‘BLACK FIVE’ CLASS 5MT : 4-6-0
The ‘Black Fives’ were mixed-traffic class locomotives, a ‘do-anything go-anywhere’ type, designed by William Stanier and introduced in 1934. In their early days the locomotives were known as the ‘Black Staniers’ from their black livery. Later on, their nickname became ‘Black Five’, the number referring to their power classification. ‘Black Fives’ occasionally worked as far south as Bournemouth and even ran over the Mid-Hants. This locomotive class is large enough for steep gradients but small enough to be economical. Of 842 built, just 18 of the Class have been preserved.
In 1974, ‘45379’ was bought for restoration and taken to the Avon Valley Railway, then later to the Great Central Railway. She was moved from there by Mid-Hants Railway Preservation Society, and following restoration completed in 2010 she appeared in the Somerset & Dorset Steam Spectacular, the first time she had steamed since 1965.
When her boiler certificate expired in 2018, ‘45379’ became a welcome guest of The One:One Collection, awaiting overhaul for her return to steam on heritage rail journeys.
Photos by: David Babaian