A1 locomotive

A1 locomotive DEFAULT

The Yorkshire Pullman

In 1990 a group of people came together to share an extraordinary ambition – to construct a brand new Peppercorn A1 Pacific.  They formed The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and after nineteen years of incredible effort that locomotive, No. 60163 Tornado, moved under its own power for the first time in 2008.
This website tells the story of Tornado’s construction, an amazing tale of cooperation, skill and sheer hard graft which defied the critics who said it could never be done.  The A1 Trust has over 2500 regular supporters (covenantors) who have all played some part, small or large, in guaranteeing that we have steam on the main line in the 21st Century.

Tornado is now fulfilling the dream, hauling specials on the mainline and giving joy to thousands of passengers and linesiders who want to witness the legend in action.  You can be part of this by travelling with us or by becoming a covenantor, helping us to raise the funds to keep the dream alive.

Sours: https://www.a1steam.com/

LNER Peppercorn Class A1


Doncaster Works
Darlington Works


2008 (60163)

Number built

49 (original, plus 1 completed 2008)


locomotive dimensions


4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)


60114-60162, 60163

Number scrapped

Original 49 withdrawn and scrapped, 1 built in 2008

The London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) Peppercorn Class A1 is a type of express passenger steam locomotive. Forty-nine Peppercorn Class A1s were built to the design of Arthur Peppercorn (who was the last Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the LNER) during the early British Railways era. They were the most reliable engines on the North Eastern Region, but all were withdrawn and scrapped with the discontinuation of steam, with none of the original locomotives surviving into preservation. In 2008, a brand new 50th Peppercorn A1 locomotive, 60163 Tornado, was completed.


Most of the former LNER Class A1 locomotives designed by Sir Nigel Gresley had been rebuilt as LNER Class A3 locomotives prior to this class being conceived. The few straggling LNER Class A1 locomotives that remained unrebuilt during the tenure of Peppercorn's predecessor, Edward Thompson, were redesignated by him as Class A10s in preparation for the construction of his new Class A1 locomotives. Thompson rebuilt the pioneer LNER pacific Great Northern in 1945; originally this was the new Class A1, but the rebuild was not repeated. Instead, initiated by Thompson but largely taken forward by his successor Arthur Peppercorn, Great Northern was designated Class A1/1, and a new class of Peppercorn A1s ordered.

The locomotives were designed to cope with the heaviest passenger trains in the post-war period on the East Coast Main Line (London– York – Newcastle – Edinburgh – Aberdeen) which consisted normally of trains with up to 15 coaches and up to 550 tons. The Peppercorn A1s were able to pull such a train on the flat at a speed of 60–70 mph (95-110 km/h). Like previous LNER pacifics, the class had a 3-cylinder arrangement. The chimney system was of the type Double-Kylchap.

Original locomotives[]


The new A1s were ordered by the LNER but delivered after that company had been nationalised to form part of British Railways at the start of 1948. The 49 engines were built at the Eastern Region's Doncaster and Darlington works between 1948 and 1949.

Nos Date built Works Order no.[1]Notes
60114-22 1948 Doncaster 382
60123 1949 Doncaster
60124-9 1949 Doncaster 383
60130-43 1948 Darlington
60144-52 1949 Darlington
60153-7 1949 Doncaster 388 Built with Timkenroller bearings on all axles
60158-62 1949 Doncaster

Withdrawal and preservation[]

By summer of 1966 all 49 class members had gone for scrap. The last to be withdrawn from stock was No. 60145 Saint Mungo after a working life of just 17 years. 60145 Saint Mungo was planned to be preserved by Geoff Drury, however, it ultimately was unsuccessful and none of the original locomotives were preserved.

Year No. withdrawn Nos
1962 6 60115/22/23/35/37/53
1963 6 60136/44/59-62
1964 11 60114/9/20/5/39/41/3/7/9/50/8
1965 24 60116-8/21/26-34/38/40/2/6/8/51/2/4-7
1966 2 60124/45

List of original locomotives[]

Below is a list of original Peppercorn A1 Locomotives

No. Name Built Works Withdrawn Notes
60114 W. P. AllenAugust 1948 Doncaster December 1964
60115 Meg MerriliesSeptember 1948 Doncaster November 1962
60116 Hal o' the WyndOctober 1948 Doncaster June 1965
60117 Bois RousselOctober 1948 Doncaster June 1965
60118 Archibald SturrockNovember 1948 Doncaster October 1965
60119 Patrick StirlingNovember 1948 Doncaster May 1964
60120 KittiwakeDecember 1948 Doncaster January 1964
60121 SilurianDecember 1948 Doncaster October 1965
60122 CurlewDecember 1948 Doncaster December 1962
60123 H.A. IvattFebruary 1949 Doncaster October 1962
60124 KenilworthMarch 1949 Doncaster March 1966
60125 Scottish UnionApril 1949 Doncaster July 1964
60126 Sir Vincent RavenApril 1949 Doncaster January 1965
60127 Wilson WorsdellMay 1949 Doncaster June 1965
60128 BongraceMay 1949 Doncaster January 1965
60129 Guy ManneringJune 1949 Doncaster October 1965
60130 KestrelSeptember 1948 Darlington October 1965
60131 OspreyOctober 1948 Darlington October 1965
60132 MarmionOctober 1948 Darlington June 1965
60133 PommernOctober 1948 Darlington June 1965
60134 FoxhunterNovember 1948 Darlington October 1965
60135 Madge WildfireNovember 1948 Darlington November 1962
60136 AlcazarNovember 1948 Darlington May 1963
60137 RedgauntletDecember 1948 Darlington October 1962
60138 BoswellDecember 1948 Darlington October 1965
60139 Sea EagleDecember 1948 Darlington June 1964
60140 BalmoralDecember 1948 Darlington January 1965
60141 AbbotsfordDecember 1948 Darlington October 1964
60142 Edward FletcherFebruary 1949 Darlington June 1965
60143 Sir Walter ScottFebruary 1949 Darlington May 1964
60144 King's CourierMarch 1949 Darlington April 1963
60145 Saint MungoMarch 1949 Darlington June 1966 Candidate for preservation
60146 PeregrineApril 1949 Darlington October 1965
60147 North EasternApril 1949 Darlington August 1964
60148 AboyeurMay 1949 Darlington June 1965
60149 AmadisMay 1949 Darlington June 1964
60150 WillbrookJune 1949 Darlington October 1964
60151 MidlothianJune 1949 Darlington November 1965
60152 HolyroodJuly 1949 Darlington June 1965
60153 FlamboyantAugust 1949 Doncaster November 1962
60154 Bon AccordSeptember 1949 Doncaster October 1965
60155 BordererSeptember 1949 Doncaster October 1965
60156 Great CentralOctober 1949 Doncaster May 1965
60157 Great EasternNovember 1949 Doncaster January 1965
60158 AberdonianNovember 1949 Doncaster December 1964
60159 Bonnie DundeeNovember 1949 Doncaster October 1963
60160 Auld ReekieDecember 1949 Doncaster December 1963
60161 North BritishDecember 1949 Doncaster October 1963
60162 Saint JohnstounDecember 1949 Doncaster October 1963

Notes on names[]

The names of the A1s were an eclectic mix including:

  • Racehorses: Bois Roussel, Silurian, Scottish Union, Bongrace, Pommern, Foxhunter, Alcazar, Boswell, King's Courier, Aboyeur, Amadis, Willbrook, Flamboyant
  • Names of people: W. P. Allen (an LNER locomotive driver who became a member of the Railway Executive in 1948), Archibald Sturrock, Patrick Stirling, H. A. Ivatt, Sir Vincent Raven, Wilson Worsdell, Edward Fletcher (Locomotive Superintendents of pre-grouping railways), Sir Walter Scott, Saint Mungo
  • Names related to the works of Sir Walter Scott: Meg Merrilies, Hal o’ the Wynd, Kenilworth, Guy Mannering, Marmion, Borderer, Madge Wildfire, Redgauntlet, Bonnie Dundee. Some of these names had previously been used on NBR J class locomotives
  • Pre-grouping railway companies: North Eastern, Great Central, Great Eastern, North British
  • Birds: Kittiwake, Curlew, Kestrel, Osprey, Sea Eagle, Peregrine
  • Place-related names: Balmoral, Abbotsford (Sir Walter Scott's house), Midlothian, Holyrood, Bon Accord (motto of Aberdeen), Auld Reekie (a soubriquet for Edinburgh), Saint Johnstoun (an old name for Perth), Aberdonian

No. 60163 Tornado[]

Main article: 60163 Tornado

None of the original 49 Peppercorn A1s survived into preservation, however in 2008 a brand new 50th A1 based on the Peppercorn blueprints, 60163 Tornado, was completed as the evolved member of the class.

Accidents and incidents[]

  • On 5 June 1950, locomotive No. 60153 Flamboyant was hauling an express passenger train which was derailed at Tollerton, North Yorkshire due to heat buckled track.
  • On 14 April 2018, locomotive No. 60163 Tornado was hauling an excursion train named "The Ebor Flyer" from London King's Cross to York. While traveling at 90mph around Sandy, south of Peterborough, the locomotive's inside motion failed.


Bachmann Branchline and Hornby make models in OO gauge, Graham Farish produce a model in N gauge and Accucraft (UK) make a live steam model in gauge 1.

