LNER Class A4 2509 Silver Link

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Silver Link
60014 Silver Link Doncaster Works.jpg
Silver Link at Doncaster Works in March 1963, shortly before it was broken up for scrap
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
BuilderLNER, Doncaster Works
Serial number1818
Build dateSeptember 1935
 • Whyte4-6-2
 • UIC2'C1h3
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Leading dia.3 ft 2 in (0.965 m)
Driver dia.6 ft 8 in (2.032 m)
Trailing dia.3 ft 8 in (1.118 m)
Boiler pressure250 psi (1.72 MPa)
Cylinder size18.5 in × 26 in (470 mm × 660 mm)
Loco brakeSteam
Train brakesLNER: Vacuum
Performance figures
Tractive effort35,455 lbf (157.7 kN)
Number in class35
NumbersLNER 2509, 14, BR 60014
Official nameSilver Link"

Silver Link was the first London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) A4 Class locomotive, built in 1935 to pull a new train called the Silver Jubilee.


Silver Link made its inaugural journey from King's Cross on 29 September 1935. It reached a speed of 112mph, breaking all previous records. The record provoked the LNER and their chief rival the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) into a highly competitive speed war, each attempting to outdo the other by building ever faster locomotives. The main protagonists were Sir Nigel Gresley, LNER's chief mechanical engineer, and his counterpart at LMS, Sir William Stanier.

Silver Link was so named after a line in a poem about love by Sir Walter Scott, which reads:

"True love's the gift which God has given
To man alone beneath the heaven;
It is not fantasy's hot fire,
Whose wishes, soon as granted, fly;
It liveth not in fierce desire,
With dead desire it doth not die;
It is the secret sympathy,
The silver link, the silken tie,
Which heart to heart, and mind to mind,
In body and in soul can bind." [1]

Allocated to Kings Cross shed, it was withdrawn from service on 29 December 1962 when the East Coast Main Line express services were taken over by Deltic diesel locomotives. It was not preserved after withdrawal and was broken up for scrap at Doncaster Works on 7 September 1963, on the same site where it had been built nearly twenty eight years earlier.[2][3]

The locomotive made a brief appearance in the film Oh, Mr. Porter!. It was also the subject of art deco posters for the Silver Jubilee.[citation needed]

For a number of years, one of its sister locomotives, Bittern was painted to represent Silver Link in its original silver and grey livery.

Two instances of the Silver Link nameplate are on display at the National Railway Museum, York, UK.[4]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Boddy, M.G.; Neve, E.; Yeadon, W.B. (April 1973). Fry, E.V., ed. Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., part 2A: Tender Engines - Classes A1 to A10. Kenilworth: RCTS. p. 134. ISBN 0-901115-25-8.
  3. ^ http://railwayphotoprints.co.uk/image/detail/41[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ National Railway Museum, object number: 1975-7609

External links[edit]