GCR Class 1
The GCR Class 1 was a class of steam locomotives designed by John G. Robinson for the Great Central Railway, introduced to service between December 1912 and 1913. In the 1923 grouping, they all passed to the London and North Eastern Railway who placed them in class B2, their classification was changed to B19 in 1945, all had been retired by the end of 1947. Although believed that they were intended as express passenger locomotives, the Great Central classified and used them as mixed traffic locomotives; the minutes of the Locomotive Committee show that they were ordered as a superheated version of the 8F class mixed traffic locomotives. They were described as mixed traffic locomotives in the contemporary Great Central publication'Per Rail' which promoted the company's goods services; when new, three of the class – 423, 425 and 428 were painted in GCR's standard green passenger livery, while the other three – 424, 426 and 427 were painted in the lined black goods livery. Their initial allocations included the'Pipe trains', the vacuum-brake fitted express goods services between Manchester and London, among the most important services on the Great Central.
There is no evidence that they were intended to challenge the contemporary 11E class 4-4-0s for the light express passenger services of the pre-1914 years on the London Extension. There is no evidence to support the claims that they had problems in service which led to their alleged demotion from express passenger use; the design of the fire grate and ash pan was similar to, for example, the Gresley K3 2-6-0s, their fireboxes were deep and large for their 26.5 square feet grate area. Overheating troubles with axleboxes have been alleged, related to the large force from the inside cylinders. Robinson in fact took care to make the coupled boxes as large as possible, 9 by 9 inches on the two leading axles and 8 by 12 inches on the trailing set. In fact a more source of initial trouble was the marine-type big ends fitted to the first five, since the sixth reverted to strap and cotter type. Per Rail. Kingston-on-Thames: Knapp, Drewett & Sons. 1913. Boddy, M. G.. Fry, E. V. ed. Locomotives of the L. N.
E. R. Part 2B: Tender Engines—Classes B1 to B19. Lincoln: RCTS. ISBN 0-901115-73-8. Casserley, H. C.. Locomotives at the Grouping 2: London and North Eastern Railway. Shepperton, Surrey: Ian Allan Limited. ISBN 0-7110-0553-2. LNER Encyclopedia
GCR Class 9N
The Great Central Railway Class 9N, classified A5 by the LNER, was a class of 4-6-2 tank locomotives designed by John G. Robinson for suburban passenger services, they were fitted with piston valves and Stephenson valve gear. The GCR built 21 locomotives at Gorton Works in three batches between 1911 and 1917, they ordered a fourth batch of ten from Gorton, but this was not built until after the 1923 Grouping, under which GCR became part of the newly formed London and North Eastern Railway. The LNER ordered a fifth batch of 13 to a modified design, incorporating reduced boiler mountings and detail differences, these were built by the outside contractors Hawthorn, Leslie & Co. during 1925–26. No. 5447 was withdrawn in 1942. In 1943, the others were allocated new numbers in the 9800–42 block, but these were not applied until 1946. Forty-three locomotives passed to British Railways in 1948, between 1948 and 1951 their numbers were increased by 60000; the class was divided into two parts in December 1948 as follows: A5/1, 69800-69829: Built at Gorton to Robinson's design A5/2, 69830-69842: Built by Hawthorn, Leslie with modifications by GresleyNone have been preserved.
A 7mm scale kit is available from MSC models. Fry, E. V. ed.. Locomotives of the L. N. E. R. Part 7: Tank Engines - Classes A5 to H2. Kenilworth: RCTS. ISBN 0-901115-13-4. Ian Allan ABC of British Railways Locomotives, 1948 edition, part 4, page 55; the Robinson A5 Pacific Tank Locomotives Steam Loco Class Information: LNER 4-6-2T Steam Loco Class Information: LNER 4-6-2T
GCR Class 8
The Great Central Railway Class 8 - London North Eastern Railway Class B5 - was a class of 4-6-0 steam locomotives. They were nicknamed "Fish Engines" on delivery, due to their use on the fast fish deliveries from Grimsby to places like London, the duty they were designed for; the last was withdrawn in 1950. A 1/5 scale, 10.25 in gauge model of number 181 has been made by Andrew Simkins. This model is externally faithful to Robinson's design but cleverly uses a footwell to conceal most of the driver in the tender, it was showcased and won an award at the Model engineering exhibition in 2003. It has since been seen on several of the 10.25 in gauge railways around Britain. Boddy, M. G.. A.. V.. N. T.. B.. Locomotives of the L. N. E. R. Part 2B: Tender Engines - Classes B1 to B19. Lincoln: RCTS. ISBN 0-901115-73-8. OCLC 655688865. Casserley, H. C.. W. Johnson. Locomotives at the Grouping 2: London and North Eastern Railway. Shepperton, Surrey: Ian Allan Limited. Pp. 12, 107, 111. ISBN 0-7110-0553-2. LNER Encyclopedia
GCR Class 9Q
The GCR Class 9Q, classified B7 by the LNER, was a class of 4-6-0 mixed traffic locomotives designed by John G. Robinson for fast goods, relief passenger and excursion services on the Great Central Railway, they were a smaller wheeled version of Robinson’s earlier Class 9P "Lord Faringdon" express passenger class. The GCR built two batches at Gorton locomotive works, during 1921 and 1922, they ordered batches from Vulcan Foundry and the Beyer and Company. Twenty eight locomotives had been delivered by Grouping in 1923; the GCR found that they were rather heavy on coal - this led to their nickname of "Black Pigs" - although not much worse than other 4 cylinder designs of the time. They were remarkably quick to say that they had only 5ft 8in wheels and pulled heavy expresses in the early period of their career; the London and North Eastern Railway ordered a fifth batch of ten locomotives from Gorton works and these were delivered between August 1923 and March 1924. The last batch had reduced boiler mountings and detail differences to the cab to conform to the new LNER loading gauge.
