In 1932, when William Stanier became the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London Midland Scottish, most of the region’s freight traffic was being hauled by ageing 0-8-0 engines, many of which dated from the pre-grouping period. By 1934, freight traffic accounted for 58% of the LMS’s turnover and the only modern stock available for haulage were Beyer-Garrett and ‘Austin Seven’ Class 7F locomotives. These locomotives had serious maintenance issues, as well as proving inadequate for the gradual acceleration of freight traffic as decreed by the Operating Department and so Stanier looked to the Great Western Railway for design inspiration for his new freight locomotive.
Locomotive 48045 was built in 1936 at the Vulcan Foundry Works as Works No.4722 and entered service as LMS No.8045. One of fifty one locomotives requisitioned by the War Department in 1941 and sent to the Middle East, the locomotive operated under the British Army Middle East Force’s control as WD No.70573 until being repatriated in 1948, the locomotive entering stock with British Railways in July 1949 as No.48045.
Locomotive 8035 was built at the Vulcan Foundry Works as Works No.4712 and entered traffic in August 1936, avoiding the War Department ‘draft’. Post-war, the locomotive operated across the Midland region, operating from ten different sheds, the longest allocation being at Rugby between June 16, 1957 and January 9, 1965. Renumbered to 48035 in June 1948, the locomotive was withdrawn from service at Tyseley in March 1967.