Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era
No. 2400, as first built, running trials from King’ Cross
This was Sir Vincent Raven’s last design for the NER, and the first engine, No. 2400, came out only just before the grouping.
No. 2401 followed early in 1923, and three more, Nos. 2402-4, were built in 1924. These differed from the first two in having outside bearings to the trailing wheels. All were subsequently named after cities, No. 2400 ‘City of Newcastle’, etc. Like the Atlantics which preceded them, the three cylinders were all in line and drove the front coupled axle. The very long boilers resulted in the engines being nicknamed ‘Skittle Alleys’.
The engines were never very brilliant in performance, more might have been made of them, but they were eclipsed from the start by the superiority of Gresley’s contemporary Great Northern engines, so that they never really had very much chance. Owing to the grouping there was no real need for two different varieties of ‘Pacific’ for the LNER main lines, and Gresley’s own design was the obvious choice from the start.
No. 2404 was fitted with a Gresley boiler in 1929, and in 1934 the engines were provided with 8-wheeled tenders. All were taken out of service in 1936 and 1937.
Driving wheels – 6’ 8”, Cylinders (3) – 19”x 26”, Pressure – 200 lb., Weight 97 tons