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Steam Locomotives of the Great Northern Railway (GNR)[Inhalt]
Heavy version of the C1 in LNER colors catching water at full speed
Heavy version of the C1 in LNER colors catching water at full speed
collection R. Blencowe

The Great Northern Railway was founded in 1846 to build a line from London to York. Operations on the first section began as early as March 1848. At that time, some lines of other railway companies were used, on which the trackage rights were secured. As early as 1850, the section from London to Peterborough was fully opened. The following year construction began on King's Cross station in London, which opened in 1852. The main line of the GNR finally joined the line of the North Eastern Railway to the north of Doncaster.

Today it forms part of the East Coast Main Line, which connects to Edinburgh. From the 1870s the GNR operated the Flying Scotsman there in conjunction with the North Eastern and North British. Here the GNR express locomotives were able to show off their high travel speeds on their section. The world's first dining cars were introduced there in 1879, and continuous vacuum brakes were also installed from 1881.

Today
Today's view of King's Cross, the London terminus
Reading Tom

Over time, more and more connections to cities off the main line were made. The most important of these were Leicester, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield. In the 1860s several suburban routes in London were bought up. An increasingly important task was the transport of coal from the mining areas in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire. The delivery of ever-increasing quantities of coal to London soon brought in the company's largest turnover. Furthermore several joint railways were operated together with other railway companies.

The first chief mechanical engineer was Benjamin Cubitt, who died after only a short time on duty. He was succeeded in 1850 by Archibald Sturrock, who had learned his trade at the GWR under Gooch and was to design more than a dozen locomotives for the GNR. He accompanied the company during a period of great growth, in which the number of employees increased more than tenfold.

Archibald Sturrock
Archibald Sturrock
National Railway Museum

His successor from 1866 was Patrick Stirling, who was known for his singles with a wheel diameter of eight feet and one inch or 2.464 mm. These express engines could already reach 85 mph (137 km/h) and set records in the 1895 “Race to the North” with average speeds of more than 60 mph (97 km/h).

After Stirling's death in 1895, he was succeeded by Henry Alfred Ivatt, who became known for the technical innovations he was the first to introduce in Great Britain. These were the Atlantic express locomotive in 1898, the superheater in 1908 and also the Heusinger valve gear.

Henry Ivatt
Henry Ivatt

In 1911 Nigel Gresley took over the post. One of his first achievements was the introduction of “Quad Art” type commuter trainsets. These were four-car, permanently connected passenger coaches which rested on common Jakobs bogies and thus saved weight. For the ever-increasing coal traffic to London, he was one of the first in Great Britain to introduce freight locomotives with a 2-8-0 wheel arrangement. In 1922, shortly before the grouping, he developed the A1 class Pacific, which was the first proven to reach a speed of 100 mph (161 km/h) in regular service. He later continued to make a name for himself with the LNER with extra fast steam engines when the A4 “Mallard” reached 126 mph (203 km/h).

When the British railway administrations were grouped in 1923, the Great Northern became part of the London & North Eastern. Now the entire East Coast Main Line was under the control of a single company. Gresley was able to assert himself as chief engineer of the entire company and retained this title until his death in 1941.

Great Northern (UK) No. 264 to 269
later Ivatt class B6
Great Britain | 1866 | 6 produced
No. 266 built by Fowler
No. 266 built by Fowler
Locomotive Magazine, March 1899
No. 268 built by the Yorkshire Engine Co.
No. 268 built by the Yorkshire Engine Co.
Locomotive Magazine, March 1899

The last locomotives that Sturrock designed for the GNR were six 2-4-0 express locomotives and a driver diameter of seven feet. These were built half each by Fowler and the Yorkshire Engine Co. The steel driving wheels were an innovation. Since the coupling rods often broke, Stirling converted the locomotives to 2-2-2 wheel arrangement from 1873 onwards. In this form they were more successful and were only retired between 1898 and 1902.

