Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era
1889 – 0-6-2T Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway
This class originated in 1889 under the superintendency of T.Parker, and 55 of the original design were built between that year and 1892. In 1891 a slightly modified version appeared, notable in that it was the first engine in this country to be fitted with a Belpaire firebox. Thereafter all new engines built by the MSLR for the Great Central, as it became in 1897, had this type of firebox, and it was eventually adopted to a great extent by most other lines, although never attaining quite such universal popularity as on the GCR.
The Belpaire 0-6-2Ts eventually totalled 129 engines, built between 1891 and 1901. Two of them started life on the Wrexham, Mold and Connah’s Quay Railway, a small line later absorbed by the GCR. The earlier series gradually also acquired Belpaire boilers, after which they differed only in having Joy’s valve gear instead of Stephenson’s link motion. To outward appearances they were identical.
All survived to become LNER Classes N4 (the original round-topped engines) and N5, but by the 1946 renumbering a few of both batches had been scrapped. The survivors then became Nos.9225-48 (Class N4) AND 9250-9370 (Class N5). Many of the former and nearly all of the latter lasted to have 60000 added to their numbers under BR auspices.
No.771 (later No.69311) was rebuilt in 1915 with long side tanks extending to the front of the boiler, but apart from this exception the engines have undergone little change. The original stovepipe chimneys were replaced by Robinson with a handsome tapering design, but in the 1930s these gave way to an extremely ugly ‘flower pot’ type, the shape of which is well indicated by its nickname, a disfigurement meted out to nearly all Great Central types at this period.
Class N4 became extinct in 1954 but the N5s did not begin to be withdrawn in any considerable numbers until the late 1950s, and about forty of them were still in service towards the end of 1959.
N4 – Driving wheels – 5’ 1”, Cylinders – 18”x 26”, Pressure – 160 lb., Tractive effort – 18781 lb., Weight – 61 tons 19 cwt., GCR Classification – 9A, LNER Classification – N4, BR Classification – 2MT
N5 – Driving wheels – 5’ 1”, Cylinders – 18”x 26”, Pressure – 160 lb., Tractive effort – 18781 lb., Weight – 62 tons 7 cwt., GCR Classification – 9C & 9F, LNER Classification – N5, BR Classification – 2MT