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Steam Locomotives of the Great Central Railway (GCR)[Inhalt]
Great Central class 1B
London & North Eastern classes L1 and L3
Great Britain | 1914 | 20 produced
flickr/Historical Railway Images

In the 1910s the Great Central Railway needed new tank locomotives to serve coal traffic between the mining areas of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and the port at Immingham. Due to the good experiences with the class D of the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway, which had the wheel arrangement 0-6-4T, this was used as a basis.

It received a larger superheated boiler similar to that of the 4-4-0 class 11E. In order to be able to carry this, a leading axle was added. The result was the class 1B, which was the first standard gauge British 2-6-4T tank locomotive. With a coal capacity of 4.5 tons and 3,000 gallons of water, the supplies were not much smaller than most British tender locomotives

In everyday life it turned out that the frame was severely stressed by the position of the inside cylinders. In addition, the braking power was hardly sufficient for use with coal trains in the intended area. Since coal traffic there was ultimately declining, they were used in coal traffic in flatter areas. At the LNER they were first called class L1 and renamed L3 in 1945 due to another locomotive. 19 of the 20 came to British Railways and were withdrawn by 1955.

General
Built1914-1917
ManufacturerGorton
Axle config2-6-4T (Adriatic) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length46 ft 4 3/4 in
Wheelbase37 ft 6 in
Fixed wheelbase17 ft
Service weight215,936 lbs
Adhesive weight131,600 lbs
Axle load44,800 lbs
Water capacity3,603 us gal
Fuel capacity10,080 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,100 hp (820 kW)
Optimal speed24 mph
Starting effort28,759 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter61 in
Boiler pressure180 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 21 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area26.5 sq ft
Firebox area157 sq ft
Tube heating area1,386.5 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,543.5 sq ft
Superheater area209 sq ft
Total heating area1,752.5 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
freight
tank locomotive
John George Robinson
last changed: 03/2024
Great Central class 9D
London & North Western class J10
Great Britain | 1892 | 124 produced
LNER 5155 in September 1947 at Northwich Depot
LNER 5155 in September 1947 at Northwich Depot
Ben Brooksbank
Variant18 inches18.5 inches
General
Built1892-1902
ManufacturerKitson & Co., Gorton, Beyer, Peacock & Co.
Axle config0-6-0 (Six-coupled) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length51 ft 1 3/4 in
Total wheelbase38 ft 9 in
Service weight92,500 lbs97,440 lbs
Adhesive weight92,500 lbs97,440 lbs
Total weight188,805 lbs190,400 lbs
Axle load34,700 lbs35,275 lbs
Water capacity4,804 us gal
Fuel capacity13,440 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power575 hp (429 kW)620 hp (462 kW)
Optimal speed20 mph19 mph
Starting effort18,781 lbf21,079 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter61 in
Boiler pressure160 psi170 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 18 x 26 intwo, 18 1/2 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area18.9 sq ft
Firebox area99 sq ft
Tube heating area964 sq ft1,278 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,063 sq ft1,377 sq ft
Total heating area1,063 sq ft1,377 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
freight
last changed: 09 2023
Great Central class 9J
London & North Eastern class J11
Great Britain | 1901 | 174 produced
BR 64432 at Mexborough
BR 64432 at Mexborough
flickr/stratfordman72

The Great Central class 9J consisted of 174 0-6-0 freight locomotives designed by John G. Robinson. Production ran from 1901 to 1910 at the GCR's own Gorton Works and four commercial manufacturers. They were nicknamed “Pom-Poms” because of their exhaust sound, which crews said was reminiscent of the quick-firing Maxim cannon of the same name from the end of the 19th century. In practice, they were not only used in freight service, but also in all types of trains, including express trains.

As early as 1909, the first new locomotive was built with the Robinson superheater. Over the next 30 years, many more were retrofitted with it. At the LNER they became the J11, and after various modifications they were divided into J11/1 to J11/5. From 1942 onwards, Thompson equipped some locomotives with piston valves, which then often reached 60 mph (97 km/h). British Railways took over the entire class, which was ultimately phased out by 1962.

