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Unknown Locomotive - Can you help


MarkWHL
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Hi all,

 

This is my first post on this site and I hope the more knowledgeable and experienced members will be able to shed some light.

 

I have very recently acquired a kit built OO Gauge locomotive from eBay - bought it because it looked such a smart and nicely proportioned engine and because I hadn't seen it before it was of great interest. However, I have looked high and low on sites and forums, databases, web pictures etc. to try and identify the class of the locomotive but I can't see anything that remotely represents it.

 

From my initial judgement it looks to have some design features similar to those of Gresley's and/or Henry Ivatt's designs - possibly LNER or GNR origins but I'm stabbing in the dark.

 

Can anyone help me or shed light on this locomotive.

 

Regards,

Mark

Unknown Loco 1.png

Unknown Loco 2.png

Unknown Loco 3.png

Unknown Loco 4.png

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It looks to me as if someone has decided to back-date a LNER Gresley B17, built 1928, to an imaginary pre-grouping Great Northern outline, with a round roofed Stirling type of cab. Not sure where the firebox came from, it looks a bit like the top of the wide style provided on the larger Ivatt Atlantics, or a Gresley Pacific. I don't know if there were any Ivatt/early Gresley proposals for a 4-6-0 parallel with the 2-6-0 designs that were built.

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It's a ,       GNR / LNER , perhaps aB2 with a Sterling cab or a K2 with a front bogey .nice model though except for the cab too small for the loco.

good look with numbering , had a quick look through some LNER books nothing ,need someone with Yeadons to nail it

 

Derek

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The builder presumably wanted a GNR Doncaster 4-6-0, which that company never produced under Ivatt or Gresley's tenure. Classifying in the LNER scheme is an immediate problem, as it would have headed the 4-6-0 list, but 'B1' was in reality taken by the GCR 8C. But perhaps 'B0' is appropriate to its non-existence?

 

52 minutes ago, Derek 19B said:

...nice model though except for the cab too small for the loco...

To our eyes perhaps, but that is the size of cab the GNR used almost until the grouping, a very basic weather shield. The break from this Spartan tradition came only on the first two pacifics which received the familiar side windowed cab.

 

56 minutes ago, Derek 19B said:

... numbering , had a quick look through some LNER books nothing ,need someone with Yeadons to nail it...

My suggestion would be to look for a GNR loco scrapped circa 1920, and if the number wasn't reused take that running number, as that is essentially what was done at Doncaster; as a quick glance at the randomness of  'first in class' numbers will confirm (add 3,000 if it is going to be LNER liveried) .

 

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1 hour ago, Enterprisingwestern said:

That suggestion stinks, although appropriate for a model railway locomotive, especially at an exhibition!...

We must be careful to say "B zero". Surprised there isn't an armpit product with this obvious pun.

 

Having looked at the model a little more, the external representation of the firebox length is far too small, it should extend forward to near the centre axle, in the same style as that of the K3 on the same coupled wheelbase.

Edited by 34theletterbetweenB&D
typo correction
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Thank you all for the comments. It really has kicked up a conversation over this model.

 

Stumbled across text suggesting that it was a concept design by Ivatt and later influenced Gresley into the design of his first pacifics (how true that is I don't know).

 

1 hour ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

The builder presumably wanted a GNR Doncaster 4-6-0, which that company never produced under Ivatt or Gresley's tenure. Classifying in the LNER scheme is an immediate problem, as it would have headed the 4-6-0 list, but 'B1' was in reality taken by the GCR 8C. But perhaps 'B0' is appropriate to its non-existence?

 

To our eyes perhaps, but that is the size of cab the GNR used almost until the grouping, a very basic weather shield. The break from this Spartan tradition came only on the first two pacifics which received the familiar side windowed cab.

 

My suggestion would be to look for a GNR loco scrapped circa 1920, and if the number wasn't reused take that running number, as that is essentially what was done at Doncaster; as a quick glance at the randomness of  'first in class' numbers will confirm (add 3,000 if it is going to be LNER liveried) .

 

 

With regards to its classification its a bit of a ball ache. The profile of the boiler is not too dissimilar from the O1 or O2 (running plate of the O2 - cab of the O1) so whether it could have been a one off modification of an O1 or O2 - or the other is it has the same profile but elongated boiler version of the K2 2-6-0 and even sports the same cab profile.

 

There are plenty of avenues that this could go down.

 

Trying to find a GNR locomotive that was withdrawn circa 1920, there are a few but it is trying to legitimise the numbering of the unknown locomotive.

