Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era
1908 – 2-6-2
This was an experimental engine constructed at Derby in 1908 to the design of the General Superintendent, Cecil Paget, although R.M.Deeley was locomotive superintendent at the time.
There were eight cylinders, 18”x 12”, in two groups of four, placed between the first and second and the second and third driving axles. The middle axle had four inside cranks, two driven by the pistons of the front group of cylinders and two by the rear ones. The fore and aft coupled axles each had two cranks, driven by the remaining two cylinders of the adjacent group. The movements of pistons and cranks were arranged so that all were balanced. The valves were of the sleeve type.
Owing to the need for as much space as possible for the cylinders and connecting rods, the frames were placed outside the wheels. The boiler was also unusual in design, with a wide firebox extending the whole width of the frames.
The engine ran only a few trial trips, much leakage trouble being experienced with the sleeve valves. When it did get going it was said to be very fast and powerful, and attained 82 mph on test on one occasion. However, the authorities apparently soon lost interest in it, and for a long time it remained in Derby works covered by sheeting and no visitor was permitted near it. It was quietly cut up in 1919.
For many years no details or drawings of the engine or of its trials were allowed to be published, and No. 2299, as it was numbered, remained a sort of legendary myth to the railway enthusiasts of those days. It was not until after the grouping that details were finally forthcoming, and the official photograph released for publication. Until that time very few people had more than the vaguest idea of what the engine looked like, and some even expressed doubts as to whether it had in fact ever existed.
Driving wheels – 5’ 4”, Leading and trailing wheels – 3’ 3½”, Pressure – 180 lb., Weight (approx) 77 tons.