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London & North Eastern class P2
Great Britain | 1934 | 6 produced
No. 2002 “Earl Marischal”
No. 2002 “Earl Marischal”
flickr/Historical Railway Images

For the difficult LNER line between Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Gresley designed the 2-8-2 express locomotive of the class P2. Being the only eight-coupled express locomotive regularly used in Britain, this allowed enough traction on heavy trains on the grades which reached up to 1.34 percent. Only six were built which got names from Scottish lore.

The first one built in 1934, No. 2001 “Cock o' the North”, got Lentz poppet valves and a double Kylchap exhaust. All others received a more conventional Walschaerts valve gear. Also the first later got this type of valve gear. The last four had a longer firebox and there were also changes in production due to problems with smoke lifting. In 1936, they got streamlined fronts.

No. 2006 “Wolf of Badenoch”
No. 2006 “Wolf of Badenoch”
flickr/Historical Railway Images

Due to reliability issues originating from the difficult maintenance under war conditions, Thompson rebuilt all six P2 into A2/2 Pacifics in 1943 and 1944. So no P2 is preserved, but today there are two undertakings which are building a new P2 each. One will be non-streamlined and called 2007 “Prince of Wales”, while the other will be called 2001 “Cock o' the North” and be streamlined, like the original 2001 after it had been rebuilt.

Axle config2-8-2 (Mikado) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Wheelbase37 ft 11 in
Fixed wheelbase19 ft 6 in
Total wheelbase64 ft 1 in
Service weight247,520 lbs
Adhesive weight180,544 lbs
Total weight382,704 lbs
Axle load44,800 lbs
Water capacity6,005 us gal
Fuel capacity20,160 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power2,800 hp (2,088 kW)
Optimal speed41 mph
Starting effort43,462 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter74 in
Boiler pressure220 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylindersthree, 21 x 26 in
Grate area50 sq ft
Firebox area252.5 sq ft
Tube heating area2,345.5 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,598 sq ft
Superheater area749 sq ft
Total heating area3,347 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
Herbert Nigel Gresley
last changed: 05/2024

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