GCR Class 1

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GCR Class 1
LNER Class B2 (later B19)
Sheffield Victoria ex-GC Robinson 4-6-0 geograph-2848748-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
Nameless No. 1492 (ex 427 City of London) at Sheffield Victoria, 17 July 1947
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer John G. Robinson
Builder GCR Gorton Works
Build date December 1912 – December 1913
Total produced 6
Configuration 4-6-0
UIC classification 2′C h2
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading wheel
3 ft 6 in (1.067 m)
Driver diameter 6 ft 9 in (2.057 m)
Wheelbase Loco: 28 ft 10 in (8.79 m)
Axle load 19 long tons 10 cwt (43,700 lb or 19.8 t)
Weight on drivers 57 long tons 10 cwt (128,800 lb or 58.4 t)
Locomotive weight 75 long tons 4 cwt (168,400 lb or 76.4 t)
Tender weight 48 long tons 6 cwt (108,200 lb or 49.1 t)
Fuel capacity 6 long tons 0 cwt (13,400 lb or 6.1 t)
Water capacity 4,000 imp gal (18,000 l; 4,800 US gal)
Boiler pressure 180 psi (1.24 MPa)
Firegrate area 26.5 sq ft (2.46 m2)
Cylinders Two, inside
Cylinder size 21.5 in × 26 in (546 mm × 660 mm)
Valve gear Stephenson
Valve type 10-inch (250 mm) piston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort 22,700 lbf (101.0 kN)
  • GCR: 1
  • LNER: B2 (B19 from 1945)
  • GCR: 423–428;
  • LNER: 5423–5428 (1490–1493 from 1946)
Nicknames Sir Sam Fay class
Withdrawn 1944–1947
Disposition All scrapped

The GCR Class 1 was a class of steam locomotives designed by John G. Robinson for the Great Central Railway, and 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, and all had been retired by the end of 1947.


Although commonly believed that they were intended as express passenger locomotives, the Great Central actually 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 (Immingham) 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; all were green by the end of 1922.[1] 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 (Director) class 4-4-0s for the generally light express passenger services of the pre-1914 years on the London Extension.

Alleged problems[edit]

There is similarly 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 very similar to, for example, the later Gresley K3 2-6-0s, and their fireboxes were deep and relatively large for their 26.5 square feet (2.46 m2) 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 (229 mm × 229 mm) on the two leading axles and 8 by 12 inches (203 mm × 305 mm) on the trailing set. In fact a more likely source of initial trouble was the marine-type big ends fitted to the first five, since the sixth reverted to strap and cotter type.


Table of numbers and names[2]
Built GCR No. LNER No. LNER 1946 No. Name Withdrawn
December 1912 423 5423 1490 Sir Sam Fay April 1947
January 1913 424 5424 City of Lincoln November 1945
February 1913 425 5425 1491 City of Manchester July 1947
March 1913 426 5426 City of Chester December 1944
March 1913 427 5427 1492 City of London[a] November 1947
December 1913 428 5428 1493 City of Liverpool April 1947
  1. ^ Name removed in September 1937, and applied to streamlined B17/5 No. 2870


  • Per Rail (Kingston-on-Thames: Knapp, Drewett & Sons). 1913.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Boddy, M. G.; Brown, W. A.; Fry, E. V.; Hennigan, W.; Hoole, Ken; Manners, F.; Neve, E.; Platt, E. N. T.; Proud, P.; Yeadon, W. B. (March 1975). 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.; S. W. Johnson (1974) [1966]. Locomotives at the Grouping 2: London and North Eastern Railway. Shepperton, Surrey: Ian Allan Limited. ISBN 0-7110-0553-2. 

External links[edit]