GCR Class 8

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Great Central Railway Class 8
Mexborough Locomotive Depot geograph-2613006-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
Ex-Great Central 'Fish' class 4-6-0 at Mexborough Locomotive Depot. LNER Class B5 No. 1689 was one of the earlier Robinson 4-6-0s, built February 1904, became LNER No. 5186 and was withdrawn in October 1949, six months after this photograph. It looks ready to retire, having been relegated to banking up to Dunford Bridge following exhausting work during the war: here it is still in—extremely dirty—LNER livery.
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer John G. Robinson
Build date 1902 (6), 1904 (8)
Total produced 14
Configuration 4-6-0
UIC classification 2′C
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading wheel
3 ft 6 in (1.067 m)
Driver diameter 6 ft 1 in (1.854 m)
Locomotive weight 64.15 long tons (65.18 t)
Boiler pressure 180 psi (1.24 MPa)
Firegrate area 23.5 sq ft (2.18 m2)
Heating surface:
– Total
1,795 sq ft (166.8 m2)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 19 in × 26 in (483 mm × 660 mm)
Valve gear Stephenson
Valve type Slide valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort 19,672 lbf (87.51 kN)
  • GCR: 8
  • LNER: B5
  • GCR: 1067–1072, 180–187
  • LNER: 6067–6072, 5180–5187;
  • later 1678–1682
  • BR: 61678–61682
Nicknames Fish engines
Retired 1939–1950
Disposition All scrapped

The Great Central Railway Class 8 - London North Eastern Railway Class B5 - was a class of 4-6-0 steam locomotives. They were nicknamed "Fish Engines" on delivery, due to their use on the fast fish deliveries from Grimsby to places like London, the duty they were designed for. The last was withdrawn in 1950.


A 1/5 scale, 10.25 in gauge model of number 181 has been made by Andrew Simkins. This model is externally faithful to Robinson's design but cleverly uses a footwell to conceal most of the driver in the tender. It was showcased and won an award at the Model engineering exhibition in 2003. It has since been seen on several of the 10.25 in gauge railways around Britain.[citation needed]


  • Casserley, H.C.; S.W. Johnson (1974) [1966]. Locomotives at the Grouping 2: London and North Eastern Railway. Shepperton, Surrey: Ian Allan Limited. pp. 12, 107, 111. ISBN 0-7110-0553-2. 

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