Sours: https://locomotive.fandom.com/wiki/LNER_Peppercorn_Class_A1
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The Peppercorn A1 Pacifics

Peppercorn A1 BR No. 60121 'Silurian' at Doncaster in 1957 (PH.Groom)

The fast A1 class was an important part of Thompson's standardisation scheme, but most of his Pacific development efforts went towards the A2/3 (and related rebuilds) before he retired in 1946. In fact, the only A1 built during his tenure was the prototype rebuild of A1/1 Great Northern. Planning for the new A1 locomotives did start before Thompson's retirement, but it was slow. With his retirement imminent, it would appear that the drawing office staff were deliberately slow in drawing up plans, and only started detailed drawings for the rear part of the new locomotives. Almost as soon as Peppercorn was in control, work commenced on the front of the locomotive design. Over these years, the overall plans changed from a locomotive resembling the A1/1, to one with a standard boiler and with a conventional position for the front bogie. A number of the draft drawings included streamlining, but this was never adopted.

In May 1948, it was decided to fit the Kylchap exhaust arrangement. As with the Peppercorn A2s, there was insufficient space in the smoke box for both the Kylchap exhaust and the self-cleaning apparatus. Hence, they never suffered from the poor steaming which the non-Kylchap A2s suffered from.

The first A1, No. 60114, entered traffic in August 1948. A total of 49 were built in four batches between 1948 and 1949. A 50th is currently being built by the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust.

Peppercorn A1 BR No. 60138 'Boswell' at York in 1964 (M.Morant)

Five of the A1s (Nos. 60153-7) were fitted with Timken roller bearings on all of their axles. These had already been tried successfully on some of the A4 tenders. These bearings were a trial with the intention of increasing the period between heavy repairs. This was successful, but was never expanded to include other members of the class.

One problem with the Kylchap exhaust arrangement, was that the sound of the ejectors whilst standing in the station was considerably louder than tannoy announcements. Three silencers were fitted experimentally, and were found to work. Similar silences were then recommended for the remaining Peppercorn A1s and the Kylchap-fitted Peppercorn A2s.

Early on, there were often problems with live steam reaching the cab and causing significant discomfort for the enginemen. It took a few years to track down the various sources, but these were fixed.

Peppercorn A1 BR No. 60127 'Wilson Worsdell' at Tyne Dock weeks before being broken up (A.Willis)

The A1s were quickly built, and were quickly accepted by staff who had been suffering shortages of locomotives and repair materials since World War II. They started work with heavy express passenger trains.

Withdrawal started with No. 60123 H.A.Ivatt in October 1962 after an accident. The last Peppercorn A1s were withdrawn in 1966.

Technical Details

Locomotives Nos. 60153-7 were fitted by Timken roller bearings and were hence slightly heavier. These had a total weight of 155tons 2cwt, and maximum axle load of 22tons 7cwt.

Cylinders (x3):19x26in.
Piston Valves:10in. diameter
Boiler:Max. Diameter:6ft 5in
Diagram No.:118
Heating Surface:Total:3141.04 sq.ft.
Firebox:245.30 sq.ft.
Superheater:679.67 sq.ft.
Tubes:1211.57 sq.ft. (121x 2.25in)
Flues:1004.5 sq.ft. (43x 5.25in)
Grate Area:50 sq.ft.
Wheels:Leading:3ft 2in
Coupled:6ft 8in
Trailing:3ft 8in
Tender:4ft 2in
Tractive Effort:37,397lb(@ 85% boiler pressure)
Wheelbase:Total:62ft 5.25in
Engine:36ft 3in
Weight (full):Total:164 tons 9cwt
Engine:104 tons 2cwt
Tender:60 tons 7cwt
Max. Axle Load:22 tons
Water Capacity:5000 gallons
Coal Capacity:9 tons


The last Peppercorn A1 was withdrawn in 1966, and none survived into preservation. However, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust have built a Peppercorn A1 from new. As the 50th Peppercorn A1, it will follow the number sequence of its predecessors and be numbered 60163. It has been named Tornado after the RAF aircraft of the same name. Tornado turned its first wheel in 2008, and hauled its first excursion on 31st January 2009.


David Andrews Locomotive Kits, and Right Price Railway both produce kits of the Peppercorn A1 for O gauge (7mm scale).

Bachmann produce a ready-to-run model of the Peppercorn A1 for OO gauge.

DJH and Proscale also produce kits for OO gauge. PDK Models have produced a OO gauge kit in the past but current availability is unknown. Crownline used to produce a OO gauge kit, but this is no longer available.

Foxhunter produce an N-gauge kit that fits the Bachmann/Farish A3 chassis.


Although fully designed before Nationalisation, all of the Peppercorn A1s were built by British Railways.


Thank you to the P.H. Groom collection for permission to use the above photograph of BR No. 60121 Silurian.

Thank you to the Mike Morant Collection for the photograph of BR No. 60138 Boswell.

Thank you to Alan Willis for the photograph of BR No. 60127 Wilson Worsdell at Tyne Dock at withdrawal.

Sours: https://www.lner.info/locos/A/a1peppercorn.php
Unboxing the Hornby Class A1 'Woolwinder' (Gloss Finish)

LNER Peppercorn Class A1

This article is about the locomotives built in 1948–49. For other LNER Class A1 locomotives, see LNER Class A1. For the new locomotive completed in 2008, see LNER Peppercorn Class A1 60163 Tornado.

LNER Peppercorn Class A1
Steam locomotive with four small carrying wheels at the front, six large driving wheels, two small carrying wheels below the cab, and a tender

60155 Borderer by the coaling stage at Gateshead depot in April 1964

 • Whyte4-6-2
Leading dia.3 ft 2 in (0.965 m)
Driver dia.6 ft 8 in (2.032 m)
Trailing dia.3 ft 8 in (1.118 m)
Length72 ft 11+3⁄4 in (22.24 m)
Width9 ft 2+7⁄8 in (2.82 m)
Height13 ft 1 in (3.99 m)
Axle load22.1 long tons (22.5 t; 24.8 short tons)
Adhesive weight66.55 long tons (67.62 t; 74.54 short tons)
Loco weight105.2 long tons (106.9 t; 117.8 short tons)
Tender weight60.9 long tons (61.9 t; 68.2 short tons)
Total weight166.1 long tons (168.8 t; 186.0 short tons)
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity9.0 long tons (9.1 t; 10.1 short tons)
Water cap5,000 imp gal (23,000 L; 6,000 US gal)
 • Firegrate area
50.0 sq ft (4.65 m2)
BoilerDiagram 118
6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) diameter
29 ft 2 in (8.89 m) length
Boiler pressure250 psi (1,700 kPa)
Heating surface2,461.4 sq ft (228.67 m2)
 • Tubes1,211.6 sq ft (112.56 m2)
 • Flues1,004.5 sq ft (93.32 m2)
 • Firebox245.3 sq ft (22.79 m2)
 • Heating area697.7 sq ft (64.82 m2)
Cylinder size19 in × 26 in (483 mm × 660 mm)
Valve gearWalschaerts
Performance figures
Maximum speed100 mph (160 km/h)
Power output2,700 hp (2,000 kW)[citation needed]
Tractive effort37,400 lbf (166 kN)
OperatorsBritish Railways
Power classBR: 8P6F
Number in class49 original, plus 1 completed 2008
Numbers60114 - 60162, 60163
LocaleNorth Eastern Region
First runAugust 1948
Last runJune 1966
WithdrawnOctober 1962 - June 1966
DispositionOriginal 49 withdrawn and scrapped, 1 built in 2008 and Mainline Registered
60133 Pommernpassing Leeds-Holbeck High Level Station hauling Leeds Central to Kings Cross Yorkshire Pullman
60131 Ospreyat Leeds Neville Hill locomotive shed on 18 April 1965

The London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) Peppercorn Class A1 is a type of express passenger steam locomotive. Forty-nine original Peppercorn Class A1s were built to the design of Arthur Peppercorn (who was the last Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the LNER) during the early British Railways era, but all were scrapped with the discontinuation of steam, with none of the original production run surviving into preservation. In 2008, a brand new 50th Peppercorn A1 locomotive, 60163 Tornado, was completed.


Most of the former LNER Class A1 locomotives designed by Sir Nigel Gresley had been rebuilt as LNER Class A3 locomotives prior to this class being conceived. The few straggling LNER Class A1 locomotives that remained unrebuilt during the tenure of Peppercorn's predecessor, Edward Thompson, were redesignated by him as Class A10s in preparation for the construction of his new Class A1 locomotives. Thompson rebuilt the pioneer LNER pacific Great Northern in 1945; originally this was the new Class A1, but the rebuild was not repeated. Instead, initiated by Thompson but largely taken forward by his successor Arthur Peppercorn, Great Northern was designated Class A1/1, and a new class of Peppercorn A1s ordered.

The locomotives were designed to cope with the heaviest passenger trains in the post-war period on the East Coast Main Line (London – York – Newcastle – Edinburgh – Aberdeen) which consisted normally of trains with up to 15 coaches and up to 550 tons. The Peppercorn A1s were able to pull such a train on the flat at a speed of 60–70 mph (95-110 km/h). The class used a double Kylchapchimney system and like previous LNER Pacifics had a 3-cylinder arrangement.

Original locomotives[edit]


The new A1s were ordered by the LNER but delivered after that company had been nationalised to form part of British Railways at the start of 1948. The 49 engines were built at the Eastern Region'sDoncaster and Darlington works between 1948 and 1949.

Nos Date built Works Order no.[1]Notes
60153-71949Doncaster388Built with Timken roller bearings on all axles

Withdrawal and preservation[edit]

By summer of 1966 all 49 class members had gone for scrap. The last to be withdrawn from stock was No. 60145 Saint Mungo after a working life of just 17 years. 60145 Saint Mungo was planned to be preserved by Geoff Drury, however, it ultimately was unsuccessful and none of the original locomotives were preserved. [2]

YearQuantity in
service at
start of year
Locomotive numbersNotes
19662260124/4560145 was subject to preservation attempt.