 

Would classifying the locomotive simply as 'B' Class. Also I have noticed that the K2 locomotives were formally known as H3. Although there were no 4-6-0 locomotives constructed by GNR, is there evidence of what the B classes (i.e. B1, B2 etc. were known by prior to the LNER reclassification of locomotives)? 

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9 minutes ago, MarkWHL said:

...Stumbled across text suggesting that it was a concept design by Ivatt and later influenced Gresley into the design of his first pacifics (how true that is I don't know)...

That would need some convincing evidence! The contemporary information is that Ivatt looked toward American practise in express traction, and this led directly to his adoption of the Atlantic format for his 'big engine' to supersede the Stirling singles as express traction. From there the development track is his large boilered atlantic, Gresley's subsequent experience with the application of superheating to these with the significant performance benefit thus obtained; and his development of a Pacific, again looking at American practise, particularly the PRR's K4 class.

 

No mention of 4-6-0s there. Ivatt did contemplate a 2-6-2 version of his large atlantic, something of a foretaste of the much later V2. The GNR simply didn't do 4-6-0...

 

30 minutes ago, MarkWHL said:

...Although there were no 4-6-0 locomotives constructed by GNR, is there evidence of what the B classes (i.e. B1, B2 etc. were known by prior to the LNER reclassification of locomotives)? 

Yes. All of the GCR, GER, and NER 4-6-0 types were classified by their owning railways in ways several and sometimes mysterious, particular to each of them. Useful summary list here:

https://www.lner.info/locos/locos.php

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Definitely a never wazza but a nice one and  could well have been-a.   Between 1900 and 1914 all the main line railways had an ever increasing demand for fast freight trains.  Some addressed it, the GCR,  Caledonian, and especially LNWR with powerful fast impressive small ish wheeled 4-6-0 locos specifically designed for the purpose. Others well didn't.  The Midland stuck their heads in the sand and prayed it would go away,  The GNR built 0-6-0s with 68" driving wheels and also used 4-4-0s and 4-4-2s.   Neither really got the job done effectively so Herbert "Nigel" Gresley designed  the 68" wheel K1 2-6-0, something of a gutless wonder, and then bigged up its boiler to make the very successful K2.  Ths was still on the small side so he enlarged it...Cue your 4-6-0 because it looks like an elongated K2, a 2 cyl 4-6-0.   In the real world Gresley used a 3 cylinder set up using Holcroft's conjugated valve gear known thereafter as Gresley Conjugated etc... with a huge  boiler on a 2-6-0 with 68" wheels to make the K3.    He could have just as easily have built a 2 cyl 4-6-0 as per the model, less tractive effort, possibly better riding?  Probably 72" or 74" driving wheels.  I think the GNR type cab was only superceded by the side window one on the two 4-6-2s the GNR Built 1470/1, 4472 on were LNER built.   In the event Gresley never designed a 4-6-0 as North British Loco Co designed the B17 and had to redesign the conjugated valve gear to be behind the cylinders to make it actually work. North British also designed the LMS Royal Scots which begat the Patriots and Jubilees.    The GNR 4-6-0's would probably have been useful locos like Thompson B1 but better riding.    But Looks good, maybe Tender looks a bit low, or loco a bit high?

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That's a nicely made loco, Mark, with a definite GNR Gresley era look to it.  The valve gear and brake rigging are superb, and if she runs as well as she looks you have something that will be a pleasure to own.  How it would fit on a layout depends on the layout of course, and how far you are prepared to use Rule 1.  I would suggest GN livery for it on the basis of that being least likely to attract rivet counter comment.  I'm guessing drivers about 5'10", ball park for a fast freight loco in the early 20th century and similar to the GCR fish locos or the NER B16 (sorry, don't know what the NER called it).  The GN had a good bit of fast freight work, handled in reality by the K2s, but this is a credible loco as a 2 cylinder fast freight alternative.  

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56 minutes ago, DavidCBroad said:

