London and South Western Railway 0-4-0 Class B4

Designer: William Adams
Built: May 1893, Nine Elms Works, London & South Western Railway
Purpose: Dock Shunter
London & South Western Railway Number: 96
Southern Railway Number: E96 & 96
British Railways Number: 30096
Withdrawn by British Railways: October 1963
Arrived on the Bluebell Railway: 18th December 1972

Credit 96 Winchester Pilot
  Normandy on duty as the station pilot at Winchester, 1963.

The Bulleid Society are also the owners of a shunting engine No. 96 - a B4 dock tank. This little engine is very powerful for its size, and is proving very useful. It is one of Adam's design of standard dock shunting engine, being a short but heavy tank, with only four wheels arranged on a short wheelbase to cope with sharp curves.

In 1891 the London & South Western Railway bought Out the Southampton Dock Company, thus obtaining control of most of the port of Southampton, their major source of goods traffic. To operate the largest railway owned port required a sizeable fleet of shunting engines. The motley collection of engines absorbed from the Dock Company were mostly disposed of and to replace them a further ten B4 tanks were constructed at Nine Elms works in Battersea. No. 96 is one of this order. These docks engines were distinguishable by having open sided cabs, carrying names of cross channel ports and often running without numbers. They were used exclusively for dock work, having their own shed within the docks perimeter and for many years being maintained by the dock's workshops.

No. 96 was a dock engine until replaced by the recently purchased war surplus USA tanks in 1947. It still had a stovepipe chimney at this time but the cab had been enclosed as an air raid precaution. Many of the class were now surplus, withdrawn and sold but 11 were still in use in the mid 1950's to be gradually displaced by small diesel shunters. Their last duty was shunting in Winchester goods yard where Nos.30096 and 30102 worked until withdrawn in October and September 1963 respectively. Both engines were sold, No. 30102 for preservation and No. 30096 for further use by Corralls, fuel merchants, on their private wharf at Southampton.

Credit 96 Corralls spacer 96 Horsted Keynes Credit
  Corrall Queen at the exchange siding / Britannia Road crossing, 25th November 1969.   Shunting in the Spring sunshine at Horsted Keynes, 2005.  

As Corrall Queen No. 96 put in nine years more hard work before being sold in 1972 to a group of enthusiasts, many of whom were members of the Bulleid Society. The Bulleid Society had already established themselves and their collection on the Bluebell Railway, and the engine was delivered to Sheffield Park late in December. An overhaul was started in the late 1970's, but could only proceed very slowly since the engine was given low priority as not really suitable for passenger haulage, the first essential. Its overhaul was therefore almost entirely the work of a small group of volunteers, working as time permitted, with people leaving and joining the team as circumstances changed for them.

The engine was first steamed in May 1986, fully restored to Adams Goods Green, a much darker shade than used on passenger engines, as a powerful shunter fitted with a vacuum ejector it quickly found plenty of employment on pilot use, works and goods trains.

The boiler ticket expired on 7th July 2006 and Normandy is now stored awaiting overhaul.

Shed Allocations

1893 - Nine Elms   1905 - Southampton Docks   1948 - Eastleigh
1950 - Ashford   1950 - Eastleigh   4/67 - Nine Elms

Technical Information:

Cylinders (2)
16in x 22in
Valve Gear
Wheel diameter
3ft 9.75in
7ft 0in
Total Heating Surfaces
823 sq ft
Grate Area
10.75 sq ft
Boiler pressure
140lbs sq in
Tractive effort
14,650 lbs
Length 24ft 10.5 in
Total weight
33tons 9cwt
Coal capacity
Water capacity
600 gallons
Engine Brake Steam
BR Power Classification 1F