General
Built1866-1867
ManufacturerJohn Fowler & Co., Yorkshire Engine Co.
Axle config2-4-0 (Porter) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase18 ft 1 in
Fixed wheelbase18 ft 1 in
Water capacity3,002 us gal
Fuel capacity4,480 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power375 hp (280 kW)
Optimal speed23 mph
Starting effort10,528 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter84 in
Boiler pressure150 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 17 x 24 in
Boiler
Grate area19.7 sq ft
Firebox area121 sq ft
Tube heating area907 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,028 sq ft
Total heating area1,028 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
express
Archibald Sturrock
last changed: 03/2023
Great Northern (UK) class C1 (small boiler) “Klondykes”
London & North Eastern class C2
Great Britain | 1898 | 22 produced
Locomotive Magazine, July 1898

Shortly before the turn of the century, Henry Ivatt had the task of developing a new locomotive for the increasing loads of the most important express trains. He had to measure himself against the singles from his predecessor Patrick Stirling, who were still considered excellent and very fast, but no longer powerful enough. Here, for the first time in Great Britain, the wheel arrangement 4-4-2 was used, which originally came from the USA and was known there as “Atlantic”. The difference was that the Atlantic was developed in the US from the 4-4-0 “American” to allow for a larger firebox and smoother running, while in the UK it was a 4-2-2 “Single” with an extra coupled axle

No. 990 “Henry Oakley” at the Doncaster Works Open Day, July 2003
No. 990 “Henry Oakley” at the Doncaster Works Open Day, July 2003
Our Phellap

The class also represented a departure from British tradition in other respects, most notably with its externally mounted cylinders. The class was initially only named after the first machine built with the number 990 and later got the designation C1. To distinguish them from the larger boiler design of 1902, the locomotives are generally known simply as “C1 (small boiler)” or “Small Atlantics”. Because of the American influence, they were also nicknamed “Klondykes” after the Klondike Gold Rush. A single example, number 271, was built in 1902 with four small simple acting cylinders.

Schematic drawing
Schematic drawing
Locomotive Magazine, October 1900

A total of 22 pieces were made. The locomotives easily reached 90 mph, which proved difficult in everyday use on routes such as between London and Doncaster. At some speeds, it was often found that the cylinders were too small to implement the boiler's output. This led to unfavorable valve gear settings during operation, which led to high steam consumption.

In 1909, number 988 was the only one equipped with a superheater according to the Schmidt patent. The boiler pressure was reduced from 175 to 160 psi and in return the cylinder diameter was increased from 19 to 20 inches. From 1914 all other machines were converted with the Robinson superheater. From 1923, the machines were listed as class C2 by the LNER. The decommissioning began as early as 1935 and lasted until 1946. Today only number 990, which was built first, still exists, which bears the name “Henry Oakley” after the former managing director of the Great Northern

VariantproductionsuperheatedNo. 271
General
Built1898-19031909, 1914-19251902
ManufacturerDoncaster
Axle config4-4-2 (Atlantic) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase26 ft 4 in26 ft 9 in
Fixed wheelbase6 ft 10 in6 ft 10 1/2 in
Total wheelbase48 ft 3 in
Service weight129,941 lbs134,400 lbs131,600 lbs
Adhesive weight69,548 lbs72,128 lbs73,360 lbs
Total weight221,557 lbs226,016 lbs217,840 lbs
Axle load35,750 lbs37,184 lbs38,080 lbs
Water capacity4,407 us gal
Fuel capacity11,200 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power800 hp (597 kW)1,050 hp (783 kW)775 hp (578 kW)
Optimal speed32 mph38 mph29 mph
Top speed90 mph
Starting effort16,091 lbf17,785 lbf17,163 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter78 in
Boiler pressure175 psi170 psi175 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 18 3/4 x 24 intwo, 20 x 24 infour, 15 x 20 in
Boiler
Grate area26.8 sq ft24.5 sq ft
Firebox area140 sq ft137 sq ft140.5 sq ft
Tube heating area1,302 sq ft1,027 sq ft1,162.5 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,442 sq ft1,164 sq ft1,303 sq ft
Superheater area343 sq ft
Total heating area1,442 sq ft1,507 sq ft1,303 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
express
Henry Alfred Ivatt
last changed: 06/2022
Great Northern (UK) class C1 (large boiler)
London & North Eastern class C1
Great Britain | 1902 | 94 produced
No. 251
No. 251
J.R. Howden, „The Boys' Book of Locomotives”

