Before we get into the class, I want to talk about something relating to this post:

We all know that Sodor isn't real, nor is the North Western Railway itself.

However, in this 'Alternate History', alongside my own take on proposed steam locomotives, I've decided to establish a alternate history on Sodor and it's railways, including the North Western Railway. Same origins as to the Railway Series, the North Western Railway was formed by the Sodor & Mainland Railway (S&M), the Wellsworth & Suddery Railway (W&S), and the Tidmouth, Knapford, & Elsbridge Light Railway (TK&ELR). However, unlike in the Railway Series, the North Western Railway was formed in 1923 as part of the 1923 Grouping Act, and the railway was also nationalized into British Railways.

In this alternate history, the popular characters, Thomas, Gordon, Percy, etc, were not part of the North Western Railway. Infact, this North Western Railway built it's own fleet of locomotives, which (most of them) made it to British Railways and some to preservation.

In this post, we'll be going on a fictional class of locomotives a Twitter user has created: The NWR I1 2-6-2T Class.


The Sodor & Mainland Railway (S&M) Class 2, is a class of 2-6-2T tank locomotives designed by William Middleton and introduced in 1916. They were classified as I1 by the NWR after the 1923 Grouping.


The I1s had superheaters, aswell as fitted with push-pull equipment, and later with Westinghouse air brakes in 1924. They were originally designed a 0-6-2Ts, though the original design would later be carried over by Colonel Payne to build a new class.

Operational Details​

They worked on mixed-traffic duties, replacing the older Neilson 0-4-0BT's. After the 1923 Grouping, the I1s were designated for suburban passenger operations, and worked most of the duties out of Tidmouth and Vicarstown, often hauling one or two quad-art sets of articulated suburban coaches stock from the LNER. They also operated on the Ffarquhar, Norramby, Peel Godred, and Kirk Ronan branchlines.

Naming, livery and numbering​

The I1s were named after lakes and towns in Sodor, with the expection of No. 729 'Yarmouth', which was named after Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, England. In livery, the originally carried S&M Green, with lettering 'S&M' on the side tanks. In 1923, the livery was Grassgreen Livery, but it was changed to Midnight Blue and Raspberry Blue. During the Second World War, the I1s were all painted in Wartime Black. After Nationalisation in 1948, the I1s were painted in Plain Black with the lettering 'BRITISH RAILWAYS', which would remain until their withdrawal. In the S&M, the I1s were numbered 1015-1019 range. The NWR changed their numbers to 725-729. British Railways added 98000 to their numbers (98725-98729).

Accidents and incidents​

- On 7 October 1928, No. 98729 'Yarmouth' ran itself into the turntable pit at Kirk Ronan, following the removal of the turntable.
- On 24 January 1960, No. 98725 'River Els' ran itself into a house at Ffarquhar, after the cleaner forgot to apply the brakes.


With the beginning of the Beeching Axe, the I1s saw no use, and were withdrawn from 1964-1966, with No. 98728 'Kirk Ronan' being the last one in service.


Only two I1s were preserved; Nos. 98725 'River Els' and 98726 'Ballahoo', which were both preserved by the Vicarstown Railway Museum in 1965.

List of I1 Class locomotives​

Number and Name - Date and Place Built - Shed Allocation - Withdrawal Date
725 River Els - March 1916, Crovan's Gate - 90A Tidmouth - May 1964
726 Ballahoo - March 1916, Crovan's Gate - 98A Ballahoo - August 1965
727 Harwin Lake - April 1916, Crovan's Gate - 95A Killdane - January 1965
728 Kirk Ronan - April 1916, Crovan's Gate - 96A Kellsthorpe Road - August 1966
729 Yarmouth - May 1916, Crovan's Gate - 99A Vicarstown - June 1964

Builder's photograph of 726 'Ballahoo' in Middleton Blue. (Model by LittleEngineProductions)
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