In the ‘green’ corner, ‘not to be moved’, we have the classic Great Western mixed traffic engine ‘Modified Hall’ No.6990 Witherslack Hall. Weighing in at 122.5 tons the Halls carried 4000 gallons of water and 6 tons of coal. They were a quarter of an inch more than 63ft. long, with 6 ft. driving wheels, a boiler pressure of 225lb. sq. in. and a Tractive Effort of 27,275lb. The Hall class were designed by C. B. Collett, built at Swindon, and numbered 329 in total.
Simmering gently, in the ‘black’ corner, is the LMS version of the go anywhere do anything engine, Stanier’s Black 5 No 45305. No.45305 is 7.5inches longer than No.6990, weighs a little over two tons more carries 3 extra tons of coal and delivers a Tractive Effort of 25,455lb, 1,820lb less than No.6990 Witherslack Hall. 842 Black 5s were built 427 of them by outside contractors. The first engine to enter service was No.(4)5020 and she was built by Vulcan Foundry. The largest number were built, not by the LMS, but by William Armstrong & Co., who constructed 327 of them.
I worked on the Black 5s, but not on the Halls, I worked on the Standard 5s too, even a B1 once, from Leeds to Cleethorpes and back. When it comes to ‘which one is best’ – well you pays yer money and makes yer choice – me I like the Black5s
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