Locomotives of the Great Northern Railway (Great Britain)

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As is customary, engine classes are organized according to the man who was locomotive superintendent when the class was introduced, and to whom the design is often attributed. Six men held this post during the existence of the Great Northern Railway.

Until 1868 engines were obtained from outside manufacturers, but after this date were increasingly built at the railway's own Doncaster Works, commonly known as the "Plant".

Some engines acquired second-hand or from absorbed companies have been omitted from these lists.

The system of classes was introduced in 1900. Engines withdrawn prior to that date will not have them.

Benjamin Cubitt (1846–1848)[edit]

Numbers Wheel
Arrangement
Quantity Manufacturer Date Notes
1–50 2-2-2 50 Sharp Bros. 1847–50 "Small Sharps"; most rebuilt by Sturrock: 31 in 1852 as 2-2-2T (of which 11 later became 0-4-2T) and 14 as 0-4-2 from 1859–67
51–70 2-2-2 20 R & W Hawthorn 1848–50 "Small Hawthorns"; two rebuilt by Stirling in 1870 as 0-4-2
101–115 0-4-2 15 R & W Hawthorn 1848–49 No. 111 rebuilt in 1863 as 0-6-0ST
121–132 0-4-0 12 Bury, Curtis & Kennedy 1848–49 Five rebuilt 1852–53 as 0-4-2ST
66 (later 100) 2-4-0 1 Bury, Curtis & Kennedy 1849

Edward Bury (1848–1850)[edit]

Numbers Wheel
Arrangement
Quantity Manufacturer Date Notes
116–120, 134–158, 167 0-6-0 30 R .& W. Hawthorn (15)
E. B. Wilson & Co. (15)
1850–51 Eight converted to Saddle tanks in 1864–66

Bury resigned after it was discovered he had placed orders for parts with his own firm, rather than another one which had offered a lower bid.

Archibald Sturrock (1850–1866)[edit]

Numbers Wheel
Arrangement
Quantity Manufacturer Date Ivatt
Class
Notes
201–202 2-2-2 2 E. B. Wilson & Co. 1850 "Jenny Lind" type.
71–90 2-4-0 20 R & W Hawthorn (5)
E. B. Wilson & Co. (15)
1851
91–99, 200 4-2-0 10 R. B. Longridge & Co. 1851–52 Crampton-type. All converted 1853–54 to 2-2-2.
168–199, 300–307 0-6-0 40 E. B. Wilson & Co. (30)
Wm. Fairbairn & Sons (10)
1851–53 J3 5-ft wheels
308–390 0-6-0 83 E. B. Wilson & Co. (23)
Kitson & Co. (10)
James Nasmyth & Co. (10)
R. & W. Hawthorn (5)
Sharp, Stewart & Co. (20)
R. Stephenson & Co. (10)
Vulcan Foundry (5)
1851–56 J1 5-ft 3-in wheels
203–214 2-2-2 12 R & W Hawthorn 1852–53 “Large Hawthorns”
215 4-2-2 1 R & W Hawthorn 1853 7-foot-6-inch (2.29 m) driving wheels reused on Stirlings' No. 92
223–228 2-4-0 6 R & W Hawthorn 1855 6-ft 6-in wheels
229–240 2-2-2 12 Kitson & Co. (4)
Sharp Stewart (4)
Stephenson (4)
1860 7-ft 0-in wheels
241–250, 270–279 0-4-2T 20 Avonside Engine Co. (15)
Neilson & Co. (5)
1865–67 F5
400–469 0-6-0 70 Avonside Engine Co. (5)
Kitson & Co. (20)
Neilson & Co. (20)
R. & W. Hawthorn (19)
Vulcan Foundry (6)
1865–66 J2/J3 50 with steam tenders, removed in 1868
251–260 2-4-0 10 Sharp Stewart 1866 E5 6-ft 0-in wheels
472–473 0-8-0T 2 Avonside Engine Co. 1866
264–269 2-4-0 6 John Fowler & Co. (3)
Yorkshire Engine Co. (3)
1866–67 B6 7-ft 0-in wheels. Rebuilt 1873–78 as 2-2-2

Patrick Stirling 1866–1895[edit]

Stirling built locomotives with domeless ("straightback") boilers. Many were rebuilt by Ivatt with larger, domed boilers, and were placed in a different class as shown in the table.