These were classified B7/2. The earlier batches were classified B7/1. Thirty-eight locomotives passed to British Railways in 1948; some locomotives surviving in 1949 were renumbered between 61702 and 61713 to make more room for Thompson Class B1 locomotives under construction. None have been preserved. Boddy, M. G.. Fry, E. V. ed. Locomotives of the L. N. E. R. Part 2B: Tender Engines—Classes B1 to B19. Lincoln: RCTS. ISBN 0-901115-73-8
GCR Class 8F
The GCR Class 8F was a class of ten 4-6-0 locomotives built for the Great Central Railway in 1906 by Beyer and Company to the design of John G. Robinson for working fast goods and fish trains, they passed to the London and North Eastern Railway at the 1923 grouping and received the classification'B4'. The new design was similar to 4-6-0 the two locomotives of the except that they had smaller driving wheels, they were built with a saturated boiler, inside slide valves and Stephenson valve gear, two outside cylinders connected to 6-foot-7-inch diameter driving wheels. The ten locomotives were renumbered by the LNER by adding 5000 to their GCR numbers. Between 1925 and 1928 the whole class received superheated boilers, but six received 10-inch piston valves and 21-inch cylinders giving rise to two LNER sub-classes B4/1 and B4/2; the LNER had designed a new type of superheated boiler based on the old design. These were used on the B4 class locomotives; the class were used on fish trains between the port of Grimsby and London and Manchester although they were found to be successful passenger locomotives.
The first locomotive No. 1095 was chosen to haul the special train at the inauguration ceremony for the new port of Immingham in 1906, was named ‘Immingham’ thereafter. After grouping the class was transferred to Ardsley, South Yorkshire and did much useful work in the West Riding of Yorkshire Boddy, M. G.. Fry, E. V. ed. Locomotives of the L. N. E. R. Part 2B: Tender Engines—Classes B1 to B19. Lincoln: RCTS. ISBN 0-901115-73-8
GCR Class 8B
GCR Class 8B was a class of 25 two-cylinder steam locomotives of the 4-4-2 wheel arrangement built between 1903 and 1906 for the Great Central Railway. Facing a potential rise in passenger traffic, the Great Central Railway placed an order for 2 pairs of different locomotives - one pair being the 4-6-0 GCR Class 8C, the other pair being this 4-4-2 locomotive; the two locomotives shared as many common components as possible to allow easy conversion of the 8Bs to the 4-6-0 configuration - and both designs borrowed from John G. Robinson's earlier GCR Class 8. However, due to a much smaller than anticipated traffic increase, no further Class 8Cs were built, instead a further 25 Class 8Bs were ordered and built between 1904 and 1906 - built with larger fireboxes as there was no longer a need to convert the locomotives to a 4-6-0 configuration. In 1909 and 1910, the original locomotives received this larger firebox. Despite Robinson commencing the conversion to superheaters in 1912, the conversion was not completed until 1936.
At the same time, any locomotive requiring cylinder replacement saw both larger cylinders and piston valves being fitted - 20 of the class would receive this modification. From 1921, the Ramsbottom safety valves were phased out and removed, to be replaced by Ross pop safety valves. Following a high-speed incident that caused severe damage to its frame and cylinders, No. 1090 was rebuilt with 3 simple expansion cylinders in 1908, as a comparison to the GCR Classes 8D and 8E. These cylinders had their Stephenson valve gear replaced with Walschaerts valve gear, the only application of this valve gear, excluding railcars, on a GCR locomotive; the experiment was reverted in 1922 when No. 1090 was rebuilt, with the original 2 cylinders and Stephenson valve gear being refitted. Following the merger of the GCR into the London & North Eastern Railway, the class became known as the LNER Class C4. In 1925, several C4s were fitted with the LNER's trademark "Flowerpot" chimney, with one locomotive, No. 6085 modified to fit the LNER composite gauge - a modification that the remainder of the class underwent between 1936 and 1939.