Variantas builtsuperheated
General
Built1901-1910
ManufacturerNeilson, Reid & Co., Beyer, Peacock & Co., Gorton, Vulcan Foundry, Yorkshire Engine Co.
Axle config0-6-0T (Six-coupled) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length53 ft 1 13/16 in
Service weight116,368 lbs
Adhesive weight116,368 lbs
Axle load40,320 lbs
Water capacity4,804 us gal
Fuel capacity13,440 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Starting effort21,959 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter62 in
Boiler pressure180 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 18 1/2 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area19 sq ft
Firebox area130 sq ft
Tube heating area1,322 sq ft1,128 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,452 sq ft1,258 sq ft
Superheater area139 sq ft
Total heating area1,452 sq ft1,397 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
freight
John George Robinson
last changed: 03/2024
Great Central classes 9K and 9L
London & North Eastern classes C13 and C14
Great Britain | 1903 | 52 produced
9K No. 1055
9K No. 1055
Locomotive Magazine, April 1903

Between 1903 and 1905 the Great Central Railway procured a total of 40 class 9K tank locomotives for the suburban routes of London, which were based on the 2-4-2T class 9G tank locomotives and were designed by John G. Robinson. They were created by enlarging the boiler on the 9G and accommodating the extra weight and length by replacing the leadingaq axle with a bogie. They were stationed at London's Marylebone railway station and were distinguished by the fact that they were fitted with appropriate scooping devices for the water troughs introduced at the time to refill water during the journey. A further twelve class 9L locomotives followed in 1907. By widening the water tanks by three inches, they had a larger water capacity and the higher walls of the coal bunker meant that more coal could be carried.

The use in London did not last long, as the electric railcars could run at higher average speeds on competing routes and the steam locomotives therefore had to be more powerful. This led to the introduction of the class 9N with the 4-6-2T wheel arrangement from 1911. The 9K and 9L were subsequently moved to other locations and used, for example, on suburban routes from Manchester or in central England for regional trains. In 1914 and 1915, a 9L and a 9K were each fitted with a boiler with a superheater, but these initially remained one-offs.

9L No. 1120
9L No. 1120
Locomtive Magazine, July 1907

After the LNER took over operations in 1923, the classes were now designated C13 and C14. After a short time, shorter chimneys were installed to ensure suitability for the loading gauge of the entire LNER network. In addition, the scoops were removed because they weren't really necessary on short-haul routes. Between 1926 and 1935, all locomotives were given a new boiler with a superheater as part of the scheduled boiler replacement. British Railways took over all examples in 1948 and used them unchanged until the mid-1950s. New competition now arose in the form of the new diesel railcars, which soon made them superfluous. Almost all locomotives were scrapped between 1957 and 1959 and one locomotive of each class was used until 1960.

General
Built1903-1905
ManufacturerVulcan Foundry, Beyer, Peacock & Co.
Axle config4-4-2T (Atlantic) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase29 ft 10 1/2 in
Fixed wheelbase9 ft 1 in
Empty weight140,784 lbs
Service weight160,719 lbs
Adhesive weight70,896 lbs
Axle load41,440 lbs
Water capacity1,741 us gal
Fuel capacity8,176 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power600 hp (447 kW)
Optimal speed22 mph
Starting effort17,099 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter67 in
Boiler pressure160 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 18 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area20 sq ft
Firebox area110 sq ft
Tube heating area1,033 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,143 sq ft
Total heating area1,143 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
passenger
tank locomotive
John George Robinson
last changed: 04/2022
Great Central class 9N
London & North Eastern class A5
Great Britain | 1911 | 44 produced
Locomotive Magazine, June 1923

Robinson developed these heavy tank locomotives for fast suburban traffic. With a driving wheel diameter of 5 feet and 7 inches or 1,702 mm and three coupled axles, they were also able to achieve good acceleration. Otherwise they were state-of-the-art with piston valves and superheaters. Between 1910 and 1917, 21 locomotives were built in GCR's Gorton works.

The second production lot was delayed until after the First World War. In 1923, ten more were built with adjustments by Gresley, including a smaller heating surface. These were now being built by Hawthorn, Leslie & Co. as were the next 13 in 1925 and 1926.

The previous class 9N became the A5 at the LNER. In order to be able to distinguish the first and second series, these became the A5/1 and A5/2. The British Railways took over 43 of 44 locomotives. The rest were retired between 1957 and 1960.