List of original locomotives[edit]

Below is a list of original Peppercorn A1 Locomotives[3][4][5][6][page needed][7][page needed][8][9]

No. Name Built Works Withdrawn Notes
60114AllenW. P. AllenAugust 1948DoncasterDecember 1964
60115Meg MerriliesSeptember 1948DoncasterNovember 1962
60116Hal o' the WyndOctober 1948DoncasterJune 1965
60117Bois RousselOctober 1948DoncasterJune 1965
60118SturrockArchibald SturrockNovember 1948DoncasterOctober 1965
60119StirlingPatrick StirlingNovember 1948DoncasterMay 1964
60120KittiwakeDecember 1948DoncasterJanuary 1964
60121SilurianDecember 1948DoncasterOctober 1965
60122CurlewDecember 1948DoncasterDecember 1962
60123IvattH.A. IvattFebruary 1949DoncasterOctober 1962
60124KenilworthMarch 1949DoncasterMarch 1966
60125Scottish UnionApril 1949DoncasterJuly 1964
60126RavenSir Vincent RavenApril 1949DoncasterJanuary 1965
60127WorsdellWilson WorsdellMay 1949DoncasterJune 1965
60128BongraceMay 1949DoncasterJanuary 1965
60129ManneringGuy ManneringJune 1949DoncasterOctober 1965
60130KestrelSeptember 1948DarlingtonOctober 1965
60131OspreyOctober 1948DarlingtonOctober 1965
60132MarmionOctober 1948DarlingtonJune 1965
60133PommernOctober 1948DarlingtonJune 1965
60134FoxhunterNovember 1948DarlingtonOctober 1965
60135Madge WildfireNovember 1948DarlingtonNovember 1962
60136AlcazarNovember 1948DarlingtonMay 1963
60137RedgauntletDecember 1948DarlingtonOctober 1962
60138BoswellDecember 1948DarlingtonOctober 1965
60139Sea EagleDecember 1948DarlingtonJune 1964
60140BalmoralDecember 1948DarlingtonJanuary 1965
60141AbbotsfordDecember 1948DarlingtonOctober 1964
60142FletcherEdward FletcherFebruary 1949DarlingtonJune 1965
60143ScottSir Walter ScottFebruary 1949DarlingtonMay 1964
60144King's CourierMarch 1949DarlingtonApril 1963
60145Saint MungoMarch 1949DarlingtonJune 1966Preservation attempt failed
60146PeregrineApril 1949DarlingtonOctober 1965
60147North EasternApril 1949DarlingtonAugust 1964
60148AboyeurMay 1949DarlingtonJune 1965
60149AmadisMay 1949DarlingtonJune 1964
60150WillbrookJune 1949DarlingtonOctober 1964
60151MidlothianJune 1949DarlingtonNovember 1965
60152HolyroodJuly 1949DarlingtonJune 1965
60153FlamboyantAugust 1949DoncasterNovember 1962
60154Bon AccordSeptember 1949DoncasterOctober 1965
60155BordererSeptember 1949DoncasterOctober 1965
60156Great CentralOctober 1949DoncasterMay 1965
60157Great EasternNovember 1949DoncasterJanuary 1965
60158AberdonianNovember 1949DoncasterDecember 1964
60159Bonnie DundeeNovember 1949DoncasterOctober 1963
60160Auld ReekieDecember 1949DoncasterDecember 1963
60161North BritishDecember 1949DoncasterOctober 1963
60162Saint JohnstounDecember 1949DoncasterOctober 1963

Notes on names[edit]

The names of the A1s[10] were an eclectic mix including:

  • Racehorses: Bois Roussel, Silurian, Scottish Union, Bongrace, Pommern, Foxhunter, Alcazar, Boswell, King's Courier, Aboyeur, Amadis, Willbrook, Flamboyant
  • Names of people: W. P. Allen (an LNER locomotive driver who became a member of the Railway Executive in 1948), Archibald Sturrock, Patrick Stirling, H. A. Ivatt, Sir Vincent Raven, Wilson Worsdell, Edward Fletcher (Locomotive Superintendents of pre-grouping railways), Sir Walter Scott, Saint Mungo
  • Names related to the works of Sir Walter Scott: Meg Merrilies, Hal o’ the Wynd, Kenilworth, Guy Mannering, Marmion, Borderer, Madge Wildfire, Redgauntlet, Bonnie Dundee. Some of these names had previously been used on NBR J class locomotives
  • Pre-grouping railway companies: North Eastern, Great Central, Great Eastern, North British
  • Birds: Kittiwake, Curlew, Kestrel, Osprey, Sea Eagle, Peregrine
  • Place-related names: Balmoral, Abbotsford (Sir Walter Scott's house), Midlothian, Holyrood, Bon Accord (motto of Aberdeen), Auld Reekie (a soubriquet for Edinburgh), Saint Johnstoun (an old name for Perth), Aberdonian

No. 60163 Tornado[edit]

Main article: 60163 Tornado

None of the original production run of 49 Peppercorn A1s survived the scrapyard to be preserved. However, in 2008, a brand new 50th A1 based on the original Peppercorn patterns, 60163 Tornado, was completed as the evolved member of the class.[11]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 5 June 1950, locomotive No. 60153 Flamboyant was hauling an express passenger train which was derailed at Tollerton, North Yorkshire due to heat buckled track.[12]
  • On 7 September 1962, No. 60123 H.A. Ivatt suffered harsh collision damage after running into a train at Offord. Four people were injured in the incident. It was withdrawn a month later and scrapped at Doncaster.[13][14][15]
  • On 16 January 1964, No. 60120 Kittiwake collided with the rear end of a goods train in North Otterington. It was shortly withdrawn after the incident.[16]
  • On 14 April 2018, locomotive No. 60163 Tornado was hauling an excursion train named "The Ebor Flyer" from London King's Cross to York. While traveling at 90mph around Sandy, south of Peterborough, the locomotive's inside motion failed.[17][18]


Bachmann Branchline and Hornby make models in OO gauge, Graham Farish produce a model in N gauge and Accucraft (UK) make a live steam model in Gauge 1.


  1. ^Boddy, Neve & Yeadon 1973, p. 193
  2. ^"60145 - Saint Mungo". A1 Steam. A1 Steam.
  3. ^"The Peppercorn A1 Pacifics". LNER Encyclopedia.
  4. ^Longworth[full citation needed] (not including Tornado)
  5. ^"Class Details". Railuk database. (not including Tornado)
  6. ^Boddy, Neve & Yeadon 1973 (not including Tornado)
  7. ^Yeadon 1991 (not including Tornado)
  8. ^A1LST history section[full citation needed] (not including Tornado)
  9. ^Ian Allan ABC of British Railways Locomotives, part 4 (Summer 1961 ed.). pp. 26–27. Names of 60114-60162 are given but it also includes the LNER Thompson Class A1/1 60113 Great Northern in the list, making 50 locomotives.
  10. ^"Names of A1s". 60163 Tornado. A1 Steam Locomotive Trust. Archived from the original on 23 July 2009.
  11. ^"New steam loco ready for service". BBC News. 19 November 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  12. ^Trevena, Arthur (1981). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 2. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 34. ISBN .
  13. ^"A1 60113 – 60162 4-6-2 LNER & BR Thompson & Peppercorn". Preserved British Steam Locomotives. WordPress. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  14. ^Champion, Phil; Langer, Graham (3 February 2010). "No. 60123 H.A. Ivatt". The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  15. ^"Demise of the A1s". The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  16. ^Champion, Phil; Whittaker, T.D.; Langer, Graham (3 February 2010). "No. 60120 Kittiwake". The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  17. ^https://www.a1steam.com/2018/04/14/the-ebor-flyer-update/ Tornado motion failure
  18. ^https://www.a1steam.com/2018/04/17/tornado-repair-update/ Repairs update
  • Boddy, M. G.; Neve, E.; Yeadon, W. B. (April 1973). Fry, E. V. (ed.). Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., Part 2A: Tender Engines—Classes A1 to A10. Kenilworth: RCTS. ISBN .
  • Yeadon, W. B. (1991). Yeadon's Register of LNER Locomotives, Volume 3: Raven, Thompson and Peppercorn Pacifics. Irwell Press.

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNER_Peppercorn_Class_A1

Locomotive a1

The LNER A1 and A3 Gresley Pacifics

Driver Sparshatt standing infront of Gresley A1 Pacific No. 4472 'Flying Scotsman' at Kings Cross

Gresley is most famous for his LNER Pacifics. Although they reached their peak with the streamlined A4s, this famous line of 'racehorses' began with the A1 Pacifics. The first two A1 Pacifics were built in the twilight years of the Great Northern Railway (GNR) and entered service in 1922.

The A3 was a modification of the original A1 design, and all of the surviving A1s were eventually rebuilt as A3s. Thompson designated the remaining members of the A1 class awaiting rebuilding as the A10 Class.

Genesis of the A1s

Almost as soon as Gresley was appointed the CME of the GNR, he started to think about large express passenger locomotives. His predecessor, Ivatt, had already experimented with compound 4-cylinder Atlantics (LNER C1) with high pressure boilers and wide grate areas. Gresley's first designs followed these ideas, and an old Atlantic was suitably modified in 1915. This was followed by plans for two different Pacific designs, one of which was merely a modification of his Atlantic design. At about this time, Gresley became interested in 3-cylinder designs, and was diverted into designing his famous conjugated valve gear. This operated the valve for the middle cylinder, from the motion of the other two cylinders. This was patented in November 1915, although Gresley readily admitted that the principle was based on a lapsed patent of Holcroft's. Due to the War, the express passenger designs had been shelved, but Gresley tested the new valve gear with a 3-cylinder 2-8-0 (LNER O2) which was completed in 1918. This was followed by a much-needed express goods 2-6-0 engine (LNER K3) which used a simpler version of the conjugated gear.