As a development of the C1 with a small boiler, Ivatt had number 251 built in 1902, which was also an Atlantic. The most striking difference was the significantly larger boiler, which had a diameter of 5 ft 6 in instead of 4 ft 8 in. Based on the American model, its firebox stood on the frame behind the coupled axles and was significantly wider. This should serve the goal of being able to produce large amounts of steam even at the highest speeds.

The prototype had only two cylinders, slightly larger than those of the smaller Atlantic. The slide valves were soon exchanged for piston valves, improving performance. Initially 80 production pieces of this version were built between 1904 and 1908. Ten more followed in 1910, which had a factory superheater and operated with a boiler pressure of just 150 instead of 170 psi. The earlier pieces also got a superheater later.

Individual examples were built with four compound cylinders and a 200 psi pressure boiler as a trial. Number 292, which was already built in 1904, made the start. As a compound locomotive of the De Glehn type, it had external high-pressure cylinders that drove the rear coupled axle and internal low-pressure cylinders that drove the front coupled axle. The valve gear was designed in such a way that it could start up as a four-cylinder engine with simple steam expansion and then be switched to compound action. This locomotive had a boiler pressure of 200 psi and was in service until 1927.

No. 1421 with four-cylinder compound engine
No. 1421 with four-cylinder compound engine
Locomotive Magazine, March 1908

Similar to the 292 was the 1421, also built at Doncaster in 1907. It had a similar engine, but larger low-pressure cylinders. After receiving a superheater in 1914, it was converted into a simple two-cylinder engine in 1920 and thus joined the 91 examples of the production version.

An exception was number 1300, built by the Vulcan Foundry in 1905, which like the small Atlantic had a long, narrow firebox. The arrangement of the cylinders corresponded to the other two four-cylinder locomotives, but the valve gear differed. It had an automatic starting device, which initially worked with two cylinders with simple steam expansion and automatically switched to compound operation with all four cylinders as speed increased. Like the 1421, it received a superheater in 1914 and was converted to a two-cylinder engine in 1917.

The 279, which had been part of the series production, was converted into a four-cylinder locomotives in 1915. Here, however, simple steam expansion was still used, which is why all cylinders now had a diameter of 15 instead of 19 inches. It remained in service in this form until 1938, when it received two new 20-inch diameter cylinders from the K2 class Mogul

Schematical drawing of No. 292
Schematical drawing of No. 292
Locomotive Magazine, May 1908

Since the production version already provided very good service, no further special versions were built. Like their predecessors, they easily reached 90 mph and, in contrast to these, were able to pull up to 500 long tons at high speeds. The LNER also referred to them as class C1, while the smaller C1s now became C2s. Although one machine was equipped with a booster in 1923 to increase the tractive effort, the tractive effort of the other machines was apparently still sufficient and so this was later removed again.

Regular service on the heaviest express trains ended in the 1920s with the introduction of the A1 class Pacifics. The C1 now tended to pull lighter express trains and stood in for failed Pacifics. Especially in the latter area of operation, they often proved that they could also take over these trains without any problems and thus provided train services that were actually significantly higher than the services originally intended for them. From about 1950 they mainly only pulled regular passenger trains before they were retired between 1954 and 1960.

