Fantasy New Build

For the festive season, New Build Steam is doing something a bit different this year. We want to find out which extinct class would be the most popular choice for a new build project (of those that aren’t already being planned or built).

Below is a poll containing suggestions from New Build Steam readers over last few weeks – with thanks to everyone who made suggestions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, pre-Grouping designs dominate the choices. A few extra high profile candidates have also been included, and the choices are presented in a random order. Underneath the poll is summary information about each class, a photo where available, and a link to more detailed information.

You have until the end of Boxing Day to vote. The two most popular choices will be presented in a second poll, opening between Christmas and the new year, to give a clear-cut winner. You should only be able to vote once in each poll – if the system lets you vote again for some reason, please resist the temptation! The final winner will be announced in January.

Obviously, this is just a bit of fun, so please approach it in that spirit. It’s intended to be an enjoyable thought exercise, not authoritative evidence to base future work on. As ever, if any reader feels particularly passionate about seeing a particular class re-created, the thing to do is start the project!

A few notes about the choices. Nothing has been ruled out on grounds of practicality, although you may wish to vote on the basis of how a given locomotive might fit on the main line or a preserved railway. However, the usual scope of the site applies: standard gauge steam locomotives of the UK (no international examples, such as Porta’s ACE 3000 proposal, or diesels, sorry!). Stipulations about a particular variant or sub-type of the class have been omitted for the sake of simplicity, with apologies to those who suggested them.

London, Brighton and South Coast Railway class L1 / ‘Remembrance’ class
remembrance-tankWheel arrangement: 4-6-4T
Designer: Lawson Billinton
In service: 1914-57 (rebuilt from 1934 as N15x 4-6-0s)

London, Brighton and South Coast Railway class E2

EPSON scanner image

Wheel Arrangement: 0-6-0T
Designer: Lawson Billinton
In service: 1913-63
NB a website exists for a project to build an E2 tank, but is not currently counted as an active project for the purposes of this website.

London, Brighton and South Coast Railway class K

EPSON scanner image

Wheel Arrangement: 2-6-0
Designer: Lawson Billinton
In service: 1913-62

London, Brighton and South Coast Railway J1 or J2
800px-lbscr_j1_classWheel Arrangement: 4-6-2T
Designer: D. E. Marsh
In service: 1910-51

London, Brighton and South Coast Railway ‘Jenny Lind’ class
800px-jenny_lind_locomotiveWheel Arrangement: 2-2-2
Designer: David Joy
In service: 1848-??

Caledonian Railway ‘Cardean’ Class / 903 or 49 class
800px-caledonian_railway_4-6-0_locomotive_903_cardean_howden_boys_book_of_locomotives_1907Wheel Arrangement: 4-6-0
Designer: John F. McIntosh
In service: 1903-33

Highland Railway ‘River’ class / Caledonian Railway class 938
Wheel Arrangement: 4-6-0
Designer: Frederick G. Smith
In service: 1911-46
No images are available for re-use here, but this webpage contains an illustration of the class.

London and South Western Railway Class 395

EPSON scanner image

Wheel Arrangement: 0-6-0
Designer:
In service: 1881-1959

North British Railway H class / LNER class C10 (later rebuilt as C11)
nbr-h-classWheel Arrangement: 4-4-2
Designer: William Reid
In service: 1906-39

Glasgow and South Western Railway class 540
Wheel Arrangement: 4-6-4T
Designer: Robert Whitelegg
In service: 1922-37
No images are available for re-use here, but this webpage contains two images of the class.

North Eastern Railway Class Z / LNER class C7
Wheel Arrangement: 4-4-2
Designer: Sir Vincent Raven
In service: 1911-48
No images are available for re-use.

LNWR Claughton class
lnwr-claughtonWheel Arrangement: 4-6-0
Designer: Charles J. Bowen Cooke
In service: 1913-49

Midland Railway Lickey Banker (‘Big Bertha’)
lickey_bankerWheel Arrangement: 0-10-0
Designer: James Anderson
In service: 1919-56

Midland Railway 3F
Wheel Arrangement: 0-6-0
Designer: Samuel W. Johnson / Richard Deeley
In service: 1875-1964 (note this was a range of 2F and 3F locomotives, built to similar designs and sometimes considered one class)

Great Central Railway class 9N / LNER class A5
Wheel Arrangement: 4-6-2T
Designer: John G. Robinson
In service: 1911-60