Finally in 1920, Gresley was able to return to his plans for an express passenger Pacific, which by now included his conjugated valve gear.The K3s exhibited valve over-run at high speeds, so the maximum travel was reduced. Unfortunately, this reduced the locomotive's performance. The boiler design was inspired by the Pennsylvania Railroad's K4 Pacific design. The boiler was reduced to the GNR loading gauge, but still kept a tapered shape and tubes less than 19ft long.

Gresley A1 Pacific No. 1470 'Great Northern' at Doncaster in March 1922

In April 1922, No. 1470 Great Northern became the first A1 to enter service. No. 1471 entered service in July 1922 along with an order for a second batch of nine engines. From the beginning, Gresley claimed the A1s were designed to pull 600 ton trains, and in September 1922 No. 1471 pulled just such a test train, confirming the abilities of this new class.

Raven had developed a Pacific (LNER A2) for the North Eastern Railway (NER) at the same time. So in 1923, the newly-formed LNER conducted a series of tests comparing these two new designs. The Raven A2 No. 2400 had no problem in producing enough steam, but A1 No. 1472's boiler pressure varied during the tests. No. 1472 consumed notably less coal and water, and the A1 was considered the better design which could be more readily improved in the future. Hence the A1 design was chosen over the A2.

These original 11 engines were built to the generous GNR loading gauge, and had to be amended to fit the loading gauge of the LNER. The chimney and dome had to be both reduced in height, and shorter safety valves were fitted. Later engines were all built to the LNER loading gauge.

The A1s quickly showed their ability to haul heavy loads on the East Coast Main Line, but proved inefficient with coal and water. These inefficiencies showed up in the 1925 Great Western Exchange Trials. Although much has been debated about these trials, the relatively mature Castle design (based on the 19 year old 'Star') did prove to be more efficient than the relatively new A1 design (3 years). Indeed, during the 1920s the A1s experienced a series of small low-cost improvements which produced significant improvements in efficiency.

Unidentified Gresley A1 Pacific at speed

In 1924, The Superheater Co. in New York, created plans for a new superheater design (Type E) which should have improved the steaming abilities of the A1s. After a series of tests, the improvements were found to be small and uneconomic. This surprisingly low improvement was explained by the fact that the original A1 superheaters used the standard Robinson design which concentrated the superheater tubes where they would be most effective. Hence the extra tube surface area in the new superheater, had to be in less effective areas of the boiler.

In 1925, No. 4477 Gay Crusader had its steam lap setting increased 3/8in to 1 5/8in. This was followed in 1927 by No. 2555 Centenary also having its valve travel set to 5.75in in full gear. No. 2555 entered trials which showed a reduction in coal consumption from 50lb/mile to 39lb/mile. This huge improvement led to the change being adopted on all of the A1s by 1931.

In 1926, all of the piston valve rings were replaced on the A1s. The original rings were sprung to ensure a steam-tight fit. This resulted in large losses due to frictional heating. It also inhibited lubrication. The valves were replaced with Knorr type piston valves. These were made steam-tight with four packing rings, so greatly reducing the contact area between the walls and the piston. Hence, frictional heating losses were greatly reduced.

Between 1927 and 1947, all of the A1s were rebuilt as A3s, with the exception of No. 4470 Great Northern, which was rebuilt by Thompson in 1945 as Class A1/1. In 1945, Thompson redesignated the remaining A1s as Class A10.

The A3s

Gresley A3 Pacific No. 2752 'Spion Kop' at Doncaster in April 1933

After the Type "E" superheater failed to produce any significant results, Gresley decided to increase the number of flues in the Robinson superheater which was already in use in the A1s. At the same time, it was also decided to increase the boiler pressure from 180psi to 220psi. The first five of these new boilers were ordered in 1927. By the end of 1927 No. 2544 Lemberg and No. 4480 Enterprise had been rebuilt with the new boilers. Locomotives with the boiler rebuild were given the designation of Class A3. These were followed by three more rebuilds in 1928. The cylinder size was kept the same (20in), except for No. 2544 which had lined 18.25in cylinders so that the tractive effort would be similar to the A1s. This allowed comparative trials to be made. The trials were a success, and 27 new A3s were built between 1928 and 1935. These locomotives had slightly smaller cylinders of 19in, and the original five rebuilds were fitted with this new size.

Due to the wider header on the A3 boilers, the ends projected slightly through the sides of the smokebox. Hence, cover plates were fitted to cover up these projections. These cover plates are the main external distinguishing feature between the A3s and the A1s.

Gresley A3 Pacific No. 2508 'Brown Jack'

With the advent of the A3s, all new Pacifics were built to the A3 specification rather than the A1. Also, no new 180psi A1 boilers were built. Further rebuilding of the A1s was generally when the boilers expired. The last A1 was rebuilt in 1947 - a testament to the longevity of many of the original A1 boilers. The only A1 not be rebuilt as an A3 was No. 4470 Great Northern, which was rebuilt by Thompson in 1945 as Class A1/1.

A3s built from new were were fitted with left-hand drive. This contrasts with the right-hand drive of the A1s which was also kept when they were rebuilt as A3s. These would not be converted to left-hand drive until after 1951.

With the arrival of the A4, it would have made sense for the A1s and A3s to be rebuilt with a non-streamlined form of the even higher pressured A4 boilers. However these would have been more expensive, and in the run up to World War 2, the LNER was attempting to save money. A4 boilers would eventually be fitted during the British Rail era.

In 1943, Thompson considered fitting V2 boilers. These were being produced in large quantities at the time, and the shorter boiler would have implied a longer smokebox - an arrangement Thompson tended to favour. This scheme did not go ahead.

Gresley A3 Pacific No. 2751 'Humorist' with small wing smoke deflectors, official publicity photo (N.Johnson)

The first fitting of the Kylchap double blastpipe arrangement was in 1937 to No. 2751 Humorist. Humorist had been used extensively in a series of unsuccessful smoke-lifting experiments during 1932-3. This time, the double blastpipe was fitted with a lipped double chimney, but no smoke deflectors. The softer blast from the Kylchap arrangement required the use of smoke deflectors. Small wing deflectors on either side of the chimney were fitted in January 1938. These deflectors were on the small size, but the results could be accepted. They were eventually replaced with the larger deflectors used on the new Peppercorn A2s, in 1947.

Gresley A3 Pacific No. 60097 'Humorist' with large smoke deflectors, at Carlisle Canal in 1963 (M.Morant)

The A3s in British Rail Service

All 79 of the A1s and A3s survived into British Rail ownership. This excludes No. 4470 Great Northern which was rebuilt by Thompson in 1945 as Class A1/1.

A3 development continued after Nationalisation in 1948. The remaining right-hand drive A3s were finally converted to left-hand drive between 1952 and 1954. From 1954, A4 boilers were fitted to some of the A3s. This was not to improve performance, but because A3 spares were in short supplies. Only about half of the A3s were rebuilt with A4 boilers. These boilers were in an un-streamlined form, and had their pressures reduced to 220psi.

Gresley A3 Pacific No. 60066 'Merry Hampton' with smoke deflectors, at Kings Cross in 1963 (PH.Groom)

Kylchap blastpipe/chimneys were fitted between 1958 and 1959 to all of the remaining A3s. The soft blast remained a problem, but this time it was solved using "German-style" smoke deflectors. No. 60097 Humorist retained its large smoke deflectors that were fitted in 1947.

These small improvements to the A3s worked well, but the BR Modernisation Programme was well advanced. The first A3 was withdrawn in 1959, and the Deltics replaced the A3s on the East Coast Main Line in 1961. The A3s moved to other duties, most notably the expresses to Scotland on the Midland Route out of Leeds. The last A3 to be withdrawn No. 60052 Prince Palatine, was withdrawn in January 1966. All were scrapped except for No. 4472, Flying Scotsman which was withdrawn in January 1963 and sold into preservation.

Technical Details

The following tender details are for the LNER non-corridor tenders.

Cylinders (x3):20x26in.20x26in./18.25x26in./19x26in.
Boiler:Max. Diameter:6ft 5in6ft 5in
Diagram No.:9494 (E double)
Heating Surface:Total:3455 sq.ft.3981 sq.ft.
Firebox:215 sq.ft.215 sq.ft.
Superheater:525 sq.ft.1104 sq.ft.
Tubes:1880 sq.ft.503.6 sq.ft.
Flues:835 sq.ft.2158.8 sq.ft.
Grate Area:41.25 sq.ft.41.25 sq.ft.
Wheels:Leading:3ft 2in3ft 2in
Coupled:6ft 8in6ft 8in
Trailing:3ft 8in3ft 8in
Tender:4ft 2in4ft 2in
Tractive Effort:(@ 85%)29,835lb36,465lb/30,362lb/32,909lb
Wheelbase:Total:60ft 10.6in60ft 10.6in
Engine:35ft 9in35ft 9in
Weight (full):Total:150 tons 7cwt154 tons 3cwt
Engine:92 tons 9cwt96 tons 5cwt
Tender:57 tons 18cwt57 tons 18cwt
Max. Axle Load:20 tons22 tons 1cwt
Water Capacity:5000 gallons5000 gallons
Coal Capacity:8 tons8 tons


Sadly, No. 4472 Flying Scotsman is the only A3 which survived into preservation. After a colourful preservation history, it is now owned by the National Collection.