Variantproduction variantNo. 292No. 1300No. 1421
General
Built1902-1910190419051907
ManufacturerDoncasterVulcan FoundryDoncaster
Axle config4-4-2 (Atlantic) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase26 ft 4 in28 ft 4 in26 ft 4 in
Fixed wheelbase6 ft 10 in8 ft 6 in6 ft 10 in
Service weight153,215 lbs153,440 lbs159,040 lbs154,785 lbs
Adhesive weight80,640 lbs82,880 lbs80,640 lbs
Total weight244,830 lbs245,055 lbs250,655 lbs156,130 lbs
Axle load40,320 lbs40,880 lbs41,440 lbs40,880 lbs
Water capacity4,203 us gal
Fuel capacity14,560 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,050 hp (783 kW)1,250 hp (932 kW)1,350 hp (1,007 kW)1,200 hp (895 kW)
Optimal speed43 mph84 mph54 mph75 mph
Top speed90 mph
Starting effort15,649 lbf9,527 lbf15,803 lbf10,252 lbf
with start valve11,432 lbf18,964 lbf12,302 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter80 in
Boiler pressure170 psi200 psi
Expansion typesimplecompound
Cylinderstwo, 19 x 24 infour, HP: 13 x 20 in
and LP: 16 x 26 in
four, HP: 14 x 26 in
and LP: 23 x 26 in
four, HP: 13 x 20 in
and LP: 18 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area31 sq ft
Firebox area141 sq ft170 sq ft143.6 sq ft
Tube heating area2,500 sq ft2,515 sq ft2,351 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,641 sq ft2,685 sq ft2,494.6 sq ft
Total heating area2,641 sq ft2,685 sq ft2,494.6 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
express
De Glehn compound
Henry Alfred Ivatt
last changed: 06/2022
Great Northern (UK) class H1
Great Britain | 1899 | 20 produced
Railway and Locomotive Engineering, March 1900

The obsolescence of the existing freight locomotives on the Great Northern shortly before the turn of the century faced the problem that there was no free capacity in the local locomotive factories. Neither the own workshops in Doncaster, nor the commercial British factories were able to deliver any significant number in a timely manner. So they turned to Baldwin in the USA, who developed a freight locomotive for use in England.

While in Great Britain at that time ordinary freight locomotives were normally manufactured with a 0-6-0 wheel arrangement, mainline locomotives in the USA were always designed with a leading axle or bogie. Thus the new locomotive was a lightly built Mogul, which was delivered a total of 20 times in 1899. It corresponded mainly to American design principles and got a four-axle tender with bogies. Typically British features were the placement of the sandbox under the running boards and a British-design chimney.

Schematic drawing
Schematic drawing
Locomotive Magazine, November 1900

During operation, a somewhat high coal consumption and a very high consumption of lubricating oil were noticed. Despite the leading axle, their running was considered unsteady and due to the light construction, the continuous steaming performance did not have any significant advantages compared to earlier freight locomotives. The experimental use with London suburban trains from King's Cross did not bring convincing results. Thus, the decommissioning took place between 1909 and 1915, when enough freight locomotives from indigenous production were available.