The Great Bear
great_bearWheel Arrangement: 4-6-2
Designer: G.J. Churchward
In service: 1908-24

LMS Garratt
1280px-lms_garratt_498xWheel Arrangement: 2-6-0+0-6-2
Designer: Beyer, Peacock and Company
In service: 1927-58

LNER class A8
Wheel arrangement: 4-6-2T
Designer: Sir Nigel Gresley (rebuilt from Vincent Raven’s class H1 4-4-4Ts)
In service: 1931-60 (from 1913 as H1s)

LNER class W1
w1Wheel Arrangement: 4-6-4
Designer: Sir Nigel Gresley
In service: 1929-59 (rebuilt 1936-7 with conventional boiler)

LNER class P1
p1Wheel Arrangement: 2-8-2
Designer: Sir Nigel Gresley
In service: 1925-45

Southern Railway Leader class
leaderWheel Arrangement: 0-6-6-0T
Designer: Oliver Bulleid
In existence: 1947-51

BR Standard class 8(?)F
Wheel Arrangement: 2-8-2
Designer: Robert Riddles / E.S. Cox
In service: never built
While obviously no photos exist of this class, a model can be seen on this page.

5AT
5atWheel Arrangement: 4-6-0
Designer: David Wardale
In service: never built

Image credits
Public domain images: LBSCR L1 ‘Remembrance’ tank, J1 tank, ‘Jenny Lind’, NBR H class, LNWR Claughton, LNER W1, LNER P1.

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic licence, and available for reuse under the same: LBSCR E2 tank, LBSCR class K, LSWR class 395, A5 tank and A8 tank by Ben Brooksbank.

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence, and available for reuse under the same: LMS Garratt, by Bundeena 2230 at Wikipedia; Leader by Bulleid Pacific at Wikipedia; 5AT image by Robin Barnes.

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30 comments

    • Yes Alan, either a Robinson Atlantic or an Immingham would be equally good for me. The Johnson 0-4-4T is also high on my list. I saw 58065, the last of the class to be scrapped, though it was actually withdrawn from service BEFORE the one that lingered on the Somerset & Dorset (and was later scrapped at Gorton).

  1. I’m also surprised that a GCR Jersey Lily wasn’t included in the list.

    It has to be said that those GSWR Baltics were reputedly terrible engines. Poor steamers and underpowered. A Manson 4-6-0 would be a far better alternative.

    I’d also include a Midland Railway 2228 class 0-4-4t. A practical engine for preservation and once a common sight on MR and LMS branchlines. Preferably with its original elegant Johnson front end and livery. Far more practical and representative than the Banker.

    • No doubt there are plenty of engines people would have liked to see on there… but the fact is nobody nominated them!

      • Fair enough but given the Whitelegg Baltic I think some people have gotten carried away with the appearance to the exclusion of all else for reading more about them, they were underpowered for engines of their size, prodigious users of coal and expensive to maintain. In short, not a fine engine.

        I would opt for a pre-grouping class. The GCR, LNWR and MR for example are quite under-represented relative to even the SECR and LBSCR so I’d preference those along with Scottish types.

        A modest and ubiquitous passenger tank class would be an ideal build in my opinion. Something of the scale of an 0-4-4t and an MR Johnson 2228 class in particular in original condition (without the Deeley front end) would be my pick were it offered.

        From the list, I’d opt for a Cardean simply because they were fine looking engines as well as good engines. Also it would fill a gap in the preservation ledger given the under representation of pregrouping express types and Scottish engines in preservation, six couples especially.

  2. YES SOME VERY GOOD LOCOMOTIVE CANDIDATES AND IF I WAS A MULTIBILLIONAIRE I WOULD HAVE EVERY ONE OF THE LOST LOCOMOTIVE CLASSIS REBUILT Where Now look At the RAVEN/GREASLEY A8 has the first to be rebuilt HAS THE NORTH EASTERN RAILWAY Locomotive were the some losted locomotive classes the carnage really to its toll on the LNER
    SO ANY ONE OUT THERE wanting to support me in the A8 New build with a all welded boiler and a TE ,of 32,000 up from 23,450 we can do this with your support THESE TANK ENGINES DID ALL THE REAL RAILWAY WORK ON THE NORTH EAST and through the dark days of world war 2 On troop trains and into 1960 only displaced by the DMUs I love to be able to be a part of a new build Steam locomotive program WE CAN DO IT ! WE ARE ENGINEERS

