LNER Thompson Class B2

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LNER Thompson Class B2
Bethnal Green Station Liverpool Street - Hunstanton express geograph-2316121-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
B2 class locomotive No. 61615 Culford Hall leads the 12.14 Summer Saturday Liverpool Street to Hunstanton express past Bethnal Green.
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
Build date1928–1937 (as class B17)
Rebuild date1945–1949
Number rebuilt10
 • Whyte4-6-0
 • UIC2′C h2
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading dia.3 ft 2 in (0.965 m)
Driver dia.6 ft 8 in (2.032 m)
WheelbaseLoco: 28 ft 2 in (8.59 m)
Axle loadFull: 18 long tons 12 cwt (41,700 lb or 18.9 t)
Adhesive weightFull: 54 long tons 14 cwt (122,500 lb or 55.6 t)
Loco weightFull: 73 long tons 10 cwt (164,600 lb or 74.7 t)
Fuel typeCoal
 • Firegrate area
27.9 sq ft (2.59 m2)
BoilerDiagram 100A
Boiler pressure225 psi (1.55 MPa)
Heating surface:
 • Tubes
1,033 sq ft (96.0 m2)
 • Flues460 sq ft (43 m2)
 • Firebox168 sq ft (15.6 m2)
 • Heating area344 sq ft (32.0 m2)
CylindersTwo, outside
Cylinder size20 in × 26 in (510 mm × 660 mm)
Valve gearWalschaerts
Valve type10-inch (250 mm) piston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort24,863 lbf (110.60 kN)
OperatorsLNER » BR
Power classLNER: load class 4
BR: 4P; 5P from May 1953
Axle load classRoute availability: 5
DispositionAll scrapped

The London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) Thompson Class B2 was a class of 4-6-0 steam locomotive. It was introduced in 1945 as a two-cylinder rebuild (with diagram 100A boiler) of the three-cylinder LNER Class B17. Ten were rebuilt from Class B17 but no more were rebuilt because of the success of the LNER Thompson Class B1.


The LNER renumbered its locomotive stock during the period that these locomotives were being rebuilt, so some were renumbered at the time that they were rebuilt, some before rebuilding, and some after rebuilding. The renumbering plan for class B2 was the same as for class B17: in each case the first two digits were altered from 28 to 16. Thus 2803 became 1603 at rebuilding in October 1946; 2807 had already become 1607 (December 1946) prior to rebuilding in May 1947; and 2814 (rebuilt November 1946) became 1614 in December 1946.[1] Between 1948 and 1950, British Railways increased these numbers by 60000; no. 61644 was so renumbered at the time of its rebuilding in March 1949.[2]


The rebuilt locomotives kept their names:

  • 2803 (1603) Framlingham
  • 2807 (1607) Blickling
  • 2814 (1614) Castle Hedingham
  • 2815 (1615) Culford Hall
  • 2816 (1616) Fallodon
  • 2817 (1617) Ford Castle
  • 2832 (1632) Belvoir Castle
  • 2839 (1639) Norwich City
  • 2844 (1644) Earlham Hall
  • 2871 (1671) Manchester City

Two of the locomotives were renamed. No. 1671, based at Cambridge, was the official Royal engine, used to haul specials to and from Wolferton, which was the nearest station to Sandringham; for this purpose it was renamed Royal Sovereign in April 1946. When this locomotive was unavailable, no. 61617 Ford Castle was the designated reserve, and it was the latter which was one of the locomotives used to haul the funeral train of King George VI on 11 February 1952. This locomotive was used from Wolferton as far as King's Lynn; the train was hauled from there to King's Cross by BR standard class 7 70000 Britannia.[3] The second renaming occurred after the withdrawal of 61671 in September 1958: in October, the name Royal Sovereign was transferred to no. 61632, which then became the official Royal engine.[4]

None of them survived the scrapyard to be preserved.


  1. ^ Boddy et al. 1975, pp. 122, 159, 165.
  2. ^ Boddy et al. 1975, pp. 159, 165.
  3. ^ Boddy et al. 1975, p. 164.
  4. ^ Boddy et al. 1975, pp. 164, 165.


  • 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.

Further reading[edit]

  • Yeadon, W. B. (1993). Yeadon's Register of LNER Locomotives, Volume 5: Gresley B17 and Thompson B2 Classes. Irwell Press. ISBN 1871608384.

External links[edit]