General
Built1899
ManufacturerBaldwin
Axle config2-6-0 (Mogul) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase22 ft 8 in
Fixed wheelbase14 ft 9 in
Total wheelbase51 ft 7 in
Service weight100,700 lbs
Adhesive weight85,500 lbs
Total weight194,700 lbs
Axle load28,500 lbs
Water capacity4,203 us gal
Fuel capacity11,200 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power650 hp (485 kW)
Optimal speed22 mph
Starting effort18,808 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter61.5 in
Boiler pressure175 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 18 x 24 in
Boiler
Grate area16.7 sq ft
Firebox area120 sq ft
Tube heating area1,260 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,380 sq ft
Total heating area1,380 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
freight
last changed: 07/2022
Great Northern (UK) class H4
London & North Eastern class K3
Great Britain | 1920 | 193 produced
K3/3 No. 61883 in August 1953 at Doncaster with a load of fish
K3/3 No. 61883 in August 1953 at Doncaster with a load of fish
Ben Brooksbank / Up Fish train entering Doncaster
General
Built1920-1937
ManufacturerDoncaster, Darlington, Armstrong Whitworth, Robert Stephenson & Co., North British
Axle config2-6-0 (Mogul) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase25 ft 2 in
Fixed wheelbase16 ft 3 in
Service weight160,610 lbs
Adhesive weight134,400 lbs
Total weight257,155 lbs
Axle load44,800 lbs
Water capacity4,203 us gal
Fuel capacitycoal
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,000 hp (746 kW)
Optimal speed21 mph
Starting effort30,032 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter68 in
Boiler pressure180 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylindersthree, 18 1/2 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area28 sq ft
Firebox area182 sq ft
Tube heating area1,901 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,083 sq ft
Total heating area2,083 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
passenger
freight
last changed: 09 2023
Great Northern (UK) classes J5 and J4
London & North Eastern classes J4 and J3
Great Britain | 1901 | 322 produced
LNER No. 4142 in September 1947 in Immingham depot
LNER No. 4142 in September 1947 in Immingham depot
Ben Brooksbank / An ex-GN 0-6-0 at Immingham Locomotive Depot

The design of the J5 goes back to the design of Patrick Stirling's “Standard Goods” which were built from 1867 and are known as the Class J7. As a direct development, the J6 was built from 1873, in which the boiler diameter was increased by two inches from 4 feet and 1/2 inch, the cylinder diameter grew from 24 to 26 inches and which now had splashers around the wheels.

After the last ten J6s received other 4ft 5in diameter boilers, 133 new locomotives were built in 1903 with these boilers and designated J5. 125 of the 170 J6 were then also converted to the J5. Twelve almost identical locomotives went to the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway. The J5s could often be found double-headed in front of heavy coal trains running non stop from Peterborough to London. In some cases, however, they were even used in front of local trains. During the First World War, 26 engines were drafted by the ROD and taken to France. They received a condensation device to reduce the visible vapor plume, which was removed again when they returned to Great Britain.

From 1912 Nigel Gresley began rebuilding the J5 into a new class called the J4. A new boiler was used, which now had a diameter of 4 feet and 8 inches and was actually intended for the 4-4-0 class D2 locomotives. Prior to the grouping, 71 examples were rebuilt, which then became the J3 in the newly formed LNER, while the remaining J5s became the new class J4. By 1929, the LNER had rebuilt a further 82 units. During this time, the task area of the locomotives shifted to shunting tasks and local freight trains, since more powerful locomotives were now available for transporting heavy freight trains on main lines. Gradually the number of locomotives was reduced, with some being sold to coal mines. A few examples made it to British Railways in 1948, the last unconverted being retired in 1951 and the last converted in 1954.

VariantJ5rebuilt J4
General
Built1901-19031912-1929
ManufacturerDoncaster
Axle config0-6-0 (Six-coupled) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase15 ft 6 in
Fixed wheelbase15 ft 6 in
Total wheelbase36 ft 11 1/2 in
Service weight92,400 lbs95,424 lbs
Adhesive weight92,400 lbs95,424 lbs
Total weight170,576 lbs181,664 lbs
Axle load34,048 lbs35,840 lbs
Fuel capacitycoal
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power600 hp (447 kW)650 hp (485 kW)
Optimal speed21 mph22 mph
Starting effort18,558 lbf19,104 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter62 in
Boiler pressure170 psi175 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 17 1/2 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area16.3 sq ft
Firebox area103 sq ft105 sq ft
Tube heating area1,016 sq ft1,130 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,119 sq ft1,235 sq ft
Total heating area1,119 sq ft1,235 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
freight
Henry Alfred Ivatt
last changed: 09/2022
Great Northern (UK) class K
London & North Eastern classes Q1, Q1s and Q2
Great Britain | 1901 | 55 produced
Locomotive Magazine, June 1901

To haul heavy coal trains from Peterborough to London, Ivatt developed the K class, which was soon dubbed the “Long Tom” because of its longer boiler compared to the six-coupled locomotives. The dimensions of this boiler roughly corresponded to the class 990 or C1 (small boiler) Atlantics. It could generate enough power to haul 60 full wagons of coal. This corresponded to a train weight of 1,052 long tons compared to 681 long tons for the previous, six-coupled freight locomotives. With the cylinder dimensions required for this, it was still possible to arrange the cylinders within the frame. From 1901 a total of 55 engines were made.

