Made in Preston, the website about Preston, Lancashire

Horwich Crab

The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company designed and manufactured locomotives at Horwich, about 15 miles south of Preston and under the shadow of Winter Hill. The building is long and low with large multi-pane windows and slate roof. It can be seen from the M61 just beyond Bolton Wanderers new football ground in Horwich.

The most famous product being the Horwich 'Crab'. First delivered in 1926 some 245 were built at Horwich and Crewe. The engines were withdrawn between 1961 and 1967.

The Hughes 'Crab' was an unusual looking locomotive in that it had a high running board. This was futuristic as the last steam engines to be built some 30 years later had this feature for ease of maintenance. It also had Walschaerts valve gear, copied from the Pennsylvania Railroad, and outside cylinders.

When the L&Y was taken over by the LMS at about the time of development a Fowler tender was insisted on although it was narrower. It had a modern cab and left hand drive. Very modern to the 19th Century oriented Midland engineers who liked internal cylinders.

The loco's were numbered 42700 to 42944 in 1963 and there were still some 181 of them according to Ian Allens Combined Volume of the year.


History and map of Railways in the area around Preston

18-Feb-2016 Contact the site author