The reference for locomotives and railcars


Page views since 2023-01-26: 312656
North British class H
London & North Eastern classes C10 and C11
Great Britain | 1906 | 22 produced
No. 903 “Highland Chief” on a Stephenson works photo
No. 903 “Highland Chief” on a Stephenson works photo
flickr/Historical Railway Images

When the North British Railway needed new express locomotives which were much more powerful than the existing 4-4-0, William Reid developed the Atlantic that was later called class H. It was the only five-axle tender locomotive of this railway and also the most powerful one. The decision not to design a ten-wheeler and to use only two driving axles may have been influenced by the tight curves in the NBR network.

The first batch of 14 was built by the North British Locomotive Co. in 1906. Although they initially had problems with mass balancing and were too long for the existing turntables, they quickly became the flagship of the NBR. When it was realized that there was the need for more of these powerful locomotives, six more were built by Robert Stephenson & Co. in 1911. Two additional locomotives were built in 1925 by North British, which were equipped with superheaters

All remaining locomotives were superheated starting in 1915. To distinguish them, the non-superheated locomotives were renamed to class I and renamed back to H when the superheater was installed. This process took until 1926, so even the LNER used a similar approach by calling the last non-superheated ones class C10 while the others were class C11.

After the introduction of the LNER Pacifics, the Atlantics were used for less important trains. They were finally withdrawn between 1933 and 1937. The “Midlothian” was selected for preservation, but since the order to preserve it came too late, it was already partially scrapped. Although it was rebuilt, the steel shortage in World War II sealed its fate. So it was cut up and the material was used for the production of aircraft.

Variantas builtrebuilt C11
Built1906, 1911, 19211915-1925
ManufacturerNorth British, Robert Stephenson & Co.
Axle config4-4-2 (Atlantic) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length59 ft
Wheelbase27 ft 9 1/2 in
Fixed wheelbase7 ft 4 in
Total wheelbase53 ft 2 in
Empty weight150,304 lbs
Service weight166,656 lbs167,552 lbs
Adhesive weight89,600 lbs
Total weight268,352 lbs269,248 lbs
Axle load44,800 lbs
Water capacity5,092 us gal
Fuel capacity15,680 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,200 hp (895 kW)1,300 hp (969 kW)
Optimal speed33 mph36 mph
Starting effort23,506 lbf23,324 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter81 in
Boiler pressure200 psi180 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 20 x 28 intwo, 21 x 28 in
Grate area28.5 sq ft
Firebox area187.8 sq ft184.8 sq ft
Tube heating area2,068.2 sq ft1,619.2 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,256 sq ft1,804 sq ft
Superheater area263 sq ft
Total heating area2,256 sq ft2,067 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
William Paton Reid
last changed: 04/2024

We use cookies to save the following settings:

  • selected navigation structure
  • selected language
  • preferred units
  • spelling of railway company names

If you refuse the use of cookies, the settings will only be retained for the current session and will be reset to the default values the next time you visit the site.

Display of units

Here you can set the desired unit system for the technical data.

  • Metric: Lengths in meters, weights in tonnes, and volumes in cubic meters
  • Imperial (UK): Lengths in feet/inches, weights in long tons and volumes in imperial gallons
  • Imperial (US): Lengths in feet/inches, weights in pounds, and volumes in US gallons
  • Individual: Depends on the country of origin of each locomotive
Operator names

Here you can set the display of railway company names.

  • Short: Abbreviation or short form of the name
  • Standard: commonly used name, partially translated to English
  • Complete: full name in local language