Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era
1932 – 4-4-0 Compounds
Great Northern Railway of Ireland
For working the fast expresses over the GNR main line between Dublin and Belfast, the timings of which it was desired to accelerate, G.T.Glover built five 3-cylinder compound 4-4-0s in 1932. This was made possible by reconstructing the Boyne viaduct so as to permit a heavier axle loading which in the new engines amounted to 22 tons. They were built with round-topped boilers with the unusually high working pressure of 250 lb. per square inch, but these were latterly replaced with Belpaire type boilers with reduced pressure. In some ways they followed the design of the well-known Midland compounds. It was the last new compound design to appear in the British Isles. For many years these engines formed the mainstay in working the somewhat difficult schedules of the tightly timed expresses, but were superseded in 1948 by five new somewhat similar engines employing simple propulsion instead of compound, and more recently, by diesel railcars.
They were numbered 83-7, and were named ‘Eagle’, ‘Falcon’, ‘Merlin’, ‘Peregrine’ and ‘Kestrel’, and like so many engines for this railway, came from the works of Beyer Peacock & Co.
Driving wheels – 6’ 7” , Cylinders – 1 HP inside: 17¼”x 26”, 2 HP outside: 19”x 26”, Pressure – 250 lb., (later reduced to 215 lb.), – Tractive effort – 23760 lb., (later reduced to 20435 lb., Classification – W