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The earliest tank locomotives date from the 1840s, one of the first of which was used to build branch lines along the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway in the UK. In spite of the early belief that such locomotives were inherently unsafe, the idea quickly caught on, particularly for industrial use and five manufacturers exhibited designs at an Exhibition in 1851.

A number of sub-classes of tank locomotive eventually transpired, mostly based on the location and style of the water tanks. These include the side tank, the saddle tank, the pannier tank, and the well tank.  

For the Usually straight popular Saddle Tank Locomotive, the tank sits on top of the boiler like a saddle. the tank is curved in cross-section, although in some cases there were sides surmounted by a curve (like an inverted 'U'). Saddle tanks were a arrangement especially for smaller locomotives in industrial use.

The shape allows for better water supply, but limits the size of the boiler and restricts access to it for cleaning. The position also means the water is pre-heated by the boiler, which reduces the loss of steam found when cold water is injected. However as a result, such locomotives have a higher centre of gravity and thus must operate at lower speeds.

Routes Featuring the 0-4-0 ST Saddle Tank

Oxford to Paddington

Bath Green Park to Templecoombe

Newcastle to York

Free Roam Shunting at the Wood Yard

Start Location     Wood Yard

Route            Hedborough North


The Railway Centre is being used for filming. You must obey the director's instructions during the scene to get the most from your moment of fame.


Didcot Oxford-Paddington

Autumn Arrangement

You will be shunting wagons in Radstock to assemble a mixed rake of construction goods. Once assembled, return your locomotive to the engine shed.


Radstock Bath-Templecombe

Shunting on Ice

Take charge of the quarry Shunter at Thrislington. The weather might be poor, but it's your job to keep the wagons rolling.


Thrislington Quarry Newcastle-York

Creative Assembly

Nearing the end of your shift, use a saddle tank to arrange a consist at Hedborough. The wagons are currently in the wrong sequence so you must use your shunting skills to add more wagons and assemble the rake in the correct order.

Hedborough North