No. of
1st built
Wheel
Arrangement
Quantity Manufacturer Date Ivatt
Class
Rebuilt
as Class
LNER Class Notes
280 2-4-0 22 Avonside Engine Co. (10)
Yorkshire Engine Co. (10)
Doncaster Works (2)
1867–71 E3 E4
474 0-6-0 35 Neilson & Co. (10)
John Fowler & Co. (10)
Doncaster Works (15)
1867–73 J7 J8
6 2-2-2 12 Doncaster Works 1868–70 B5 B7 7-foot-0-inch (2.13 m) driving wheels
18 0-4-2 117 1868–76 F2 F3 8 more supplied by Sharp, Stewart to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR 605 class)
218 0-4-2 4 Doncaster Works 1868–69 F1
126 0-4-2WT 13 Doncaster Works 1868–71 F4 F6
392 0-6-0ST 7 Doncaster Works 1868–73 J11 J12
396 0-6-0ST 7 Doncaster Works 1869–74 J19
92 2-2-2 1 Doncaster Works 1870 B1 7-foot-6-inch (2.29 m) driving wheels from Sturrocks' No. 215
1 4-2-2 47 Doncaster Works 1870–93 A2 A3
120 0-4-4BT 46 Doncaster Works 1872–81 G2 No.533 rebuilt as a crane-tank in 1905.
174 0-6-0 6 Doncaster Works 1872–74 original J4 Class extinct 1906, "J4" designation later reused for rebuilds of "J5"s
171 0-6-0 160 Doncaster Works (110)
Vulcan Foundry (15)
Dübs & Co. (35)
1873–96 J6 J4/J5 J3/J4 Boiler diameter: 4 ft 2½ in for J6,
4 ft 5 in for J5, 4 ft 8 in for J4
494 0-6-0ST 95 1874–92 J15 J16 J54/J55
86 2-4-0 117 Doncaster Works (105)
Kitson & Co. (12)
1874–79 E2 E1
605 0-6-0ST 2 Doncaster Works 1875 J20
606 0-6-0ST 10 Doncaster Works 1876–77 J17 J16 J56
501 0-4-2ST 6 Doncaster Works 1876–78 F7
629 0-4-4BT 2 Doncaster Works 1880 G5
658 0-4-4T 16 Doncaster Works 1881–85 G3 G4 G2
684 0-6-0ST 8 Doncaster Works 1882–92 J18 J57
103 0-4-2 33 Doncaster Works 1882–95 F2 F3
374 0-6-0 8 Doncaster Works 1883–88 J10 J9 J7
238 2-2-2 2 Doncaster Works 1885 B2
234 2-2-2 21 Doncaster Works 1886–94 B3 B4
766 0-4-4T 29 Doncaster Works 1889–95 G1 G1
921 0-6-0ST 52 Doncaster Works (32)
Neilson & Co. (20)
1892–97 J14 J53
1003 4-2-2 6 Doncaster Works 1894–95 A1 A3 Class extinct 1916, "A1" designation later reused for 4-6-2s
1081 0-6-0 10 Doncaster Works 1896 J5 J4 J3/J4 Boiler diameter: 4 ft 2½ in for J6,
4 ft 5 in for J5, 4 ft 8 in for J4
1021 0-6-0 10 Doncaster Works 1896 J9

Henry Ivatt (1895–1911)[edit]

Class W.A. Quantity Manufacturer Date LNER Class Notes
D2 4-4-0 51 Doncaster Works 1896–99 D4 all rebuilt with larger boilers as D3 1912–28
E1 2-4-0 10 Doncaster Works 1897 E1
J5 0-6-0 133 Doncaster Works (50)
Dübs & Co. (48)
Kitson & Co. (25)
1897–1901 J4 5 ft 2 in wheels
J13 0-6-0ST 85 Doncaster Works (50)
R. Stephenson & Co. (10)
Sharp, Stewart & Co. (25)
1897–1909 J52
A4 4-2-2 1 Doncaster Works 1898 No.266
C1 4-4-2 22 Doncaster Works 1898–1903 C2 Small Boiler "Klondykes", some variations
C2 4-4-2T 60 Doncaster Works 1898–1907 C12
D1 4-4-0 70 Doncaster Works 1898–1909 D2
H1 2-6-0 20 Baldwin Locomotive Works 1899–1900
A5 4-2-2 11 Doncaster Works 1900–01
K1 0-8-0 55 Doncaster Works 1901–09 Q1/Q2 Q2 were rebuilds with piston valves.
C1 4-4-2 91 Doncaster Works 1902–10 C1 Large Boiler - Several experimental variations
L1 0-8-2T 41 Doncaster Works 1903–06 R1
C1 4-4-2 3 Doncaster Works (2)
Vulcan Foundry (1)
1905 C1 Four-cylinder compound
M 0-4-4T 6 Doncaster Works (2)
Kitson & Co. (2)
Avonside Engine Co. (2)
1905–1906 Steam railcars
N1 0-6-2T 56 Doncaster Works 1907–12 N1
J21 0-6-0 15 Doncaster Works 1908 J1 5 ft 8 in wheels
J22 0-6-0 20 Doncaster Works 1909–10 J5 5 ft 2 in wheels
D1 4-4-0 15 Doncaster Works 1911 D1 Superheated
J21 0-6-0 10 Doncaster Works 1912 J2 5 ft 8 in wheels - Superheated

