Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era
1941 – Gresley Lightweight 2-6-2
London & North Eastern Railway
This was Sir Nigel Gresley’s last design, and consisted of two engines only, No.3401 ‘Bantam Cock’ and No.3402, unofficially known as ‘Bantam Hen’, although it never actually bore the name.
They were intended to become the prototypes of a new standard class of lighter general purpose engine to replace the aging ‘Atlantics’ and other types from the former GNR, GCR and the rest of the various LNER constituent companies, but owing to Sir Nigel’s untimely death no more were built. E.Thompson, who succeeded him, had different ideas on the subject, and introduced his B1 4-6-0 mixed traffic class for the same purpose. The two Gresley engines spent most of their time in Scotland, mainly on the West Highland lines, but as a non-standard class both were withdrawn in 1957. In 1946 they had become Nos.1700 and 1701, and later BR Nos. 61700-1.
Driving wheels – 5’ 8”, Cylinders (3) – 15”x 26”, Pressure – 250 lb., Tractive effort – 27420 lb., Weight – 70 tons 8 cwt., LNER classification – V4, BR classification – 4MT