Flying Scotsman has had a colourful life in preservation. When withdrawn in 1963, it was purchased by Alan Pegler who removed the German-style smoke deflectors and fitted a corridor tender. A lined LNER Doncaster green livery was chosen. After 20 months of charter trains, it entered Doncaster for a change of boiler and overhaul. This time it was repainted in a traditional Darlington Green livery with black and white lining. With the demise of BR steam, water supplies were hard to get, and so in 1966 Alan Pegler added the Flying Scotsman's famous second tender. This tender was a corridor type, which was adapted to store 6000 gallons of water. By the time of the next overhaul in 1968, it had to be overhauled by Hunslet (Leeds), because Doncaster was no longer able to overhaul steam locomotives. In 1969 it was fitted with a warning bell, cowcatcher, and buckeye couplings before travelling to the US and Canada. At the end of this tour it ran a slow (10mph) shuttle service along a dock line in San Francisco. It then moved to a camp just outside of San Francisco for much of 1972. With a very uncertain future, No. 4472 Flying Scotsman was then saved by W.H. McAlpine who brought it back to the UK in February 1973.

In the past 30 years, No. 4472 Flying Scotsman has been owned by a number of people including Pete Waterman and Dr. Tony Marchington. Throughout this time it has continued to run charter services and visit preserved lines. It has also appeared in a number of liveries, including a controversial black livery. In 1988, No. 4472 Flying Scotsman ventured abroad a second time, this time to Australia for the Bicentenary celebrations. During this visit, it set a new record for the longest non-stop run for a steam locomotive. The previous record was set in 1948 by the sister A4 Pacifics when flooding caused the non-stop services from London to Edinburgh to be diverted over the Waverley route.

After Dr Tony Marchington purchased Flying Scotsman it was given a major restoration returning it to running condition in the late 1990s. It was then operated commercially by Flying Scotsman Railways in an attempt to cover the costs of the rebuild and future maintenance work. This does not appear to have been successful, and in early 2004 Flying Scotsman Railways decided to sell No. 4472. After a competitive bidding process ending in April 2004, it was announced that the National Railway Museum would be the new owner. Using money raised from the general public, matched by Richard Branson, and a substantial grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the National Railway Museum believes it has enough money to keep No. 4472 Flying Scotsman running for a long time to come. Plans also include a display area in York where visitors will be able to see No. 4472 when it is not out on the main line. Finally, the last surviving A3 is where it belongs: in the National Collection!

Flying Scotsman is currently fitted with an A4 boiler. A spare A3 boiler, formerly fitted to Salmon Trout and Humorist also survives in the National Collection. This was fitted to Flying Scotsman during the 1970s, and it has been recently announced that it is to be overhauled using original construction methods and materials.


Graham Farish sold ready-to-run models of N Gauge A3s in various forms (eg. with and without smoke deflectors). These have been re-introduced by Bachmann. Minitrix also sold an N Gauge The Flying Scotsman. This had a reputation for running well but was based on a continental chassis which could have been more realistic.

Hornby sell a ready-to-run OO gauge (4mm scale) model of the Flying Scotsman, and have recently introduced a model of the Flying Scotsman to their live steam OO gauge range. Proscale, DJH, and SE Finecast all produce 4mm scale kits of the A1/A3. DJH sell all variants but only as limited runs. The SE FineCast model is sold with the GNR or non-corridor tender, but corridor tender conversion parts are available. Jamieson have produced an A3 kit for 4mm, but current availability is unknown.

Martin Finney sells etched kits of the A3 for both the 4mm and 7mm scales. David Andrews Locomotive Kits produce kits of the A1 and A3 with the original GNR tender or the LNER non-corridor tender.

Ace Trains, Bachmann, Bassett-Lowke, Sunset Models, and Fitzroy Loco Works (Australia) have all sold ready-to-run models of either the A1 or A3 in O gauge (7mm or coarse scale). Kits are also available from DJH, ACE Products, and David Andrews.

Aster Hobbies sell a live steam A3 for Gauge 1, complete with Gresley's conjugated valve gear. Accucraft UK, Ltd produce an electric A3 for Gauge 1 with a fully painted all metal construction.


Most of the A1s and A3s were named after racehorses. The A1 and A3 Racehorses page lists these locomotives with the racehorses they were named after, and the races they won.

No. 2553 Manna was renamed Prince of Wales in 1926, and No. 2563 William Whitelaw was renamed Tagalie in 1941.
No. 4470 Great Northern was rebuilt as an A1/1 in 1945 rather than as an A3.
No. 4472 Flying Scotsman was sold into private ownership.


Thank you to Dennis Butler for the photograph of the unidentified A1 at speed, and A3 No. 2508 Brown Jack.

Thank you to David Hey's Collection for the Former BR Publicity Manager, N. Johnson's photograph of No. 2751 Humorist with small 'wing' smoke deflectors.

Thank you to the Mike Morant Collection for the photograph of BR No. 60097 Humorist with large smoke deflectors.

Thank you to the P.H. Groom collection for permission to use the above photograph of BR No. 60066 Merry Hampton with smoke deflectors.

Sours: https://www.lner.info/locos/A/a1a3a10.php
BBC - Tornado The 100mph Steam Engine

LNER Gresley Classes A1 and A3

Class of 4-6-2 pacific locomotive designed by Sir Nigel Gresley

This article is about the locomotives introduced by the Great Northern Railway in 1922. For other uses, see LNER Class A1.

LNER Gresley Classes A1 and A3
LNER Pacific 4474 on King's Cross turntable (CJ Allen, Steel Highway, 1928).jpg

Class A1 4474 Victor Wild on the turntable at Kings Cross Station Yard (York Road platform in the background).

 • Whyte4-6-2
 • UIC2′C1 h3
Gauge4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Leading dia.3 ft 2 in (0.965 m)
Driver dia.6 ft 8 in (2.032 m)
Trailing dia.3 ft 8 in (1.118 m)
Wheelbase60 ft 10.6 in (18.56 m)
Length70 ft 5 in (21.46 m)
Height13 ft 0 in (3.96 m) (First two A1s were cut back from 13 ft 9 in (4.19 m))
Axle loadA1: 20 long tons (20.3 t; 22.4 short tons)
A3: 22.05 long tons (22.4 t; 24.7 short tons)
Adhesive weightA1: 60 long tons (61.0 t; 67.2 short tons)
Loco weightA1: 91.35 long tons (92.82 t; 102.31 short tons)
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity8 long tons (8.1 t; 9.0 short tons)
Water cap5,000 imp gal (22,700 L; 6,000 US gal)
 • Firegrate area
41.25 sq ft (3.832 m2)
Boiler pressureA1: 180 psi (1.24 MPa)
A3: 220 psi (1.52 MPa)
Heating surface:
 • Tubes
A1: 1,880 sq ft (175 m2)
A3: 504 sq ft (46.8 m2)
 • FluesA1: 835 sq ft (77.6 m2)
A3: 2,159 sq ft (200.6 m2)
 • Firebox215 sq ft (20.0 m2)
 • Heating areaA1: 525 sq ft (48.8 m2)
A3: 1,104 sq ft (102.6 m2)
Cylinder size18.25 in × 26 in (464 mm × 660 mm) (A3)
19 in × 26 in (483 mm × 660 mm) (A3)
20 in × 26 in (508 mm × 660 mm) (A1/A3)
Valve gearOutside:Walschaerts
Inside: Gresley conjugated
Valve typePiston valves
Performance figures
Maximum speedA1: 100 mph (161 km/h)
A3: 108 mph (174 km/h)
Tractive effortA1: 29,835 lbf (132.71 kN)
A3: 30,362 lbf (135.06 kN) (18.5×26 cylinders)
32,910 lbf (146.39 kN) (19×26 cylinders)
36,465 lbf (162.20 kN) (20×26 cylinders)
4470 rebuilt as a Thompson A1/1.

The London and North Eastern RailwayLNER Gresley Classes A1 and A3 locomotives represented two distinct stages in the history of the British 4-6-2 "Pacific" steam locomotives designed by Nigel Gresley. They were designed for main line passenger services and later express passenger services, initially on the Great Northern Railway (GNR), a constituent company of the London and North Eastern Railway after the amalgamation of 1923, for which they became a standard design. The change in class designation to A3 reflected the fitting to the same chassis of a higher pressure boiler with a greater superheating surface and a small reduction in cylinder diameter, leading to an increase in locomotive weight. Eventually all of the A1 locomotives were rebuilt, most to A3 specifications, but no. 4470 was completely rebuilt as Class A1/1.

The names for the locomotives came from a variety of sources. The first, Great Northern, was named after its parent company. Others were given the names of high-ranking railway officials, but most were given the names of famous racehorses. One was named after the company's most famous long-distance passenger train, the Flying Scotsman. Flying Scotsman is the sole survivor of the class to be preserved.

Class A1: Great Northern genesis[edit]

The new Pacific locomotives were built at the Doncaster "Plant" in 1922 to the design of Nigel Gresley, who had become Chief Mechanical Engineer of the GNR in 1911. The intention was to produce an engine able to handle, without assistance, mainline express services that were reaching the limits of the capacity of the Ivatt large-boilered Atlantics.

Gresley's initial Pacific project of 1915 was for an elongated version of the Ivatt Atlantic design with four cylinders. Finally realising that he was in a design impasse, he took as a model the new American Pennsylvania Railroad class K4 Pacific of 1914. This in turn had been updated from a series of prototypes scientifically developed in 1910 under Francis J. Cole, Alco's Chief Consulting Engineer at Schenectady and the Pennsylvania's K29 Alco prototype of 1911, also designed by Cole. Descriptions of those locomotives appeared in the British technical press at the time and gave Gresley the elements necessary to design a thoroughly up-to-date locomotive.