Although the engines could handle the required train weights without any problems, the high consumption of coal was noticeable. Therefore, from 1908 almost all engines were superheated, with two different variants being created. The first one, later designated by the LNER as the Q1s class, retained the original cylinder dimensions and piston slides. The other, which later became the LNER's Q2 class, used cylinders with a diameter of 21 instead of 20 inches and piston valves instead of slide valves. Both variants had Schmidt-type superheaters and both had the fully automatic Klinger-type lubrication required for superheated steam operation.

In 1913 number 445 was fitted with the Doncaster superheater developed by Gresley. No other engines with this superheater followed. From 1923, it was listed as class Q3 by the LNER due to the different performance characteristics. In 1914, number 420 was fitted with a significantly larger boiler. Since the other boilers of this type were finally used for the 2-6-0 machines of the K2 class, the 420 remained a one-off.

No. 420 with bigger boiler
No. 420 with bigger boiler
Locomotive Magazine, December 1918

In the 1920's the superheaters were replaced with the Robinson type which were standard on the LNER. With the introduction of the 2-8-0 locomotives of classes O1 and O2, the engines were no longer needed for transporting coal to London and were increasingly used in more northerly areas. During this time they were nicknamed “Sea Pigs” because of their high water consumption compared to other locomotives. From 1926 the retirement began, whereby the few locomotives with wet steam boilers were affected first. By 1935 all Q1s and Q2s were gone and the only Q3 lasted until 1937.

Variantas builtrebuilt Q1srebuilt Q2rebuilt No. 420
General
Built1901-19091908-19201914
ManufacturerDoncaster
Axle config0-8-0 (Eight-coupled) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase41 ft 4 in
Fixed wheelbase17 ft 8 in
Service weight122,304 lbs124,768 lbs130,480 lbs135,408 lbs
Adhesive weight122,304 lbs124,768 lbs130,480 lbs135,408 lbs
Total weight213,920 lbs216,384 lbs227,024 lbs231,952 lbs
Axle load33,572 lbs33,600 lbs34,680 lbs36,848 lbs
Water capacity3,700 us gal3,700 us gal
Fuel capacitycoal12,320 lbs (coal)coal12,320 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power800 hp (597 kW)900 hp (671 kW)1,000 hp (746 kW)
Optimal speed18 mph21 mph19 mph22 mph
Starting effort28,414 lbf26,836 lbf29,586 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter56 in
Boiler pressure180 psi170 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 20 x 26 intwo, 21 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area24.5 sq ft24 sq ft
Firebox area136.8 sq ft135.5 sq ft144 sq ft
Tube heating area1,302.3 sq ft981.5 sq ft1,523 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,439 sq ft1,117 sq ft1,667 sq ft
Superheater area254 sq ft403 sq ft
Total heating area1,439 sq ft1,371 sq ft2,070 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
freight
Henry Alfred Ivatt
last changed: 06/2022
Great Northern (UK) class L1
London & North Eastern class R1
Great Britain | 1903 | 11 produced
J.R. Howden, The Boys' Book of Locomotives

The L1 was a Great Northern Railway tank locomotive designed by Henry Ivatt for running commuter trains on the Metropolitan City Lines in London. Although four coupled axles and a driving wheel diameter of only 4 feet 8 inches looked more like a freight locomotive, this design was chosen to achieve the fastest possible acceleration. The boiler and the cylinders were largely the same as the eight-coupled class K goods locomotives. Since the area of operation was in the city and partly in tunnels, a facility for condensing the steam was used. This was recognizable by the pipes from the smokebox to the water tanks.