Definitely a never wazza but a nice one and  could well have been-a.   Between 1900 and 1914 all the main line railways had an ever increasing demand for fast freight trains.  Some addressed it, the GCR,  Caledonian, and especially LNWR with powerful fast impressive small ish wheeled 4-6-0 locos specifically designed for the purpose. Others well didn't.  The Midland stuck their heads in the sand and prayed it would go away,  The GNR built 0-6-0s with 68" driving wheels and also used 4-4-0s and 4-4-2s.   Neither really got the job done effectively so Herbert "Nigel" Gresley designed  the 68" wheel K1 2-6-0, something of a gutless wonder, and then bigged up its boiler to make the very successful K2.  Ths was still on the small side so he enlarged it...Cue your 4-6-0 because it looks like an elongated K2, a 2 cyl 4-6-0.   In the real world Gresley used a 3 cylinder set up using Holcroft's conjugated valve gear known thereafter as Gresley Conjugated etc... with a huge  boiler on a 2-6-0 with 68" wheels to make the K3.    He could have just as easily have built a 2 cyl 4-6-0 as per the model, less tractive effort, possibly better riding?  Probably 72" or 74" driving wheels.  I think the GNR type cab was only superceded by the side window one on the two 4-6-2s the GNR Built 1470/1, 4472 on were LNER built.   In the event Gresley never designed a 4-6-0 as North British Loco Co designed the B17 and had to redesign the conjugated valve gear to be behind the cylinders to make it actually work. North British also designed the LMS Royal Scots which begat the Patriots and Jubilees.    The GNR 4-6-0's would probably have been useful locos like Thompson B1 but better riding.    But Looks good, maybe Tender looks a bit low, or loco a bit high?

 

That is a really detailed and plausible reasoning for this 'never wazza' class. I'm afraid that I may have to steal it for this locomotive. Just need to decide on a plausible class name for it and a running number. 

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10 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

That's a nicely made loco, Mark, with a definite GNR Gresley era look to it.  The valve gear and brake rigging are superb, and if she runs as well as she looks you have something that will be a pleasure to own.  How it would fit on a layout depends on the layout of course, and how far you are prepared to use Rule 1.  I would suggest GN livery for it on the basis of that being least likely to attract rivet counter comment.  I'm guessing drivers about 5'10", ball park for a fast freight loco in the early 20th century and similar to the GCR fish locos or the NER B16 (sorry, don't know what the NER called it).  The GN had a good bit of fast freight work, handled in reality by the K2s, but this is a credible loco as a 2 cylinder fast freight alternative.  

 

The only thing that needs to be sorted on it is securing the body to the chassis. Managed to get a hold of this for £80, which I think was quite something given the build quality. I think the B16 was known as S3. I am open to a bit of modellers licensing, however I model early BR period, and modelling Scottish Steam. I am therefore proposing that the GNR 4-6-0 followed the Scottish K2's to Scotland. Whether I decide to remodel the cab to a GNR Side Window cab as on the Scottish based K2's is to be decided. It may have headed north when displaced by B17's and then B1's, finally coming to the cutters torch in the early to mid 1950's when the B1's and Black 5's and BR 5MT's finally made it in force to Scotland.

 

Thanks for your post though, as it only adds to the locomotives potential story.

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Another reason for this engines existence may well have been. Well I have this old chassis lying around and oh a body from this box. Perhaps this tender may fit. And yes you guessed it he/she built a complete engine from their respective spares boxes. I know this happens as I have done this my self in the past.

To me with my limited knowledge of GNR/LNER engines the footplate looks a lot like an A3.

Edited by cypherman
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Well the 'Never-wazza' Gresley 4-6-0 locomotive has arrived and the quality in the detail, valve gear and braking rods are perhaps the best that I have ever seen on a kit built locomotive. After the conversations that has stemmed from my post I have decided to draft a plausible Class Name and History for this 'might-have-been' class - I can only credit those who have contributed to the conversation (I have borrowed/stolen your ideas).

 

GNR 'I' Class 4-6-0

Looking at the GNR Classifications - the GNR never had a classification for a 4-6-0 as they never had a 4-6-0 class, however listed in the Classification Archives - The Letter 'I' was listed but not used; therefore the 'I' Class will be the allocated letter for a 4-6-0 configuration.

As stated by DaveCBroad:

"Between 1900 and 1914 all the main line railways had an ever increasing demand for fast freight trains.  Some addressed it, the GCR,  Caledonian, and especially LNWR with powerful fast impressive small-ish wheeled 4-6-0 locos specifically designed for the purpose. Others well didn't.  The Midland stuck their heads in the sand and prayed it would go away,  The GNR built 0-6-0s with 68" driving wheels and also used 4-4-0s and 4-4-2s.   Neither really got the job done effectively so Herbert "Nigel" Gresley designed  the 68" wheel K1 2-6-0, something of a gutless wonder, and then bigged up its boiler to make the very successful K2.  This was still on the small side so he enlarged it...Cue your 4-6-0 because it looks like an elongated K2, a 2 cyl 4-6-0".

 

The model has 26.6mm dia. wheels (6ft 8in at OO Gauge) meaning that this was for fast long distance running, either fast/semi-fast passenger working or express fitted freights (fish). In fact the wheel diameter is the same as on the A1/ A3 and even A4 locomotives and also the B17 locomotives. 

