Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pugs: Small Yet Perfectly Formed

Now clearly if I can refer to a pug as perfectly formed I'm not talking about the weird looking breed of dog! In Scotland the term pug was used to refer to any small shunting locomotive, but in England when used to describe a steam engine it usually refers to a class of 0-4-0ST originally built by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR).

These small shunting locomotives were designed by John Aspinall to work in confined areas, such as docks, where larger engines were unable to cope with the tight curves etc. The first of the class appeared in 1891 and 57 were eventually built with the last batch entering service in 1910. The last Pug was withdrawn from service in 1964. This time range runs right through the period I'd been thinking about modelling (see this previous post) and so seemed like an ideal engine to acquire.

So I hunted around and managed to pick up Hornby's most recent model (R3024) from eBay (new, boxed and at a significantly reduced price). This model has appeared in both LMS and BR liveries over the years with numerous cab numbers (the model itself has a weird history in that the tooling for it was originally developed by Airfix, was then sold to Dapol and is now produced by Hornby). This specific model represents BR number 51240 which was one of 20 built in 1910 and originally ran as L&YR number 8. It was numbered 11240 under LMS ownership and was eventually withdrawn in April of 1957 (all this information comes from the brilliant book Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Locomotives by Barry C. Lane).

It's a wonderful model, that really is small compared to anything else I own -- it's just 8.5cm long, about the same length as the 12 ton coal waggon I'm building. In fact it's so small that unfortunately the motor can be seen in the cab as Hornby were unable to fit it within the boiler like they do with most of their models. Still, I really like it and I can imagine building a goods yard or dock side area into a layout just to have a good reason to run it frequently.


  1. This is the last read this morning. The engines on the Liverpool docks were called pugs so I assume that these were the very same. So I've just been on a wander through the books on the dockers umbrella.

    1. Interestingly the "Docker's Umbrella" is the title of my most recent post.

    2. Gosh. What a coincidence. I am now resisting temptation to jump posts in case I forget to go back. I should catch up by the end of the day.....