Design features and construction history[edit]

The first two GNR Pacifics, 1470 Great Northern and 1471 Sir Frederick Banbury were introduced in 1922. The Great Northern board ordered a further ten '1470-class' locomotives, which were under construction at Doncaster at the time of the formation of the LNER in 1923. This included the future sole surviving member of the class, 4472 Flying Scotsman, then nameless and numbered 1472

In line with the philosophy behind Cole's Alco prototypes, the Gresley Pacifics were built to the maximum limits of the LNER loading gauge with a large boiler and wide firebox giving a large grate area. The firebox was set low and rested on the trailing carrying axle. However, unlike the Pennsylvania K4, the firebox was not of the flat-topped Belpaire variety, but a round-topped one that was in line with Great Northern tradition. Features in common with the American types were the downward profile towards the back of the firebox and the boiler tapering towards the front. Heat transfer and the flow of gases were helped by use of a combustion chamber extending forward from the firebox space into the boiler barrel, along with a boiler tube length limited to 19 feet (5.8 m), features inherited from the K4 type but not present on the earlier Cole Prototypes. The boiler pressure was rated at 180 pounds per square inch (1.24 MPa).

The 1470-class Pacific was the third Great Northern locomotive type to incorporate Gresley's universal 3-cylinder layout. All three cylinders drove the middle coupled axle. The outside cranks were set at 120°, with the inside crank displaced by about 7 degrees to allow for the 1:8 inclination of the inside cylinder, this slight deviation from even spacing being a suggestion by Harold Holcroft of the SECR which enabled the outside cylinders to be perfectly horizontal. Gresley conjugated valve gear derived the motion of the inside valve spindle from the two outside valve spindles: this eliminated an inaccessible middle set of valve gear between the frames. A feature of the K4 that had soon been abandoned by the Pennsylvania Railroad was an unusual three-bar version of the Laird slide-bar. However, Gresley adopted this type of slide-bar for all his locomotives and it was later taken up by Bulleid for his Pacifics and by Riddles for the British Railways standard designs.

LNER period[edit]

The Great Northern Railway was incorporated into the newly formed LNER as a result of the 1923 Grouping. Gresley was appointed Chief Mechanical Engineer of the new company, which was the second largest of the "Big Four" railway companies in Britain. Realising the need for standardisation, Gresley adopted his GNR Pacific design as the standard express passenger locomotive for the LNER main line, designating it 'A1' within the LNER locomotive classification system. The choice was made after comparative trials with an equivalent North Eastern Railway Pacific, classified 'A2'. Between 1923 and 1925, 51 A1 locomotives were built; twenty by the North British Locomotive Company, and the remainder by Doncaster Works. However, Gresley's Pacifics had been designed to work within the bounds of the Great Northern Railway, meaning maximum distances of less than 200 miles (322 km). After the grouping, the locomotives were required to have a far greater operating range.

Early improvements[edit]

In 1924, number 4472 Flying Scotsman, renumbered and named for the occasion, was displayed at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley along with the first member of the Great Western Railway (GWR) Castle Class, number 4073 Caerphilly Castle. The latter weighed 19.6 long tons (19.9 t; 22.0 short tons) less than the Pacific, but was claimed to be the most powerful locomotive in Britain with a tractive effort rated at 31,625 lbf (140.68 kN).

In the following months, the two railway companies ran comparative exchange trials between the two types from which the Great Western emerged triumphant with 4079 Pendennis Castle. The LNER learned valuable lessons from the trials which resulted in a series of modifications carried out from 1926 on number 4477 Gay Crusader. Changes to the valve gear included increased lap and longer travel, in accordance with Great Western practice; this allowed fuller exploitation of the expansive properties of steam and reduced back pressure from the exhaust, transforming performance and economy; the economies in coal and water consumption achieved were such that the 180 psi Pacifics could undertake long-distance non-stop runs that had previously been impossible. There followed a complete redesign of the valve gear, which was applied to 2555 Centenary in 1927, with the rest of the class being modified in due course. Locomotives with modified valve gear had a slightly raised running plate over the cylinders in order to give room for the longer combination lever necessary for the longer valve travel. Another modification was made in 1927 when number 4480 Enterprise was fitted with a 220 psi (1.52 MPa) boiler. This was closely followed by two other locomotives which also incorporated variations in the cylinder diameter and superheater size for comparative purposes. This led Gresley to make a radical departure from Churchward practice by increasing the number of large tubes containing superheating elements, hence increasing the superheater surface area in contact with the hot gases, thus raising steam temperature. The presence of the larger superheater could be recognised from the square covers on either side of the smokebox, a feature that the locomotives retained throughout the rest of their existence.

At the 1925 British Empire Exhibition, Flying Scotsman was again exhibited; but this time, the GWR sent Pendennis Castle.

Class A3[edit]

The outcome of the various experiments and modifications made to the A1s in the late 1920s was a new Class A3 "Super Pacific", the first example of which was number 2743 Felstead. This locomotive appeared in August 1928 with 220 psi (1.52 MPa) boiler, 19-inch (483 mm) cylinders, increased superheat, long-travel valves, improved lubrication and modified weight distribution.[16] Another new development was the changeover from right- to left-hand drive, less convenient for a right-handed fireman, but more so for sighting signals, resulting in the modification of all earlier locomotives.

Twenty-seven A3s were built from new, until 1935, with little variation except for a new type of boiler with a "banjo dome",[17] an oval steam collector that was placed on top of the rear boiler ring. The first banjo dome was hidden beneath the casing of Cock o' the North of 1934; it was subsequently used in the A4 streamliners. The last nine A3 Pacifics were constructed with the device in 1935, and it became a standard fitting on all LNER large, wide-firebox boilers that were applied to new locomotives until 1949. It was also applied to replacement boilers on the A3s.

Although all of the original Class A1 locomotives were eventually rebuilt to Class A3 specifications,[i] it was a drawn-out process that lasted until 1949; 60068 Sir Visto was the last locomotive to be converted. The changeover to left-hand drive took longer, and continued into the Fifties.

Further experiments[edit]

Despite having settled on a new standard type, Gresley continued to experiment on individual locomotives, in one of which experiments ACFI feedwater heaters were installed in A1 2576 The White Knight and A3 2580 Shotover. However, on the Pacifics the increase in efficiency was deemed insufficient and the apparatus was eventually removed. In 1935, number 2544 Lemberg received Trofimoff piston valves of an ingenious design with automatically varying steam passages.

A3s 2747 Coronach and 2751 Humorist were subjected to smoke deflection trials following an accident on the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) due to poor visibility; this included the modification of the upper smokebox area surrounding the chimney. Originally the whole smokebox wrapper was retained in order to form an air duct, with the exit behind the chimney, but this was found ineffective. The next stage, at least with 2751, was to cut off the top part of the wrapper, but retaining the sloping plate that directed air flow upwards, and therefore lifting the smoke above the locomotive. The original chimney was replaced by a double stove-pipe variety, and miniature deflector plates were added on either side, angled to concentrate the air flow when the locomotive was on the move.[23]

Smoke-lifting devices were not a priority with the normal single-chimney Pacifics. However, with its double chimney and subsequent fitting of a double Kylchap exhaust in 1937, Humorist continued to pose a problem in this regard and always had small wings on either side of the chimney. Finally, in the 1950s, it acquired the Peppercorn-type of deflector plates.


Corridor tender connection and porthole window to internal corridor

The original A1s were coupled to a traditional Great Northern type of tender with coal rails of a design that can be traced back to Stirling days. The A1-variant was a much-enlarged eight-wheel version carrying 8 long tons (8.13 t; 8.96 short tons) of coal and 5,000 imperial gallons (23,000 l; 6,000 US gal) of water. In 1928, a new special type of tender body was built for the new non-stop Flying Scotsman train. This tender had a corridor connection and an access tunnel through the water tank.[25] It was of a more modern design with high side sheets curved in at the top and had a coal capacity of 9 long tons (9.14 t; 10.08 short tons). In order to be able to pack an extra ton of coal, a single coal rail was provided on this particular series, but was later deemed unnecessary. Ten of these corridor tenders were built, and a non-corridor version of similar design followed with 8-ton coal capacity and no coal rail. Further series of both types had disc wheels instead of the previous spoked variety.

Operational details[edit]

Pre-war performance[edit]

The early A1 Pacifics were a match for the performances demanded of them in the early 1920s. They were certainly able to take loads single-handed that were beyond the capacity of their Atlantic predecessors as was shown in a test run made by No. 1471 Sir Frederick Banbury when it took a 20-coach train weighing 600 long tons (610 t; 670 short tons) over the 105 miles (169 km) from London to Grantham at an average speed of 51.8 miles per hour (83.4 km/h). However this was at the cost of heavy coal consumption, and general performance was well below the ultimate potential of the design. This was largely due to a regression from the earlier 3-cylinder 2-6-0 design, which was the first to have the standard Gresley conjugated motion combined with long valve travel. However, practical problems were experienced with components quickly suffering from premature wear, especially in the main bearing of the large 2:1 lever which had not yet been fitted with the very necessary ball race; excessive 'play' led to so much over-travel of the middle valve, that it began to hit the end-covers. In order to prevent this, when applying the gear to the Pacifics, Gresley fell back on the expedient of shortening valve travel even though that choked the exhaust at speed, was responsible for the heavy coal consumption, and negated most of the advantages gained by the locomotive's revolutionary design. However, by incorporating the Great Western-inspired valve modifications, the economies in coal and water consumption achieved were such that the 180 psi Pacifics could undertake long-distance non-stop runs that were previously impossible.

