LNWR Precedent Class

The London and North Western Railway Precedent Class was a class of seventy 2-4-0 locomotives originally designed for express passenger work.

LNWR Precedent class
LNWR 955 Charles Dickens, date and location unknown
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
DesignerF. W. Webb
BuilderCrewe Works
Serial number1902–1921, 2034–2053, 2119–2128, 2400–2409, 2501–2510
Build date1874–1882
Total produced70
  UIC1B n2
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading dia.3 ft 6 in (1.067 m)
Driver dia.6 ft 6 in (1.981 m)
  • 7 ft 5 in (2.26 m)+
  • 8 ft 3 in (2.515 m)
Loco weight33 long tons (34 t)
Fuel typeCoal
  Diameter4 ft 2 in (1.270 m)
  Tube plates9 ft 10 in (2.997 m)
Heating surface1,083 sq ft (100.6 m2)
CylindersTwo, inside
Cylinder size17 in × 24 in (432 mm × 610 mm)
Valve gearAllan
OperatorsLondon and North Western Railway
  • 62 renewed (1893–1901)
  • 8 rebuilt (1890s)
  • All subsequently scrapped


They were designed by F. W. Webb and built by the LNWR's Crewe Works between 1874 and 1882. The numbering was haphazard – while the first twenty carried "new" numbers in a solid block, the remaining fifty carried numbers formerly carried by withdrawn locomotives. All seventy carried names from new, and many of these had been used on withdrawn locomotives.

Sixty-two of the locomotives were "renewed" (replaced with new locomotives carrying the same number and name) as Improved Precedent class locomotives between 1893 and 1901.

The remaining eight were rebuilt as Improved Precedents in the 1890s; they retained their 78 inch (22.2 mm) thick frames – the renewals had 1-inch (25.4 mm) frames.

Two of the unrenewed locomotives were scrapped in 1907, two in the 1910s, with four passing to the London Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923. They were allocated numbers 5000–5003 and were withdrawn between 1929 and 1934; the last, 5001 Snowdon had 20000 added to its number six months before withdrawal in order to release its old number for an LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0.

Accidents and incidents

  • On 7 December 1925, locomotive 1170 General ran through a set of level crossing gates and struck a bus at Fenny Stratford; nine bus passengers died.[1]

Fleet list


  1. "Accident at Fenny Stratford on 7th December 1925". Railways Archive. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  2. Baxter 1979, pp. 186–187.
  • Baxter, Bertram (1978). Baxter, David (ed.). British Locomotive Catalogue 1825–1923, Volume 2A: London and North Western Railway and its constituent companies. Ashbourne, Derbyshire: Moorland Publishing Company. ISBN 0-903485-51-6.
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