The GNR 'I' 4-6-0 would most likely have been the intermediate step between the mixed traffic K2 and the Express A1/A3. The GNR 'I' has 6ft 8in and certainly would have rivalled the later Thompson B1, but with a more enclosed Cab and larger 4200 Gallon tender, the later B1's would have larger coal and water capacity and more comfortable for crews and the smaller 6ft 2in dia. wheels of the B1 would have made it more suitable for freight workings. The B17, A1/A3 and A4 locomotives all had 3 cyl and were more suited to smoother running at speed. The larger tenders of the B17, A1/A3 and A4 - and there larger tenders made them more suitable for long distance running.

 

The LNER numbering of GNR locomotives was 3001-4770 (3000 added to original number), however the 1946 LNER Numbering designated numbering between 1000-1999 for six-coupled passenger and mixed traffic tender locomotives (combining 4-6-0, 2-6-0 and 2-6-2 configurations), so the GNR 'I' 4-6-0 would have fallen into this category. 

 

The LNER classification for a 4-6-0 was designated as 'B' so the GNR 'I' would have been classified as 'LNER B?' - Therefore to keep it simple the GNR 'I' 4-6-0 will be classed as an LNER B 4-6-0 locomotive. But as the Thompson B1 commenced the 1000-1999 category, the likely numbering of the GNR 'I' would have been immediately after B1's, but the B16's took that place, leaving a gap between the B16's (61410-61478) and the B12's (61500-61580). The B18's were number 1479 and 1480 (1946 Numbering), the B4's were numbered 1481 to 1489, the B19's were numbered 1490 to 1493 (1946 Numbering) and the B3's were numbered 1494 to 1499. A suitable Number and BR Number needs to be allocated to Locomotive.

 

As with the a lot of the earlier locomotive classes being scrapped in the late 1940's and early 1950's, the lesser engines would have succumbed to the cutters torch, and as the more predominant classes extended there sphere of influence. The GNR 'I' / LNER 'B' would have either been moved further north 'my take' or scrapped very early in the 1950's when the need for older engines were surplus to the requirement, with newer locomotives from the Standardisation programme more evident.

 

I have attached images of the GNR 'I' and the GNR 'H3' LNER K2 as a comparison.

Unknown Loco 2.png

K2 61738.jpg

K2 61728.jpg

Edited by MarkWHL
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2 hours ago, MarkWHL said:

Well the 'Never-wazza' Gresley 4-6-0 locomotive has arrived and the quality in the detail, valve gear and braking rods are perhaps the best that I have ever seen on a kit built locomotive. After the conversations that has stemmed from my post I have decided to draft a plausible Class Name and History for this 'might-have-been' class...

Almost done, but it probably should have a nickname; very characteristic of GNR classes, often popular music/dance themed. 'Knick-knack', 'Tango', 'Ragtimer', 'Jazzer', are already taken, you will need to look at what else was in vogue 1918-1922...

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Hi all,

Just noticed that the footplate height between the tender and the engine is not the same. The engines footplate is too high for the tender. Also looking at the wheel splash guards. They seem a little too small. Perhaps this engine needs re-wheeling with smaller wheels to drop the engine height a bit. Not sure if that would alter your classification as it may alter the types of trains you thought about it running. Hence as I said earlier I think this engine has been bodged together from various sources to make a wonderful neverwas. I still feel it has a look of an A3. Perhaps it could be argued that this engine was Gresley's inspiration for the Flying Scotsman.

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1 hour ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

Almost done, but it probably should have a nickname; very characteristic of GNR classes, often popular music/dance themed. 'Knick-knack', 'Tango', 'Ragtimer', 'Jazzer', are already taken, you will need to look at what else was in vogue 1918-1922...

I will endeavor to source a suitable nickname.

 

56 minutes ago, cypherman said:

Hi all,

Just noticed that the footplate height between the tender and the engine is not the same. The engines footplate is too high for the tender. Also looking at the wheel splash guards. They seem a little too small. Perhaps this engine needs re-wheeling with smaller wheels to drop the engine height a bit. Not sure if that would alter your classification as it may alter the types of trains you thought about it running. Hence as I said earlier I think this engine has been bodged together from various sources to make a wonderful neverwas. I still feel it has a look of an A3. Perhaps it could be argued that this engine was Gresley's inspiration for the Flying Scotsman.