The first and most spectacular outcome occurred in 1928, when the Pacifics were called upon daily to work the Flying Scotsman train non-stop over the 392 miles (631 km) between London and Edinburgh. Initially three A1s and two A3s took turns on this service. The modifications also gave the A1 locomotives greater speed potential, and the proof of this came in 1933 when a high-speed 3-car diesel railcar service had been mooted. As this would have provided limited accommodation for passengers, it was proposed to use steam traction at similar service speeds with six carriages. A trial return run between London and Leeds was made with modified A1 locomotive number 4472, Flying Scotsman; on the return trip with 6 coaches weighing 208 long tons (211.3 t; 233.0 short tons) it attained 100 mph (160 km/h) (160 km/h) just outside Little Bytham in Lincolnshire for just over 600 yards (549 m). There were earlier claims to this speed, notably by the Great Western locomotive 3440 City of Truro, but this 1933 run is generally considered to be the first reliably recorded instance. On a later trial run to Newcastle upon Tyne and back in 1935, A3 number 2750 Papyrus reached 108 miles per hour (174 km/h) hauling 217 long tons (220 t; 243 short tons) at the same spot, maintaining a speed above 100 mph (161 km/h) for 12.5 consecutive miles (20.1 km), the world record for a non-streamlined locomotive, shared with a French Chapelon Pacific.[29]

Wartime service[edit]

Along with all the Gresley 3-cylinder types, the Pacifics suffered from low wartime maintenance standards, conditions for which they had not been designed. Gresley's sudden death in 1941 and an unsympathetic successor, Edward Thompson, did not help matters in this respect. In 1945 Thompson took the opportunity to rebuild the first of Gresley's A1 Pacifics, Great Northern, to the LNER Class A1/1 specification with divided drive and separate valve gear for the inside cylinder. Thompson intended to rebuild to this configuration all the Gresley A1s that had not been converted to A3 standard; in the meantime the remaining Gresley A1s were reclassified as A10s. The rebuilding of these locomotives as A1/1 never happened. Instead, the conversion to A3 standard continued. The A1/1 was at first classified as A1, and reclassified as A1/1 when Arthur Peppercorn designed and constructed his own Class A1s in 1947.

Post-war recovery and nationalisation[edit]

60059 Tracerynear Huntingdon in 1962, the last year of steam operation on the East Coast Main Line, with GNR 8-wheel type tender, double Kylchap exhaust and German-style smoke deflectors.

The Gresley 3-cylinder drive arrangement continued to bring a number of practical problems, the root of which was probably the need for the inside cylinder to be steeply inclined in order to give space for the inside connecting rod to clear the leading coupled axle; at the same time, the inside valve spindle had to be parallel with the outside ones from which it derived its motion. This problem had been overcome by what Holcroft called a "twist in the ports" (the passages that carried steam in and out of the cylinders). A consequence was that the length of these passages was greater than that generally recommended, increasing "dead space", and this was combined with a shorter exhaust passage. The net result would be rather different working conditions in the middle cylinder from those on the outside. A contributing problem was that any elongation of the outside valve spindles was multiplied by the conjugated valve gear. Although this had been anticipated at the design stage, the overall consequence was that the inside cylinder had a tendency to give more power than the other two as speed increased, leading to the overloading of the inside connecting rod bearings, especially the big-end which was liable to overheat and fail. Various experiments were tried over the years to cure this chronic ailment, and it was only towards the end of the steam era that a real solution was found in Great Western methods of lubrication and manufacture for the big-end bearing. Other problems persisted, such as a stiff, insensitive regulator and overall design flaws that hampered maintenance.

In spite of all this and the introduction of more recent Pacifics, in the middle of the 1950s Gresley types continued to have a quasi-monopoly of East Coast Main Line express passenger services, and as the Sixties approached they went through yet another series of improvements comparable to those of the 1920s. The most significant of these was the fitting of the French double Kylchap exhaust system, which was entirely due to the persistence from 1956 of P. N. Townend, Assistant District Motive Power Superintendent at King's Cross locomotive shed. These modifications greatly reduced exhaust back pressure, making the locomotives more economical and free-running, and also kept the firetubes clean, reducing turn-around time, so much so that they were able to fit into the more intensive diesel locomotive workings. The Kylchap arrangement was already being universally applied to the A4 streamlined Pacifics, though with the non-streamlined A3 locomotives, the soft exhaust would cause the smoke and steam to drift into the driver's forward vision. The solution came in the form of narrow German-style smoke deflectors, which somewhat changed the appearance of the A3 locomotives in their latter days.


The prototype locomotive, number 60113 Great Northern, had been rebuilt by Edward Thompson into a virtually new design. The first to be withdrawn was 60104 Solario in 1959, followed by 60095 Flamingo, and 60055 Woolwinder in 1961. Otherwise, the class remained intact until 1962, and was still operating on express passenger work. The last class member to be withdrawn by British Railways was number 60052, Prince Palatine in January 1966. 60103 Flying Scotsman was withdrawn in 1963, and has since been preserved at the National Railway Museum in York.

YearQuantity in
service at
start of year
Quantity withdrawnLocomotive numbersNotes
19377912744Destroyed in Castlecary rail accident. Replacement built with the same name and number.
19457914470Rebuilt as Thompson A1/1.
1963593360037–39/44/46–48/50/53/56–58/60–61/66/73–74/82/86–90/96–99/101/103/105/107–108/110No. 60103 preserved by Alan Pegler and used on the Main Line.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 10 May 1926, during the General Strike, locomotive No. 2565 Merry Hampton was hauling an express passenger train which was deliberately derailed by striking miners south of Cramlington, Northumberland.
  • On 10 December 1937, no. 2744 Grand Parade was destroyed in the Castlecary rail accident when it ran into the rear of a standing train in snowy conditions. The driver and fireman survived with minor injuries although the locomotive and tender were buried under the four following coaches. 35 other passengers and railway crew were killed in the accident. As Class A3 locomotives were still in production at the time, a replacement was built with the same name and number.
  • On 9 August 1947, locomotive No. 60 Persimmon was hauling a passenger train that was run into by another at Darlington, County Durham due to a signalman's error. Twenty-one people were killed and 188 were injured.

Main article: Goswick rail crash

  • On 26 October 1947, locomotive No. 66 Merry Hampton was hauling an express passenger train which was derailed at Goswick, Northumberland due to excessive speed through a crossover. Twenty-eight people were killed and 65 were injured.
  • On 19 February 1949, a freight train became divided at New Southgate, London. The rear portion was able to run back and cross from the down slow line to the down fast line due to a signalman's error. Locomotive No. 60107 Royal Lancer was hauling a parcels passenger train that collided with the wagons.
  • On 14 July 1951, locomotive 60058 Blair Athol was hauling the 'West Riding' express near Huntingdon when two of its coaches caught fire. Twenty-two people were injured, but all the passengers and crew escaped with no fatalities.[39]
  • On 14 November 1951, locomotive 60100 Spearmint ran away on the 1 in 44 Cowlairs incline approaching Glasgow Queen Street Station. A defective repair on a vacuum pipe had left engine without brakes. The engine, which was scheduled to work the afternoon departure to Leeds, collided with the stock for the same train which was being shunted across the station, the dining-car crew were injured in the collision.[40]
  • On 5 August 1957, locomotive No. 60036 Colombo was hauling a passenger train when it crashed into the buffers at York station.
  • On 15 December 1961, an empty coaching stock train was in a rear-end collision with a freight train at Conington, Huntingdonshire. Locomotive No. 60078 Night Hawk was hauling a freight train that ran into the wreckage. A third freight train then ran into the wreckage.


"Flying Scotsman" on the Llangollen Railway in 1994

The sole surviving member of the A3s and A1s is 4472 (60103) Flying Scotsman. The locomotive was withdrawn from service with British Railways in 1963 and after being saved from scrap it was sold for preservation to Alan Pegler. After overhaul, Scotsman worked a number of railtours, including a non-stop London–Edinburgh run in 1968, the final year of steam traction on British Railways.

After a much-publicised appeal in 2004, Flying Scotsman was purchased by the National Railway Museum in York and is now part of the National Collection.[41]

A spare A3 boiler that was fitted to 60041 Salmon Trout and 60097 Humorist, but mainly on Salmon Trout survives at National Railway Museum's National Collection.[42] Cylinder parts from Salmon Trout purchased by Alan Pegler still exist to this day, they are apart of Flying Scotsman.[43]

In fiction[edit]

In The Railway Series children's books by the Rev. W. Awdry, as well as its television adaptation Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, the character Gordon the Big Engine is loosely based on an A1. Built-in 1922, he was sold to the Fat Controller in 1923, once testing was complete. Following problems with the conjugated valve gear, Gordon was substantially rebuilt in 1939 on a two-cylinder chassis designed by the Fat Controller (which explains why he did not look exactly like an A1 in the books; Gordon also has a Fowler tender).Flying Scotsman also made an appearance in the book Enterprising Engines where, post-preservation, numbered 4472 in his LNER appearance with the second tender, he visits his "brother" Gordon at the request of the Fat Controller.

The book "2750 - Legend of a Locomotive" by H C Webster, originally published in the 1930s but republished in 2016, is a fictionalised account of the career of A3 "Papyrus", although the name of the locomotive is never mentioned, only its number.