At first only a prototype was built and it quickly became apparent that the axle load was too high. This can be explained by the fact that the weight of the large boiler was additionally increased by the water reserves and the condensation device. That is why the ten other production engines were created with a slightly smaller boiler, cylinders adapted to it and reduced water supplies. These eleven engines were used in passenger service as planned, but they do not seem to have performed particularly well. While they demonstrated the ability for very rapid acceleration to 30 mph, they did not significantly exceed 40 mph

Schematic drawing with dimensions
Schematic drawing with dimensions
Locomotive Magazine, August 1903

As the locomotives had great pulling power, 30 more were built in 1905 and 1906 for use on freight trains in West Riding of Yorkshire. In 1907 the eleven others from London were also transferred there. Spread over the years from 1909 to 1926, the locomotives were given a larger boiler that corresponded to the original plans. A superheater was installed on seven and the boiler pressure was reduced from 175 to 170 psi. Locomotive number 131 was experimentally converted to oil firing. From 1923 they became class R1 at the LNER. From 1927 the first engines were retired. During this time there was a proposal to convert the locos to diesel powered compressed air locos. A 400 hp diesel engine would have filled a tank with compressed air, which would then have acted on the existing cylinders. However, these plans were not implemented and in 1934 the last engine was retired.

Variantprototypeproductionsuperheated
General
Built19031904-19061916
ManufacturerDoncaster
Axle config0-8-2T (River Irt) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length38 ft 7 1/4 in
Wheelbase25 ft 2 in
Fixed wheelbase17 ft 8 in
Service weight176,960 lbs157,360 lbs161,728 lbs
Adhesive weight147,840 lbs130,480 lbs135,296 lbs
Axle load38,080 lbs34,160 lbs
Water capacity2,402 us gal1,801 us gal
Fuel capacity9,856 lbs (coal)7,392 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power780 hp (582 kW)650 hp (485 kW)950 hp (708 kW)
Optimal speed18 mph19 mph23 mph
Starting effort27,874 lbf22,376 lbf26,169 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter55.5 in56 in
Boiler pressure175 psi170 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 20 x 26 intwo, 18 x 26 intwo, 19 3/4 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area24.5 sq ft17.8 sq ft24.5 sq ft
Firebox area136.7 sq ft107.7 sq ft135.5 sq ft
Tube heating area1,302.3 sq ft936.3 sq ft1,027.5 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,439 sq ft1,044 sq ft1,163 sq ft
Superheater area254 sq ft
Total heating area1,439 sq ft1,044 sq ft1,417 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
passenger
tank locomotive
condensator
Henry Alfred Ivatt
last changed: 04/2022
Great Northern (UK) class N1
Great Britain | 1906 | 56 produced
No. 190 as built
No. 190 as built
Locomotive Magazine, May 1907
No. 1560 after the weight distribution adjustments
No. 1560 after the weight distribution adjustments
Locomotive Magazine, March 1908
Schematical drawing
Schematical drawing
Locomotive Magazine, May 1907

After the L1, Ivatt developed another tank locomotive for the GNR for use on the city lines of London. In order to be better suited for higher speeds, there were only three coupled axles with 5 ft 8 in wheels. As with the L1, the first example of the N1 was too heavy for the Metropolitan Lines. In the following examples, the axle load on the coupled axles was reduced by placing more weight on the trailing axle. This was done by moving them further back and shortening the front water tanks and accommodating more water behind the cab. A total of 56 units were produced by 1912, all but six of which were again equipped with a condensation device. The latter six were used in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Initially, most N1s remained in service in London. During World War I, two were sold to the War Office, one of which was used to build an armored train. In the years that followed, superheaters of the Schmidt type were installed in eleven units. From 1920 Gresleys N2s replaced the N1s in passenger train service. The N1s continued to operate in north London, but mostly to haul empty passenger coaches and freight trains. After the locomotives had come to the LNER, the remaining ones were fitted with Robinson type superheaters and the eleven that had already been converted were also refitted. Gradually more locomotives came to Yorkshire where the condensing facilities were removed. Most ended up with British Railways, the last being retired in 1959.