In 1929, a further LNER classification change was made - the non-superheated locomotives were designated Class C4/1, those fitted with superheaters but still utilized slide valves Class C4/2, those with both superheaters and piston valves became Class C4/3. By 1932, the re-gauged No. 6085 had been given the designation Class C4/4 - which became more populated as Class C4/3s were cut down. By 1939, all Class C4/1s and Class C4/3s had been redesignated as either Class C4/2s or Class C4/4s - by this time all locomotives were both superheated and had been cut down to the LNER composite gauge. Following an accident at Banbury in 1939, the first locomotive, No. 6090, was withdrawn from service. The rest of the class began being withdrawn from 1945, although 20 locomotives made it into British Rail hands following the nationalisation of the British railways; the last locomotive was withdrawn in 1950, none survived into preservation. The Robinson C4 4-4-2 Atlantics
GCR Class 11B
Although overshadowed by the and more famous steam locomotives that John G. Robinson would go on to design, the Great Central Railway Class 11B 4-4-0 Express Passenger engines were a successful class which totalled 40. Built from 1901–1903, in rebuilt form as 11D, some 11Bs would last in service until 1950. Railwaymen continued to refer to the class as "11B" after all were rebuilt to 11D. Being contemporary with and to some extent the 4-4-0 version of Robinson's much more numerous 0-6-0 goods class 9J, which were known as "Pom-Poms", the 11Bs acquired the nickname "Pom-Pom Bogies"; the London & North Eastern Railway classified the 11Bs, along with their 11C and 11D rebuilds, as Class D9. When John G. Robinson took up the reins at Gorton there was a serious and immediate shortage of suitable locomotives. Part of the requirement was for express passenger engines for the newly completed London Extension. Pollitt's locomotives of class 11 were performing satisfactorily but the piston-valved 11A 4-4-0s, intended for use on Marylebone expresses had been problematic.
There were some ordered 4-2-2'singles' being delivered, but Robinson decided that more powerful locomotives were required. The 11Bs therefore emerged as a robust and enlarged evolution of GCR Class 11, with the then-conventional slide valves. Gorton was busy at the time and the engines were needed urgently, so outside builders were used. Delivery was rapid and 25 were in service by May 1902, 30 by March 1903 and all 40 by June 1904; as intended the 11Bs displaced Pollitt's 11As on the London Extension services, with engines shedded at Leicester and Neasden. The 11Bs were displaced in their turn by the arrival of Robinson's "Atlantics", a process completed by the arrival of the "Director" 4-4-0s. 11Bs found uses on the older parts of the Great Central Railway network, based in Sheffield and Annesley, with others scattered elsewhere. By the Grouping, increasing numbers of the engines had been rebuilt with larger superheated boilers and piston valves becoming GCR Class 11D; the last conversion was completed in 1927.
On 23 December 1904, locomotive No. 1040 was hauling an express passenger train, derailed at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire due to excessive speed on a curve. Four people were killed; the performance of these engines was much overshadowed by Robinson engines such as classes 8B, 11E, 11F. They must have been at least reasonably satisfactory from the start to merit the additional order of 10 in 1904. Hancox records them capable of working nine bogie coaches. London Extension schedules from 1905, at which time the 11Bs were still working some of the best trains, needed average speeds of nearly 60 mph and to keep these times much faster running must have been required. With light loads this implies at the least a free-running locomotive, their long lives suggest trouble-free construction. However effective they were, Robinson identified a need for larger express passenger locomotives, with the 8B "Jersey Lilies" appearing in 1903 soon after the 11Bs were delivered. There were three distinct attempts to improve the 11Bs through rebuilding, creating GCR Class 11C and 11D.
Four of the class were given names, although speaking only one - 1014 - carried a name when still class 11B: The nature of these titles demonstrates the high status that the engines enjoyed at the time they were named. As built, all 40 had cylinders incorporating slide valves; these locomotives formed GCR Class 11B. The 11Bs were little changed from introduction until rebuilding as the superheated 11D starting with No. 1021 in 1913, except for two prior attempts to upgrade the class. The first was fitting of larger saturated boilers and modified pistons to Nos. 104 and 110 creating GCR Class 11C in 1907 without significant success. Two locomotives, nos. 104 and 110, were rebuilt in 1907 with larger boilers: these were 5 feet 0 inches diameter, with fireboxes 8 feet 6 inches long. No. 110 lost its large boiler in August 1918. The large boiler, removed was fitted to no. 113 in October 1918, given piston valves at the same time. Nos. 104 & 113 were rebuilt to class 11D in 1923. In 1909, no. 1026 was given a boiler of the same diameter as the 11C rebuilds, but with the same firebox length as the 11B class.
It received new cylinders, incorporating piston valves. This boiler was saturated, but from 1913 further boilers of this size, which incorporated superheaters, were fitted to the 11B class, each of, reclassified 11D. No. 1026 was so rebuilt in 1914, its previous boiler being transferred to no. 105. All the rebuilds were given piston valves at the same time as the large boilers, apart from five locomotives, which had received piston valves anything from two to six years beforehand. 105, which retained slide valves when first given a large boiler, receiving piston valves when fitted with a superheated boiler in 1923. The process of rebuilding to class 11D was completed in January 1927, by which time the GCR had become part of the LNER, which placed all 40 in class D9; the first D9 was withdrawn by the LNER in 1939 and 26 remained in service on nationalization of the railways in 194