  3. hello yes all very good candidates lets build them in new with up grades  for modern steam running    And let start with A north eastern locomotive  has the North east   had more carnage  than any other  So the A8 will make the first candidate  for a new Build project    these are the most useful locomotives to preservation movement   and mainline running  yours anna j dixon

    From: New Build Steam To: annajeannette@btinternet.com Sent: Saturday, 3 December 2016, 10:49 Subject: [New post] Fantasy New Build #yiv9214859116 a:hover {color:red;} #yiv9214859116 a { text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;} #yiv9214859116 a.yiv9214859116primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9214859116 a.yiv9214859116primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;} #yiv9214859116 a.yiv9214859116primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9214859116 a.yiv9214859116primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;} #yiv9214859116 WordPress.com | New Build Steam posted: “For the festive season, New Build Steam is doing something a bit different this year. We want to find out which extinct class would be the most popular choice for a new build project (of those that aren’t already being planned or built). Below is a pol” | |

  4. Of those listed, I’d say the ‘K’ 2-6-0. However, I’d have loved to see an ‘E1’ 4-4-0 (converted ‘Coppertop’).

    • A K class 2-6-0 would be an excellent build. I didn’t opt for it only because I believe the Bluebell plan to build one and because of pre-grouping companies, the LBSCR is relatively well represented against even larger rivals such as the LNWR, MR, GNR, and especially the GCR.

  5. Why build antique engines, replicating all the original design faults and deficiencies, when we could build something much better? David Wardale did a huge amount of work on the 5AT. I fear all that work will go to waste as we wallow in misguided nostalgia. (e.g. LMS Garratt? Ye gods! What a heap!)

  6. I think it’s safe to say that with the benefit of hindsight all the locomotives listed above could be built with the faults in them ironed out. Students of the locomotive know which engines were good or bad and any new builds would surely be re-designed eradicate such defects. So it really boils down to the best looking locomotive. The LNER lost out in as much that there was no Northern ‘Barry Scrapyard’ so are badly unrepresented in preservation. The Tornado boys have made a great start, with a P2 next and other LNER types announced. They will doubtless have known weaknesses corrected. I suggested the P1 as a candidate for a new build, a type with a lot of well documented faults, but I reckon these could all be corrected to produce a very fine engine.

    • The P1 would be an incredibly interesting machine to bring back “from the dead”. It was a locomotive which could possibly have done more successfully the job for which the unfortunate LMS Garratt was built. However, here we run into another consideration: could the P1 earn its keep today? Any new-build loco has to generate income. “Tornado” seems to be doing so, as it has proved to be able to haul main-line specials and also visit preserved railways. I am not so sure about the P2. How well will that long coupled wheelbase cope with heritage lines? The P1 would be a bit slow for main-line work and also has that long coupled wheelbase. Personally I was glad to learn of the restoration of another 76xxx 4MT Mogul and about the new-build 2-6-2T. These are the practical engines that will be needed in the future. Just one question: am I taking this poll too seriously??

      • John raises the interesting point that the P1 would be a little slow for today’s railway. The engines were designed for freight work and as such are regarded as freight engines. They did however have 5′ 2” driving wheels, 2” more than the BR 9f’s {which had no difficulty with fast running}, so I think they would be quite comfortable for 60mph. The coupled wheelbase is also only slightly longer than a Pacific, {unlike the P2} so should not present a problem as the smaller diameter wheel has a smaller flange spread. I do however share his view of practicalities and the BR3’s being built should be superb. I did have a footplate ride on a BR3 tank from Barmouth to Towyn, on the Cambrian Coast line in the 1960’s and the ride was terrible! I think the engine must have been very run down, so I hope the new Severn Valley built locomotive will be better.

        • OK, Stuart. I had not thought about wheel diameter in relation to coupled wheelbase. I would still make the point that big engines need big jobs and there may not be enough of those to keep all these big engines gainfully employed.
          Another thought: if we start improving old designs do we not run into two difficulties? Improvement means a development programme. Just building a proven design is expensive enough without the costs of experimentation and modification. And if an old design can be improved do we not then end up with something that is neither one thing nor the other? Neither original / authentic nor modern? So I still vote for small, practical and proven. Yes, I know, boring! Sorry.