VariantA5/1A5/2
General
Built1911-19171923-1926
ManufacturerGortonHawthorn, Leslie & Co.
Axle config4-6-2T (Pacific) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length42 ft 11 7/8 in
Wheelbase32 ft 9 in
Fixed wheelbase13 ft
Service weight185,920 lbs192,640 lbs
Adhesive weight120,960 lbs
Axle load41,840 lbs
Water capacity2,738 us gal
Fuel capacity9,296 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power975 hp (727 kW)925 hp (690 kW)
Optimal speed29 mph28 mph
Starting effort21,110 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter67 in
Boiler pressure160 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 20 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area21 sq ft
Firebox area141 sq ft141.3 sq ft
Tube heating area1,294 sq ft1,138.7 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,435 sq ft1,280 sq ft
Superheater area214 sq ft178 sq ft
Total heating area1,649 sq ft1,458 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
passenger
tank locomotive
John George Robinson
Herbert Nigel Gresley
last changed: 03/2023
Great Central classes 11B, C and D
London & North Eastern class D9
Great Britain | 1901 | 40 produced
No. 1014 “Sir Alexander”
No. 1014 “Sir Alexander”
J.R. Howden, The Boys' Book of Locomotives
No. 1021 "Queen Mary" after the rebuild
No. 1021 "Queen Mary" after the rebuild
Locomotive Magazine, May 1916

One of Robinson's first developments was the class 11B, which was intended to meet the increased demands of new lines. They were similar to the class 9J “Pom-Poms” freight locomotives and were therefore also called “Pom-Pom Bogies”. On some lines they could reach an average of 60 mph (97 km/h). In terms of power, they were soon outperformed by Robinson's newer designs and rebuilt. Only two locomotives received a new saturated boiler and became class 11C. Between 1909 and 1927, all other locomotives were rebuilt with a different boiler, which was delivered directly with a superheater from 1913. The last ones were able to remain in service until 1950.

General
Built1901-1904
ManufacturerSharp, Stewart & Co., Vulcan Foundry
Axle config4-4-0 (American) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase23 ft 10 3/4 in
Fixed wheelbase9 ft
Total wheelbase44 ft 8 in
Service weight117,824 lbs
Adhesive weight79,296 lbs
Total weight220,864 lbs
Axle load41,440 lbs
Water capacity4,804 us gal
Fuel capacity11,200 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power950 hp (708 kW)
Optimal speed36 mph
Starting effort16,808 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter81 in
Boiler pressure180 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 18 1/2 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area20 sq ft
Firebox area109 sq ft
Tube heating area1,318.5 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,427.5 sq ft
Superheater area304 sq ft
Total heating area1,731.5 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
express
John George Robinson
last changed: 04/2023
Great Central class 11E “Directors”
London & North Eastern class D10
Great Britain | 1913 | 10 produced
Nr. 429 “Sir Alexander Henderson”
Nr. 429 “Sir Alexander Henderson”
Locomotive Magazine, November 1913

The class 11E was created by Robinson from the reduction of the 4-6-0 class 1 in size. A driving axle was removed and the overall length of the locomotive was shortened. The distance between the driving axles was increased and a deeper firebox was placed between them. What was special was that the inside cylinders had outside admission. The ten locomotives were named after directors of the GCR. All were taken over by the LNER and withdrawn between 1953 and 1955.

General
Built1913
ManufacturerGorton
Axle config4-4-0 (American) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length58 ft 11 1/2 in
Wheelbase25 ft 3 in
Fixed wheelbase10 ft
Total wheelbase41 ft 7 1/2 in
Service weight136,976 lbs
Adhesive weight89,152 lbs
Total weight245,076 lbs
Axle load44,576 lbs
Water capacity4,804 us gal
Fuel capacity13,440 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,275 hp (951 kW)
Optimal speed41 mph
Starting effort19,644 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter81 in
Boiler pressure180 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 20 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area26 sq ft
Firebox area157 sq ft
Tube heating area1,502 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,659 sq ft
Superheater area304 sq ft
Total heating area1,963 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
express
John George Robinson
last changed: 07/2023
Great Central class 11F “Improved Directors Class”
London & North Eastern class D11
Great Britain | 1919 | 35 produced
Nro 502 “Zeebrugge”
Nro 502 “Zeebrugge”
flickr/Historical Railway Images

The class 11F of the Great Central was developed by Robinson as the successor to the class 11E, called “Directors Class”. This is why they were also called “Improved Directors Class”. Although they had similar dimensions, changes included the layout of the boiler tubes and piston valves with inside admission. Eleven were built from 1919 for the GCR's London extension between Marylebone and Sheffield.

After the LNER was founded in 1923, Gresley had another 24 built for use in Scotland. These had a smaller loading gauge and were designated D11/2, while the original batch was designated D11/1. All locomotives were withdrawn between September 1958 and January 1962. No. 506 „Butler-Henderson” is the only one that has been preserved. It was operational until the nineties and is located at Barrow Hill Engine Shed near Chesterfield.

