19 July 2009

FMSR Class L

Designated as FMSR numbers 214 to 233, the FMSR Class L was introduced 1921 with the arrival of 20 Kitson locomotives (works numbers 5300 to 5319), which were completed and tested between January and April of 1921.

Ordered to eliminate double-heading of express services, the Class L was an improved and more powerful variant of the Class P, intended to haul longer coaches with lesser need for additional motive power. Like the Class P, the Class L was a 4-6-2 tender locomotive pulling an 8-wheel bogie tender. The Class L is 56' 4" long, weighs 88.4 tons and features cylinders measuring 17" by 24".

During Japanese occupation of Malaya in World War II, five Class Ls (FMSR 216, 220, 222, 224 and 229) were taken to the Thailand-Burma Railway. Following surrender by the Japanese in 1945, all five of the Class L were returned, with all Class Ls renumbered in 1946. The fleet continued to serve the FMSR and MR into the 1970s, by which the entire class would be withdrawn by MR. The first Class L built and the remaining Class L in the MR fleet, FMSR 214/MR 531.01, was donated to the National Museum in Kuala Lumpur in 1971, where it is now a permanent outdoor exhibit.

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