          • Not boring at all. Lots of interesting thought prompts discussion. Out of the ‘nice to have’ new build locomotives, I would still vote for the Gresley P1, but to replicate it as built would produce a disappointing performer. The A1 Tornado is a fine example of a successful class, but the design has been tweaked to iron out known weaknesses. The P2 currently being built, will I am sure be successful, but the builders are modifying the design quite considerably in order to produce the unfulfilled promise of the original. The best design of locomotive ever produced for use in this country must surely be the last ie:- the BR standard 9F, which proved capable of just about everything and sadly now not allowed to run on the mainline. For a small, practical and proven however, the Tornado boys have already beaten us to it with the announcement that their next new build will be a Gresley V4. {With possible design improvements?}!

          • What! 9F not allowed on main line! I am devastated. I did not know this, so you bring me sad news. Speaking to Great Western fans, I have sometimes said: “Quite right. Swindon built the best steam locomotives that ever ran in Britain. (Pause) Yes, they built some of the 9Fs.” What exactly is the reason for the 9F ban?

            Yes, I have seen the diagram that shows which bits of P2 are original P2, which are as Tornado and which are new. I hope the modifications are immediately successful. When considering “authenticity” I suppose we have to ask ourselves what the original designers would have done with their engines if the lives of machines and men had been extended by a decade or two. Changes would have been made, of course. For example, I believe an improved set of cylinders for the “King” class was under development when further work on steam was cancelled.

            I welcome the plan to re-create Gresley’s smaller 2-6-2, the V4. The bigger ones, the V2s, were always among my favourites when I was a young “spotter”.

  7. A Billinton E2 would be good to serve as Thomas and then would be far more authentic than painting up Jinty or industrial tanks . It would be a good commercial opportunity . 9fs have been banned for years because of the middle driving wheel being flangeless fouling check rails .

  8. There should be some components around that would suit a full-size BR 2-8-2 project. Maybe somebody has a spare 9F boiler? Would driving wheel diameter be the same as that of the 9F or could you squeeze in Britannia-size drivers? Very interesting. I would like to see your compact 2-8-2.

  9. Hi John,
    The BR 2-8-2 was planned to use the Britannia boiler not the 9F which is quite different, as there was room for the firebox above the trailing truck, whereas the 2-10-0 had its own special boiler with a shallow ashpan etc. The 2-8-2 would have had 5’3″ diameter drivers, not the 5′ and would have used the smokebox regulator and many other Britannia parts. I have a simple GA drawing from E.S.Cox’s excellent book British Railways Standard Steam Locomotives and, given that both Britannia’s and 9F 2-10-0’s exist, actually building the 9F 2-8-2 (it was called Class 8 originally but would have become Class 9 when they changed the rules) is fairly straightforward. Obviously the bits are a bit bigger than my 7 1/4″ gauge version which I hope to have running late in 2017 but if I can do it etc…!

  10. Excellent. I once read the Cox book but forgot which boiler was planned. And 5’3″ drivers? Beginning to sound more like 9MT than 9F. Not a bad spec for a loco that has to earn its living on a variety of jobs.

  11. Philip Atkins wrote in his excellent book: Dropping the Fire, ”20 years of steam development, no further progress” when comparing the BR standard Duke of Gloucester with Gresley’s Cock o’ the North. In other words, 3 cylinders, poppet valves, 6′ 2” drivers, 50 square feet of grate etc…. The same statement could be said about the BR 8/9 2-8-2 and the Gresley P1 which share almost identical layouts, except there would have been a 30 year gap before the proposed engine would have appeared. (Cox is quoted as saying that he tried very hard to get it built but was over-ruled by Riddles who wanted the 2-10-0 layout of his wartime austerities). If one was to built however, I am sure it would be a very successful locomotive. I too would very much like to see John Mills
    7 1/4 version when completed. The Gresley P1 was of course the much prettier design of the two (beauty being in the eye of the beholder!) and as I have suggested before, with the benefit of hindsight and modern construction methods, such an engine would also be successful. Both would be even better, then we could compare them!

  12. I will send the site a photograph of the completed BR 2-8-2 sometime next year, hopefully! Then you just need to imagine that it is bigger than it actually is. Happy Christmas to all.

    • I look forward to receiving it, John! Couldn’t find an available pic to reproduce on the site, so it will be good to have.

  13. I picked the LNWR Claughton class. I know they weren’t that good, but were a near miss, the LMS made a start on sorting them out but they then fell foul of the standardisation programme. With the kind of input which went into the restoration of 71000, their steaming properties could be corrected. Also, for the size of the railway the LNWR is not very well represented in preservation

    • A Highland Clan Goods would be a good shout powerful, light axleload and very successful an ideal engine for many preserved lines.

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