LNER Class V4

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LNER Class V4
Ardlui railway geograph-2339081-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
V4 No. 1700 Bantom Cock in August 1948
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Nigel Gresley
Build date 1940
Specifications
Configuration 2-6-2
Leading wheel
diameter
3 ft 2 in (0.97 m)
Driver diameter 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Trailing wheel
diameter
3 ft 2 in (0.97 m)
Wheelbase 29 ft 4 in (8.94 m) engine
13 ft 0 in (3.96 m) tender
50 ft 2 14 in (15.297 m) total
Axle load 17 long tons (17 t)
Locomotive weight 70.4 long tons (71.5 t)
Tender weight 42.75 long tons (43.44 t)
Locomotive and tender
combined weight
113.15 long tons (114.97 t)
Boiler 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m) diameter
Boiler pressure 250 psi (1.7 MPa)
Firegrate area 28.5 sq ft (2.65 m2)
Heating surface:
– Tubes
884.3 sq ft (82.15 m2)
– Flues 408.2 sq ft (37.92 m2)
– Firebox 151.6 sq ft (14.08 m2)
– Total 1,799.9 sq ft (167.22 m2)
Superheater area 355.8 sq ft (33.05 m2)
Cylinders 3
Cylinder size 15 in × 26 in (380 mm × 660 mm)
Valve gear Walschaerts outside, Gresley conjugation for inside
Performance figures
Tractive effort 27,420 lbf (122.0 kN)
Career
Operator(s) London and North Eastern Railway, British Railways
Retired 1957
Disposition Scrapped

The London and North Eastern Railway Class V4 was a class of 2-6-2 steam locomotive designed by Sir Nigel Gresley for mixed-traffic use. It was Gresley's last design for the LNER before he died in 1941. The V4s had similarities in their appearance and mechanical layout to the V2 "Green Arrow" class. The V2s, introduced some years previously, were large and heavy locomotives, with very limited route availability. The V4 was a lightweight alternative, suitable for use over the whole of the LNER network.

Features[edit]

Two locomotives were built at the LNER's Doncaster Works in 1941. The first engine, 3401 Bantam Cock, had a scaled down version of the Gresley Pacific boiler with a grate area of 27.5 sq ft. Its tractive effort of 27,000 lbs was produced by boiler pressure of 250 psi and three cylinders of 15" diameter. The second locomotive, 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".

Performance[edit]

The type was tried on the Great Eastern section of the LNER, and was well received[citation needed], with more power than the existing B17's and better riding qualities. It was anticipated that many more would be produced, but after the death of Gresley and his succession by Edward Thompson, no more were built. Instead, the LNER Thompson Class B1 was adopted as the LNER's standard mixed-traffic locomotive.

Service in Scotland[edit]

The two locomotives were sent to Scotland for use on the West Highland Line, although their wheel arrangement was not particularly suitable for the steep gradients on the line. They were renumbered 1700 and 1701 in 1946, and later became British Railways 61700 and 61701.

Withdrawal[edit]

Both were scrapped in 1957 when their boilers became due for renewal.

References[edit]