Nigel Gresley (1911–1923)[edit]

Class W.A. Quantity Manufacturer Date LNER Class Notes
J22 0-6-0T 110 Doncaster Works 1911–21 J6 5 ft 2 in wheels - Superheated
H2 2-6-0 10 Doncaster Works 1912–13 K1 All rebuilt as GNR Class H3 (LNER Class K2) 1920–37
J4 0-6-0 71 (1912–21) J3 All rebuilds of J5, 82 more rebuilt by LNER
D3 4-4-0 46 (1912–23) D3 All rebuilds of D2, remaining 5 rebuilt by LNER
O1 2-8-0 20 Doncaster Works (5)
North British Locomotive Co. (15)
1913–19 O1
J23 0-6-0T 30 Doncaster Works 1913–19 J51 All rebuilt by LNER to J50
H3 2-6-0 65 Doncaster Works (20)
North British Locomotive Co. (20)
Kitson & Co. (25)
1913–21 K2 Another 10 rebuilt from GNR Class H2 (LNER Class K1) 1920–37
K2 0-8-0 1 Doncaster Works (1914) Q3 Rebuild of K1 with same boiler as H3
O2 2-8-0 1 Doncaster Works 1918 O2 Three-cylinder, first use of conjugated valve-gear
H4 2-6-0 10 Doncaster Works 1920–25 K3 Another 183 built by LNER
O2 2-8-0 10 North British Locomotive Co. 1921 O2 Three-cylinder. Another 56 built by LNER
N2 0-6-2T 60 Doncaster Works (10)
North British Locomotive Co. (50)
1920–21 N2 Another 47 built by LNER
J23 0-6-0T 10 Doncaster Works 1922 J50 Another 62 built by LNER + 30 rebuilds from J51
A1 4-6-2 2 Doncaster Works 1922 A1 Three-cylinder. Another 50 built by LNER, including Flying Scotsman

Preserved locomotives[edit]

GNR No. GN class W.A. Manufacturer Serial No. Date Notes
1 A2 4-2-2 Doncaster Works 50 April 1870 Static exhibit, National Collection, York
990 C1 4-4-2 Doncaster Works 769 May 1898 Named Henry Oakley; static exhibit, National Collection, York
251 C1 4-4-2 Doncaster Works 991 December 1902 Static exhibit, National Collection, Bressingham
1247 J13 0-6-0ST Sharp, Stewart & Co. 4492 May 1899 BR No. 68846; National Collection, York
1744 N2 0-6-2T North British Locomotive Co. 22500 February 1921 BR No. 69523; Serviceable.
1472 A1 4-6-2 Doncaster railway works 1923 BR No. 60103 Flying Scotsman; Undergoing refit. Construction started by the GNR, but delivered to the LNER.

References[edit]

  • Bird, George Frederick (1910). The Locomotives of the Great Northern Railway. London: Locomotive Publishing Co. 
  • Groves, Norman (1986). Great Northern Locomotive History, Volume 1: 1847–66. Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. ISBN 0-901115-61-4. 
  • Groves, Norman (1991) [1987]. Great Northern Locomotive History, Volume 2: 1867–95 The Stirling Era. Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. ISBN 0-901115-74-6. 
  • Groves, Norman (1990). Great Northern Locomotive History, Volume 3a: 1896–1911 The Ivatt Era. Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. ISBN 0-901115-69-X. 
  • Groves, Norman (1992). Great Northern Locomotive History, Volume 3b: 1911–1922 The Gresley Era. Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. ISBN 0-901115-70-3.