Variantas builtsuperheated
General
Built1906-1912
ManufacturerDoncaster
Axle config0-6-2T (Webb) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length36 ft 7 3/8 in
Wheelbase23 ft 9 in
Fixed wheelbase16 ft 3 in
Service weight147,504 lbs
Adhesive weight115,024 lbs
Axle load40,320 lbs
Water capacity1,922 us gal
Fuel capacity8,960 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power800 hp (597 kW)875 hp (652 kW)
Optimal speed28 mph31 mph
Starting effort17,901 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter68 in
Boiler pressure170 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 18 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area20.8 sq ft19 sq ft
Firebox area119.9 sq ft118 sq ft
Tube heating area1,130.1 sq ft880 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,250 sq ft998 sq ft
Superheater area207 sq ft
Total heating area1,250 sq ft1,205 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
passenger
tank locomotive
condensator
Henry Alfred Ivatt
last changed: 02/2022
Great Northern (UK) class N2
London & North Eastern class N2
Great Britain | 1920 | 107 produced
The surviving machine with GNR number 1744 in Bridgnorth in 2012
The surviving machine with GNR number 1744 in Bridgnorth in 2012
Hugh Llewelyn
Locomotive Magazine, January 1921
Schematical drawing with dimensions
Schematical drawing with dimensions
Locomotive Magazine, January 1921

As a replacement for Ivatt's N1, Nigel Gresley developed the N2, which was again a tank locomotive with a 0-6-2T wheel arrangement and a driver diameter of 5 feet 8 inches. They were superheated from the factory and weighed a little more than the N1. Because the valves were mounted on top of the inside cylinders, the boiler had to be mounted relatively high. This necessitated a flat chimney to fit the Metropolitan Line's loading gauge. The first 60 examples were built in 1920 and 1921 and operated in north London, with Kings Cross as their home station. They always had enough to do, as new residential areas were constantly being developed in the north and these were connected via Kings Cross. Typical wagon material consisted of the four-part passenger wagons known as “quad-art”, which were connected via Jakobs bogies and from which one or two sets were usually pulled.

After the British railway administrations were grouped, the LNER had a further 47 units built between 1925 and 1929. These consisted of different versions, some of which did not have condensation devices and had different braking systems. These were used in Scotland on the Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee suburban railways. Speed limits sometimes had to be introduced on winding routes because the engines had a high center of gravity. Over time there have been several conversions in which various forms of superheaters have been installed. All examples built were still in use when British Railways was formed in 1948. Gradually, diesel railcars took over the tasks of the N2, so that they gradually disappeared between 1955 and 1962. One example is still available today and is roadworthy. It has had the GNR's apple-green livery since 2009.

General
Built1920-1929
ManufacturerDoncaster, Beyer, Peacock & Co., Yorkshire Engine Co., Hawthorn, Leslie & Co.
Axle config0-6-2T (Webb) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length37 ft 10 3/4 in
Wheelbase23 ft 9 in
Fixed wheelbase16 ft 3 in
Service weight157,472 lbs
Adhesive weight124,881 lbs
Axle load42,560 lbs
Water capacity2,402 us gal
Fuel capacity8,960 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power850 hp (634 kW)
Optimal speed27 mph
Starting effort19,945 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter68 in
Boiler pressure170 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 19 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area19 sq ft
Firebox area118 sq ft
Tube heating area880 sq ft
Evaporative heating area998 sq ft
Superheater area207 sq ft
Total heating area1,205 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
passenger
tank locomotive
condensator
Herbert Nigel Gresley
last changed: 02/2022
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