The L&YR Class 21 is a class of small 0-4-0ST built by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway for shunting duties across the entire network. They gained the affectionate nickname “Pugs” by their crews.
The class originates in the purchase of three saddle tank locomotives ordered from Vulcan Foundry in 1886. J. A. F. Aspinall then ordered more locomotives of a modified design: the wheelbase was shortened to 5 ft 9 in, the tank was extended over the smokebox, the cab was enlarged, and the boiler pressure raised to 160 lbf/in2. Seventeen of this modified design were ordered from Horwich Works in three batches; Aspinall’s successor Henry Hoy order another batch of 10; and Hoy’s successor George Hughes ordered 30 more in two batches. The last locomotive was delivered in July 1910, four months before the first retirement; 917 and 918 were withdrawn in November that year, but were not scrapped until November 1912.
The London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) gave the locomotives the power classification 0F. In total sixty were made between 1886 and 1910. They were built for use in sharply curved sidings for shunting duties. The Pugs were allocated by the L&YR for operation in the industrial areas and docks of Fleetwood, Goole, Liverpool and Salford. In later times they became more widely dispersed, reaching places such as Bristol, Bangor, Crewe, Derby, Widnes, York and Swansea. When the LMS was merged into British Railways on 1 January 1948, 23 ‘Pugs’ remained in service; BR added 40,000 to their fleet numbers.
Withdrawals started in 1910 with two going in that year. Four went in the 1920s, 31 in the 1930s; leaving 23 to be withdrawn between 1957 and 1964.
Two “Pugs” have survived into preservation, both through the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Trust. L&YR No. 19 (LMS No. 11243), built in 1910, was sold by the LMS into industry in 1931 and was acquired by the Trust from the United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd. at Charlton in 1967. It was found to be in poor mechanical condition and was later placed on static display pending overhaul, most recently at the Ribble Steam Railway, although since early 2020 it has been at the East Lancashire Railway at Bury.
L&YR No. 68 (LMS No. 11218, BR No. 51218), built in 1901, was purchased directly from British Rail in 1964 and moved to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in January 1965. The locomotive was re-tubed in 1974 and took part in the Stockton & Darlington Railway cavalcade that year. The locomotive was overhauled again in 1997 and continued in service, albeit mostly as a shunting locomotive due to its low power, until its boiler tubes required replacement in 2006. The locomotive carried its original identity of L&YR 68 from 2004 onwards, but has been cosmetically restored in 2018 to 51218 for the K&WVR’s 50th Anniversary Gala, reflecting that 51218 was the first loco to arrive in 1965. Overhaul is now under consideration at Haworth on the K&WVR as the restoration of 0-6-0ST No. 752 has now been completed at the East Lancashire Railway.