NCC Class B3

NCC Class B3

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NCC Class B3

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The LMS (Northern Counties Committee) Class B3 4-4-0 passenger steam locomotives were rebuilds of Belfast and Northern Counties Railway (BNCR) two-cylinder compound locomotives. They operated services throughout the NCC’s broad gauge (5 ft 3 in / 1,600 mm) system in the north-east of Ireland.


The locomotives that comprised the Northern Counties Committee Class B3 were rebuilds of two classes of BNCR “Light Compounds”. These had been built by Beyer, Peacock and Company in the 1890s to the design of the BNCR Locomotive Engineer Bowman Malcolm. The first two members of the class were originally Class C Light Compound 2-4-0s. Rebuilding began with No.28 in 1927 and No.21 in the following year. The other three Class B3 locomotives (24, 60 and 61) were derived from Class B Light Compounds whose only original difference was that they had always been 4-4-0s and not 2-4-0s.

However, before alteration to Class B3, Nos.60 and 61 had already undergone an earlier rebuilding to become Class B1 compounds in 1921 to be followed by No.51 in August 1926. On the other hand, No.24 was rebuilt as a simple (i.e. not compound) in February 1925 to become the solitary member of the somewhat ephemeral Class B2.

All five engines had cylinders with piston valves and retained their driving wheels. The first three members of the class had boilers rated at but Nos.60 and 61 had the advantage of boilers.

During rebuilding, they were fitted with LMS...
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