0.75 inch to the foot scale live steam model of the first A3, number 2743 Felstead. The model had 3 cylinders and Gresley derived motion giving the characteristic syncopated beat. It belonged to Allan Allsop, then secretary of the Leicester Model Engineers and is depicted on the steaming bay of the Abbey Park track in August 1962

Tri-ang, and later Hornby, have produced 'OO'-scale models of both the a1's and a3's almost continuously since the 1960s. In the 2000s, Hornby also produced live steam examples, re-using the chassis from the initial LNER Class A4 models. Trix and later Liliput made both loco drive and tender drive versions in 'OO' gauge. Although now owned by Bachmann, the models have never been resurrected. Other manufacturers have produced models in other scales, such as Minitrix, Graham Farish, and Dapol (N-gauge) and Bassett-Lowke (O-gauge).[46]

See also[edit]


  1. ^Except 1470 Great Northern, which was instead rebuilt in 1945 as the single Thompson A1/1
  1. ^'Higher steam pressure on the L. & N.E. Railway' (Locomotive, Railway Carriage & Wagon Review), p. 343
  2. ^'New Pacific type locomotives, L. & N.E. Railway' (Locomotive Railway Carriage & Wagon Review), pp. 345–346
  3. ^[Smoke Deflection Experiments on] 'No.2751' (Railway Magazine (71), 1932), p. 466[clarification needed]
  4. ^'London to Edinburgh non-stop new LNER train services and the first corridor tender' (Railway Magazine (62), 1928), pp. 371–374[clarification needed]
  5. ^Allen, C.J.: 'The L.N.E.R. world records: 108 mph (174 km/h) maximum and 300 mi (480 km) at 80 mph (130 km/h)' (Railway Magazine (76), 1935), p. 238–239[clarification needed]
  6. ^Rolt, L.T.C. (1966). Red for Danger. Pan. pp. 265–266. ISBN .
  7. ^Langley, C. A. (8 April 1952). "Report on the Collision which occurred on 14th November 1951 at Queen Street (High Level) Station Glasgow in the Scottish Region British Railways". The Railways Archive. Ministry of Transport. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  8. ^National Railway Museum. "Flying Scotsman restoration update". Archived from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  9. ^"The LNER A1 and A3 Gresley Pacifics". LNER.info.
  10. ^"Back in steam". RailStaff. Rail Media House. 11 February 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  11. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 September 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)


  • Allen, C.J. (1935). "The L.N.E.R. world records: 108 m.p.h. maximum and 300 miles at 80 m.p.h.". The Railway Magazine. No. 76.
  • Awdry, Rev. Wilbert; Awdry, George Edward Vere (1987). The Island of Sodor, its People, History, and Railways. Kaye & Ward. ISBN . A commentary on the world of The Railway Series
  • Boddy, M.G.; Neve, E.; Yeadon, W.B. (1973). Fry, E.V. (ed.). Part 2A: Tender Engines - Classes A1 to A10. Locomotives of the L.N.E.R. Kenilworth: RCTS. ISBN .
  • Brown, F.A.S. (1961). Nigel Gresley, Locomotive Engineer. London, UK: Ian Allan.
  • Chapelon, André (2000) [1949]. La locomotive à vapeur. English translation by Carpenter, George. Bath, UK: Camden Steam Services, UK. ISBN .
  • Clay, John F. (1994). "How good were the original Gresley Pacifics?". In Hughes, Geoffrey (ed.). A Gresley anthology. Didcot: Wild Swan/Gresley Society.
  • Cook, K J (1974). Swindon Steam. Ian Allan. ISBN .
  • Earnshaw, Alan (1990). Trains in Trouble. Vol. 6. Penryn: Atlantic Books. ISBN .
  • Earnshaw, Alan (1993). Trains in Trouble. Vol. 8. Penryn: Atlantic Books. ISBN .
  • Hoole, Ken (1982). Trains in Trouble. Vol. 3. Redruth: Atlantic Books. ISBN .
  • Hoole, Ken (1983). Trains in Trouble. Vol. 4. Redruth: Atlantic Books. ISBN .
  • Herring, Peter (2000). "A1/A3 Class". Classic British Steam Locomotives. London: Abbeydale Press. ISBN .
  • "Higher steam pressure on the L. & N.E. Railway". Locomotive, Railway Carriage & Wagon Review (33). 1927.
  • Hind, J.R. The Book of the Railway. London & Glasgow, UK: Collins clear-type press. No Publication date, but certainly around 1935/6
  • le Fleming, H.M. (November 1960) [1953]. White, D.E. (ed.). Part 8: Modern Passenger Classes. The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway (2nd ed.). Kenilworth: RCTS. ISBN .
  • "London to Edinburgh non-stop new L.N.E.R. train services and the first corridor tender". The Railway Magazine. No. 62. 1928.
  • "New Pacific type locomotives, L. & N.E. Railway". Locomotive, Railway Carriage and Wagon Review (34). 1928.
  • Nock, O.S. (1945). The Locomotives of Sir Nigel Gresley. London: The Railway Publishing Co.
  • Reed, Brian (1970). LNER non-streamlined Pacifics. Loco Profile: 1. Berks, UK: Profile Publications.
  • Rogers, HCB (1979). Thompson and Peppercorn - Locomotive Engineers. Surrey UK: Ian Allan. ISBN .
  • "[Smoke Deflection Experiments on] No.2751". The Railway Magazine. No. 71. 1932.
  • Stauffer, Alvin F. (1962). Pennsy Power. USA: Alvin F. Stauffer. LCCN 62-20878.
  • Webster, Henry Charles (2016) [1953]. 2750: Legend of a Locomotive. T. Nelson.
  • Weight, R.A.H. (1947). Great Northern Locomotives 1847–1947. Hastings: Published by the Author.
  • Westing, F.; Stauffer, A. (1970). Erie Power: Steam and diesel locomotives of the Erie Railroad from 1840 to 1970. Ohio, USA: Alvin F. Stauffer. LCCN 70-124567.
  • Windle, E. (1931). "Some notes relating to cylinder performance". J. Inst. Locomotive Engineers (21). Paper No. 272.

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNER_Gresley_Classes_A1_and_A3

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A Gresley class V4 2-6-2 – The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s next project

At its Silver Jubilee Convention in October 2015, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust announced that it would follow its Peppercorn class A1 4-6-2 No. 60163 Tornado and Gresley class P2 2-8-2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales with the construction of further extinct LNER steam locomotives – a Gresley class V4 2-6-2, a Gresley class V3 2-6-2T and a Gresley class K3 2-6-0. At its Annual Convention in September 2017, the Trust confirmed that it has started work identifying and scanning the original drawings for the Gresley class V4 at the National Railway Museum in York in order that the design book for new locomotive could be created within 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD).

The London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) class V4 was a class of 2-6-2 steam locomotive designed by Sir Nigel Gresley – who also designed world-famous No. 4472 Flying Scotsman and world speed record holder No. 4468 Mallard – for mixed-traffic use. It was Gresley’s last design for the LNER before he died in 1941. The class V4s had similarities in their appearance and mechanical layout to the class V2s of which pioneer No. 4771 Green Arrow is preserved as a part of the National Collection. The class V2s, introduced in 1936, had limited route availability and the class V4 was a lightweight alternative, suitable for use over the whole of the LNER network.

Two locomotives were built at the LNER’s Doncaster Works in 1941. The first locomotive, No. 3401 Bantam Cock, had a scaled-down version of the Gresley Pacific boiler with a grate area of 27½ sq ft. Its tractive effort of 27,000 lbs was produced by boiler pressure of 250 psi and three cylinders of 15in diameter. The second locomotive, No. 3402, incorporated a fully welded steel firebox and a single thermic syphon for water circulation. It was not named, but was known unofficially as Bantam Hen. The class was tried on the Great Eastern section of the LNER, and was well received, with more power than the existing Gresley class B17 4-6-0s and better riding qualities. It was anticipated that many more would be produced, but after the sudden death of Gresley in April 1941 and his succession by Edward Thompson, no more were built. Instead, the simpler two-cylinder Thompson class B1 4-6-0 was adopted as the LNER’s standard mixed-traffic locomotive and 410 were built between 1942 and 1952. The two locomotives were sent to Scotland for use on the West Highland Line, although their wheel arrangement was not particularly suitable for the line’s steep gradients. The two class V4s were renumbered Nos. 1700/1 in 1946 and later became British Railways Nos. 61700/1. Both locomotives were scrapped in 1957 when their boilers became due for renewal.

We are pleased to announce that we have formed a new subsidiary, The V4 Steam Locomotive Company Limited, to carry out the building of our third new steam locomotive – the yet-to-be-named new Gresley class V4 No. 3403 – as part of its preparations for the formal launch of the project. We can also confirm that we have acquired over 500 original class V4 drawings from Malcolm Barlow, a Doncaster scrap dealer who launched the now defunct Gresley V4 Society in 1994 to build a new example of the class.

In January 2018, the Trust revealed that it had acquired and taken delivery of a complete set of fully-certified tyres for the new Gresley class V4’s pony, Cartazzi and 5ft 8in driving wheels. They were purchased from David Buck, owner of Thompson class B1 4-6-0 No. 61306 Mayflower, along with a chimney, two BR class 08 shunter speedometer drive generators and two two-stage single spindle air pumps of Finnish origin including lubricator pumps and check valves for use on No. 2007. The tyres were originally manufactured in South Africa in the late 1990s for Malcolm Barlow, a Doncaster scrap dealer who launched the Gresley V4 Society in 1994 to build a new example of the class. David Buck acquired the parts six months ago in a job lot of items that Malcolm Barlow had salvaged from Doncaster Works on its closure – including a number of class B1 components.

No. 60701 is seen in early BR condition in 1950 – Real Photographs

Sours: https://www.v4steam.com/

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