General
Built1919-1924
ManufacturerGCR, Kitson & Co., Armstrong Whitworth
Axle config4-4-0 (American) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase25 ft 3 in
Fixed wheelbase10 ft
Service weight136,976 lbs
Adhesive weight89,152 lbs
Total weight245,168 lbs
Axle load43,680 lbs
Water capacity4,804 us gal
Fuel capacity13,440 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,150 hp (858 kW)
Optimal speed37 mph
Starting effort19,644 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter81 in
Boiler pressure180 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 20 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area26.6 sq ft
Firebox area155 sq ft
Tube heating area1,388 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,543 sq ft
Superheater area209 sq ft
Total heating area1,752 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
express
John George Robinson
last changed: 04/2024
Great Central class 13
Great Britain | 1900 | 6 produced
Locomotive Engineering, July 1900

The Great Central Railway Class 13 was the last single-driver express locomotive to be built in Britain and one of the last to see regular service. It was developed by Harry Pollitt, who called it Type X4. It had 7 feet 9 inches diameter wheels and had a boiler pressure of 200psi from the factory. Since, despite the sophisticated sanding system that was obligatory on the last singles, there was more power than could be converted into traction, the boiler pressure was soon reduced to 160 psi

When Pollitt retired in 1900 and John G. Robinson took over as chief engineer at GCR, the class 13 was just being produced. Anticipating the imminent end of the singles, Robinson reduced the order from ten to six. These locomotives initially ran the important route from Sheffield to London, but were moved to Cheshire in 1903 and replaced by the 4-4-0 Robinson class D4 locomotives. Four examples were fitted with a superheater between 1915 and 1919, but they were all retired between 1923 and 1927.

Variantas builtsuperheated
General
Built19001915-1919
Axle config4-2-2 (Single) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length54 ft 9 in
Wheelbase22 ft 11 in
Total wheelbase45 ft 5 in
Service weight105,840 lbs111,664 lbs
Adhesive weight41,104 lbs
Total weight200,480 lbs207,984 lbs
Axle load41,104 lbs
Fuel capacitycoal
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power750 hp (559 kW)850 hp (634 kW)
Optimal speed26 mph37 mph
Starting effort18,072 lbf14,458 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter93 in
Boiler pressure200 psi160 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 19 1/2 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area24.8 sq ft
Firebox area132 sq ft128 sq ft
Tube heating area1,062 sq ft777 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,194 sq ft905 sq ft
Superheater area138 sq ft
Total heating area1,194 sq ft1,043 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
express
Harry Pollitt
last changed: 04/2022
Great Central class 9P “Lord Faringdon”
London & North Eastern class B3
Great Britain | 1917 | 6 produced
No. 1165 “Valour”
No. 1165 “Valour”
collection Taylor Rush

Robinson developed two 4-6-0 locomotives for the GCR during the First World War, which were the class 9P shown here for express service and class 9Q for mixed service. They received the same boiler that had already been used in classes 1 and 1A. Of the 9P, only No. 1169 “Lord Faringdon” was built in 1917, which also gave the class its name. It wasn't until 1920 that five more followed.

They had four cylinders in one plane. The inner ones had their own Stephenson valve gear and drove the first driving axle. The outer cylinders were controlled by the inner ones via rocker shafts and drove the second driving axle. However, this led to complicated steam paths, poor steam flow and leaks, which was to be changed by Gresley after the LNER took them over.

Four of the class, now known as B3, were rebuilt to B3/2 with Caprotti valve gear in 1929, 1938 and 1939, while those that were not rebuilt became B3/1. A B3/3 followed in 1943, which had been rebuilt into a two-cylinder. Regardless of the modifications, all were withdrawn between 1947 and 1949.

General
Built1917, 1920
ManufacturerGorton
Axle config4-6-0 (Ten-wheeler) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length63 ft 0 1/2 in
Wheelbase28 ft 10 in
Fixed wheelbase15 ft 6 in
Total wheelbase52 ft 9 1/2 in
Service weight174,496 lbs
Adhesive weight128,016 lbs
Axle load44,800 lbs
Water capacity4,804 us gal
Fuel capacity13,440 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,200 hp (895 kW)
Optimal speed30 mph
Starting effort25,145 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter81 in
Boiler pressure180 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylindersfour, 16 x 26 in
Boiler
Grate area26 sq ft
Firebox area163 sq ft
Tube heating area1,881 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,044 sq ft
Superheater area343 sq ft
Total heating area2,387 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
express
John George Robinson
last changed: 03/2024
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