 

The reason for the difference in height between locomotive footplate and tender is that the locomotive body isn't properly secured and may need a little tweaking to sit correctly. I agree with the splash guards though - they don't appear to have the right curvature to suit the drive wheels.

Looking at it now and from what others have said it looks almost certain to be a neverwas bodged together from leftovers - but it does look smart. It certainly has the profile of an A3 but I think the boiler looks slightly smaller in diameter than the A3. I will have to get the drawings out to compare and measure.

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BR Number.  I reckon the locos would have been B1 until 1944 ish then B18.  The GCR B1 and Imminghams (not sure if B4 or B5)  were very similar and could have been B4 and B4/1  (or B5 and B5/1)  which would keep everything else the same if the GNR locos had been B1 followed by the GCR B2 /B3 etc.

1946  Numbers I reckon  1300 on then renumbered to allow more Thompson B1s, or maybe common sense would have prevailed and Black 5s been built instead?

Renumbering could have been into the 2800  GN Atlantic series as they were being scrapped rapidly, 2800 series, though some soldiered on till 1952 I believe or more likely NE Atlantics 2950 series.

62950-69 sounds good for the first GN cab batch.   (I suspect a further batch would have had a side window cab)

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2 hours ago, DavidCBroad said:

BR Number.  I reckon the locos would have been B1 until 1944 ish then B18.  The GCR B1 and Imminghams (not sure if B4 or B5)  were very similar and could have been B4 and B4/1  (or B5 and B5/1)  which would keep everything else the same if the GNR locos had been B1 followed by the GCR B2 /B3 etc.

1946  Numbers I reckon  1300 on then renumbered to allow more Thompson B1s, or maybe common sense would have prevailed and Black 5s been built instead?

Renumbering could have been into the 2800  GN Atlantic series as they were being scrapped rapidly, 2800 series, though some soldiered on till 1952 I believe or more likely NE Atlantics 2950 series.

62950-69 sounds good for the first GN cab batch.   (I suspect a further batch would have had a side window cab)

 

The numbering as 62950-62969 is a possibility. Thanks for the information on the numbering side.

 

2 hours ago, cypherman said:

Hi all, again.... :)

As for a nickname . It certainly looks fleet of foot so to speak. So Gazelle or Impala comes to mind.

 

As a nickname for the class, Gazelle and Impala are names of members of the Thompson B1 class.

 

3 hours ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

Almost done, but it probably should have a nickname; very characteristic of GNR classes, often popular music/dance themed. 'Knick-knack', 'Tango', 'Ragtimer', 'Jazzer', are already taken, you will need to look at what else was in vogue 1918-1922...

 

Considering the dances that were in at the time, and Cyperman's description of the locomotive looking 'fleet of foot'... I don't know whether this dance was 'fleet of foot' but what about the 'Charleston'? or shall I get my 'dance' shoes on.

Edited by MarkWHL
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5 minutes ago, MarkWHL said:

 

The numbering as 62950-62969 is a possibility. Thanks for the information on the numbering side.

 

 

As a nickname for the class, Gazelle and Impala are names of members of the Thompson B1 class.

 

 

Considering the dances that were in at the time, and Cyperman's description of the locomotive looking 'fleet of foot'... I don't know whether this dance was 'fleet of foot' but what about the 'Charles

AH I thought I had heard of them before. That's why. As dance has just been mentioned we could have the Foxtrot or Tango......lol

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As a dance craze, the Charleston is a bit late for this locomotive (unless it's a retrospective nick name).

Off almost the top of my head, I'm going to suggest the Maxixe, maybe slightly too early, but the 1925 and 1941 recordings on the Wikipedia page  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxixe_(dance) do sound very locomotive like me. Also, as the GNR's first 4-6-0, being nick named the Maxixe seems appropriate.

 

Or I could look harder into 1918 - 1922 dance crazes (because pre-Charleston is unfamiliar to me)

 

Hope this helps

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17 minutes ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

I know there was a 'Bunny Hop' about that time as we have a photo of a scandalous great-aunt performing it. (Imagine, she went to Paris and danced in cabaret. Not what girls raised in Plymouth Brethren families were supposed to do.)

 

Do you mean "the bunny hug"? One of a craze of "animal dances" from around 1912 - 1914, dances by "young people" and scandalous to their elders.

The "bunny hop" was early 1950's in the USA, but peaking in Europe via Finland in the early '60's

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25 minutes ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

I know there was a 'Bunny Hop' about that time as we have a photo of a scandalous great-aunt performing it. (Imagine, she went to Paris and danced in cabaret. Not what girls raised in Plymouth Brethren families were supposed to do.)

 

Really interesting, thank you!

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