LNER Class V4

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LNER Class V4
Ardlui railway geograph-2339081-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
V4 No. 1700 Bantam Cock in August 1948
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Nigel Gresley
Build date 1941
Total produced 2
 • Whyte 2-6-2
Leading dia. 3 ft 2 in (0.97 m)
Driver dia. 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Trailing dia. 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)
Loco weight 70.4 long tons (71.5 t)
Tender weight 42.75 long tons (43.44 t)
Total weight 113.15 long tons (114.97 t)
 • Firegrate area
28.5 sq ft (2.65 m2)
Boiler 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m) diameter
Boiler pressure 250 psi (1.7 MPa)
Heating surface 1,799.9 sq ft (167.22 m2)
 • Tubes 884.3 sq ft (82.15 m2)
 • Flues 408.2 sq ft (37.92 m2)
 • Firebox 151.6 sq ft (14.08 m2)
 • Heating 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)
Operators London and North Eastern Railway, British Railways
Power class 6P5F
Numbers 3401-3402 (prior to 1946), 1700-1701 (1946-1948), 61700-61701 (1948 onwards)
Locale Scottish Region, Eastern Region
Retired 1957
Disposition Both scrapped, one new-build in planning

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 before, 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.


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-inch 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".


The type was tried on the Great Eastern section of the LNER, and was well received,[citation needed] with more power than the existing B17s 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.


Both were scrapped in 1957 when their boilers became due for renewal. However, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has announced that after the completion of no. 2007 "Prince of Wales", they would begin construction on a new V4.[1]


  1. ^ "News Archives - The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust". The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust. Retrieved 2016-10-07.