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LNER Class A2

This article is about the 4-6-2 locomotives designed by
Vincent Raven. For other uses, see LNER Thompson
Class A2 (disambiguation) and LNER Peppercorn Class
A2.

motives appeared in March 1924. However, comparative trials between the first two examples of the A1 and
A2 classes conducted in the summer of 1923 showed that
the A1 was a more technically advanced machine and no
more Raven A2s were built.[5] Thus the A1 was chosen as
The first London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) the LNER’s standard express passenger locomotive
Class A2 was a class of 4-6-2 steam locomotive designed
by Vincent Raven for the North Eastern Railway (as NER
class 4.6.2).[1] Two were built by the NER in 1922 before 3 Performance
the grouping and another three by the LNER in 1924.
Their LNER numbers were 2400–2404. All five loco- The performance of the locomotives was adequate for
motives were named by the LNER.
the needs of their intended use on the East Coast Main
Line between York and Edinburgh but disappointing and
with higher coal consumption compared to the A1 class.
They also suffered from a long wheelbase 40 ft 5 in
1 Origins
(12.32 m) wheelbase which limited their route availability elsewhere.[4]
The NER was the largest and most prosperous of the
railway companies that would make up the LNER from In an attempt to improve the steaming of the class Gresley
1923 and provided the general manager of the new rail- rebuilt No. 2404 with an A1-style taper boiler in 1929,
way company. However the chief mechanical engineer of reducing the boiler pressure to 180 psi (1.24 MPa) but no
the NER, Sir Vincent Raven was at retirement age and the noticeable improvement was achieved. Therefore, once
new post was eventually offered to Nigel Gresley of the the locomotives came due for heavy repair during 1936[6]
Great Northern Railway. He had introduced a powerful 37 they were all withdrawn from service and scrapped.
new A1 Class pacific in April 1922, and Raven was anxious to show that the NER could keep up with the race
for increased power.[2] Raven’s rival design was autho- 4 Assessment
rised at the same time as the introduction of the A1 class
publicised in the railway press in July 1922 although the According to the Railway Correspondence and Travel Sofirst two examples did not appear from Darlington Rail- ciety survey of the Locomotives of the L.N.E.R. 'the deway Works until late December, and only one of them ran sign was an unhappy swan-song to the North Eastern lobefore the beginnings of the LNER.[3]
comotive development - it was their biggest, but somewhat below the best that Darlington could do.'[5] In the
opinion of Allen, 'prestige rather than real need was the
predominant consideration; in the design.[4]

2

Design

The new class was an enlarged version of the successful Z
class Atlantics (later LNER C7 class) with a larger boiler,
larger cylinders and wide firebox. The boiler pressure
was also increased to 200 psi (1.38 MPa).[3] They shared
with the Gresley K3 class the record for the largest diameter boiler in Britain, at 6 ft (1.83 m). Also, because of
the great length of their parallel boilers, the locomotives
earned the nickname 'Skittle-alleys’.[4]

5 Stock list
6 Notes
[1] Boddy et al. 1963, p. 22.
[2] Allen 1962, p. 15.
[3] Boddy, Neve & Yeadon 1973, p. 136.

Components for three further examples of the class had
been prepared by Darlington works, and construction of
these was authorised in February 1923.[4] This was the
same month that Nigel Gresley took up office.and may
have been ordered without his knowledge.[3] These loco-

[4] Allen 1962, p. 16.
[5] Boddy, Neve & Yeadon 1973, p. 137-8.
[6] Allen 1962, p. 18.

1

(1962). Cecil J. • Boddy. B.R. (April 1973). Irwell Press. Ken (1993). V. G. Locomotives of the L. Hennigan. E. Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-901115-25-8. Kenilworth: RCTS. Locomotives of the L. (1991). M.E. Fry.. 3: Raven. W. (July 1963).N. Thompson and Peppercorn Pacifics.. M. Yeadon’s Register of LNER Locomotives. Yeadon. Neve. B.. Part 1: Preliminary Survey.. P.. Potters Bar: RCTS. Britain’s Rail Super Centres: York. Proud. • Appleby.. 8 External links • LNER Encyclopedia EXTERNAL LINKS . Vol.N. W.R. V. • Yeadon. ISBN 0-7110-20728.2 7 8 References • Allen. B. ISBN 0-901115-11-8. Yeadon. V. E.. G. British Pacific Locomotives. E.. • Boddy. E..E. W. Part 2A: Tender Engines—Classes A1 to A10. W. ed.. ed. Fry. Fry. London: Ian Allan.

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