When British Railways was formed in 1948, it inherited a huge number of different classes of locomotive from its constituent railways and decided to introduce a series of new "Standard" classes to do different jobs. The Standard 4MT (MT for "Mixed Traffic") was one of these, and came in 4-6-0 and 2-6-0 versions, the latter based on George Ivatt's Class 4 for the LMS and intended primarily for freight work. The 2-6-0 wheel arrangement is known as a "mogul" after an early locomotive of the type, so these were known as "Standard Moguls". 

115 Standard Moguls were built between 1952 and 1957 and were found everywhere in Britain except for the Western Region which had a plentiful supply of former GWR engines. Examples allocated to the North-Eastern region were usually seen working across the Stainmore route, whose viaducts required light, but powerful engines.

No 76079 was built at the Horwich works of the former Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway in February 1957 and entered service with the London Midland region at Sutton Oak shed. After more than 10 years at Sutton Oak, No 76079 was transferred to Wigan in June 1967 where the duties were mainly concerned with mineral and general goods traffic, but it only lasted on this work for six months, being withdrawn at the end of the year. In company with three other Standard Moguls from Wigan, it was towed to Barry Scrapyard behind the inevitable diesel locomotive, arriving there in September 1968.

In preservation, 76079 has proved a popular and versatile locomotive, passed for main-line running and acquiring the nickname "Pocket Rocket" for being small but powerful.