS, it had 40000 added to its number under British Railways after nationalisation in 1948. 44806 was one of the last locomotives to be withdrawn from service, surviving until 1968, the last year of steam on British Railways.

Shed allocations [1]
LocationShed codeFrom
Toton 18A15 July 1944
Leicester 15C28 April 1948
Nottingham 16A9 December 1956
Kentish Town 14B15 December 1956
Nottingham 16A18 October 1957
Burton 17B12 July 1964
Speke Junction 8C26 June 1967
Lostock Hall 10D30 March 1968


44806 was an early candidate for preservation, moving directly from BR to the "Steamtown" collection at Carnforth, where it was housed in the same locomotive depot where steam's final fires had been dropped only recently. This meant that it was not subjected to the years of neglect and parts-stripping at Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales which was the fate of many.

In preservation, it was unusually well-travelled between museums and lines, although staying in the North West of England. Some years were spent based in Accrington, with working excursions to a planned preserved line at Helmshore. Although these exact plans never quite came to fruition after that station's closure in 1972, most of the line survived as what is now the East Lancashire Railway.[2]

In 1973, 44806 was based for a short time at the newly reopened Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, as their largest and only tender engine, but operating a large tender engine was difficult on a line without a turntable. Whilst at Haverthwaite, 44806 was adopted by the ITV children's TV series Magpie and named "Magpie". The Magpie programme was always in competition with the BBC's comparable Blue Peter programme, which had earlier adopted the LNER A2 Peppercorn 532 Blue Peter, conveniently built under that name.

Shortly after this, a crack was found in the boiler of 44806, in the outer firebox. Haverthwaite did not have the workshop facilities for an engine of this length or weight, so it was moved, this time to "Steamport" in Southport. These were busy times for the British steam preservation movement, with many new projects and scrapyard rescues all competing for attention, time and money. As a result, 'Magpie' languished. In 1983, Magpie was moved to Manchester and the Museum of Science and Industry, as a purely static exhibit.

Return to steam

In 1993, 44806, with its 20-year-old firebox crack, travelled to the Llangollen Railway,[3] where repair work began. This work took almost three years to complete, with a return to steam on 15 September 1995.[1] It worked on the Llangollen for nearly ten years, first back as 4806 in black LMS livery with red lining, then once again as 44806, wearing the BR "ferret and a dartboard" tender badges with red and white lining.

Return to steam again

The expiration of the locomotive's 10 year boiler certificate prompted another rebuild. The work this time was less serious, being mostly wear items such as boiler tubes, firebox stays and worn tyres. The work was completed successfully and 4806 returned to steam on 29 August 2007 and was back in service on 14 September.[1] The new livery was again BR period, but this time in unlined gloss black.

Since its initial preservation, 44806 had been privately owned by one man, Ken Aldcroft. Aldcroft died in 2003, and 44806 passed to his daughter Ms Renee Wyatt. To commemorate Aldcroft's 35 years of preservation (he owned 44806 for ten years more than the original owners), 44806 was renamed Kenneth Aldcroft.

Current status

44806 Kenneth Aldcroft was based and working at the Llangollen Railway.[3] 2008 was the 40th anniversary of the end of British Railways steam, and of 44806's own preservation. In July 2013, the locomotive was offered for sale, and was purchased by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

Until January 2018 when its then boiler certificate expired 44806 operated trains on the NYMR only between Grosmont and Pickering because it did not have mainline equipment fitted. It is planned to be certified to run trains to Whitby after completion of its next overhaul. As of August 2018, the engine is in storage awaiting overhaul.


  1. "44806 Magpie history". (many photographs)
  2. "A History of the East Lancashire Railway". East Lancashire Railway. External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. "Llangollen Railway". Llangollen Railway. External link in |publisher= (help)
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