LNER class V2

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LNER Class V2
The V2 60800 "Green Arrow" in Crewe
The V2 60800 " Green Arrow " in Crewe
Numbering: LNER (until 1945) 3641–3695, 4771–4899
LNER (from 1946): 800–983
BR (from 1948): 60800–60983
Number: 184
Manufacturer: LNER Doncaster and Darlington Works
Year of construction (s): 1936-1944
Retirement: 1962-1966
Axis formula : 1'C1 'h3
Gauge : 1435 mm ( standard gauge )
Length over buffers: 20,244 mm
Total wheelbase: mm
Service mass: 93.2 t
Service mass with tender: 135.2 t
Friction mass: 67.0 t
Top speed: 110 km / h
Driving wheel diameter: 1,880 mm
Impeller diameter front: 965 mm
Rear wheel diameter: 1,118 mm
Control type : Walschaerts, Caprotti
Number of cylinders: 3
Cylinder diameter: 470 mm
Piston stroke: 660 mm
Boiler overpressure: 15.5 bar
Grate area: 3.82 m²
Superheater area : 67.0 m²
Evaporation heating surface: 187.0 m²
Tender: 3-axis
Water supply: 19.0 m³
Fuel supply: 7.1 t
Control: Walschaerts

The LNER class V2 steam locomotives of the British railway company London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) were procured between 1936 and 1944. The tender locomotives with the wheel arrangement 1'C1 ' ("Prairie") based on a design by LNER chief engineer Sir Nigel Gresley were intended for mixed service in both passenger and freight traffic.


One of the ways LNER responded to the increasing competition from road freight transport was to accelerate its freight transport. The previous locomotive park was hardly suitable for this, however, the LNER needed faster locomotives. Acceleration was also necessary in passenger transport, where competition from private cars was becoming more and more noticeable. Nigel Gresley, LNER's chief engineer, therefore developed a new, multi-purpose locomotive with the “prairie” wheel arrangement, which is otherwise rarely used in British railways for locomotives with a tender. Initial drafts in 1932 envisaged a further development of the LNER class K3 , a 1'C freight locomotive. Two years later, a new design was based on the recently developed Mikado locomotives of the LNER class P2 (" Cock o'the North "), which were shortened by a coupling axle . Gresley eventually led the series from its Pacific's the LNER Class A3 from, they got like almost all designs Gresleys a three-cylinder drive. Important individual parts such as the boiler were also adopted in modified form from the A3 locomotives. The locomotives were built in LNER's own factories in Doncaster and Darlington . By 1944, a total of 184 copies were built in several lots. Another four units were planned, but Gresley's successor Edward Thompson changed the order at short notice to Pacifics of the type A2 / 1 according to his own design.

The locomotives were used in almost the entire LNER network, from London to Scotland . After nationalization, they were also used on other routes outside of the former LNER network, but remained mainly on the former LNER routes. Their high axle load, however, limited their use in LNER times to around 40% of the route network. Due to their efficiency, they were often used as a replacement for express train locomotives of the A3 and A4 classes, in addition to the intended areas of application in passenger and express freight traffic, although the nominal maximum speed was often exceeded. During test drives, a V2 reached 163 km / h and thus came over 100 miles per hour. During the Second World War , the V2 proved to be ideal multi-purpose locomotives that were able to transport heavy troop trains with up to 20 passenger carriages and 700 tons in weight. For the LNER locomotive drivers, the V2 was therefore considered to be "the locomotives that won the war."

Locomotive no. 60975 in 1954 on the ECML in front of the Pullman “Queen of Scots” on the way from London King's Cross to Glasgow

At the time of British Railways , the main focus was on the East Coast Main Line , the Waverley Line between Edinburgh and Carlisle and other Scottish main lines as well as the former main line of the Great Central Railway between London Marylebone and Sheffield . She also covered pullman suits like the “Master Cutler” from London to Sheffield or the “Yorkshire Pullman” to Harrogate . The first V2 were retired in 1962. The last copies drove until 1966 in Scotland between Edinburgh and Aberdeen . The last V2, the locomotive with the number 60831, was the last of all large tender locomotives designed by Gresley to be taken out of service on December 6, 1966.

Eight of the machines received nameplates. The first locomotive of the series was called the “Green Arrow” according to one of the planned areas of use after one of the new freight express trains. Five locomotives were named by regiments of the British Army , including locomotive 835 (BR: 60835), which was named "The Green Howard, Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment", the longest ever locomotive name in Great Britain. The other two locomotives were given names by public schools . Plans for further naming fell victim to the war.

technical features

The design as a prairie tender locomotive with a 1'C1 'wheel arrangement was unusual for the British railway system. Apart from the V2 - apart from an unsuccessful test locomotive of the Midland Railway - only the slightly lighter LNER class V4 with this wheel arrangement was built, of which only two examples were built due to Gresley's death. With the wheel arrangement used, however, it was possible to use a wider fire box compared with the previous K3 series, as was preferred by Gresley to achieve the largest possible direct radiant heating surface. Otherwise, Gresley derived the design from the A3 Pacifics. In addition to the changed wheel arrangement, the V2 received slightly smaller drive wheels and a shortened version of the A3 boiler, which instead of a conventional steam dome only received a flat steam collector. The driver's cab of the V2 was wedge-shaped, similar to a wind cut, but less for aerodynamic reasons than to ensure a glare-free view from the driver's cab at night.

The leading axle was given a Bissel frame modified with pendulum springs based on a patent from Gresley, which - provided that the tracks were well maintained - helped the locomotive run very smoothly. In the war and post-war years, insufficient maintenance of the locomotives and tracks led to accidents due to derailment of the leading axles. The bogie was therefore gradually equipped with modified return springs in all locomotives.

Like almost all of Gresley's designs, the locomotives were given a three-cylinder drive with the type of control system he had developed , in which the slide of the inner cylinder was articulated mechanically by controlling the slide of the outer cylinder. The driving axle was the second coupled axle for all three cylinders . All three cylinders were cast in one piece together with the valve boxes and the support for the smoke chamber , which reduced the weight and should alleviate any problems with leaks in the steam lines. In the 1950s, however, cracks began to appear in the cylinder blocks that could only be repaired or replaced with considerable effort. From 1956 they were therefore replaced by three individual cylinder blocks during main inspections. Due to the increasing switch to diesel locomotives from 1960 onwards , only 71 locomotives received the new cylinders. A further measure to reduce weight was the use of high-grade nickel - chromium - steel for dome and connecting rods .

The planned conversion of the induced draft system was also largely a victim of the structural change in the railway . 1960 had trials showed that a conversion to Kylchap - double blow tubes instead of the traditional investment yielded a significant increase in performance. Due to the expected short remaining usage time, only eight locomotives were given Kylchap blowguns.

Preserved locomotives

Green Arrow ” on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

With the “ Green Arrow ”, the first locomotive built in the series is also the only surviving example. It was taken out of planned service in 1962 and initially intended as an exhibit for a planned museum in Leicester . The locomotive stood in various protected locations for almost ten years before it came to the National Railway Museum (NRM) in York in 1971 . It left the museum in 1972 and was refurbished in Norwich to work . Until 2008, the locomotive was often used on museum railways and in front of special trains. Shortly before the expiry of its boiler deadline, it had to be shut down in April 2008 due to leaking pipes, whereupon it was decided to shut it down first. It then came back to York and has been exhibited at the NRM ever since. Plans for a renewed refurbishment have not yet been implemented because the “ Green Arrow ” is still equipped with the original cylinder monoblock, which has to be repaired at great expense.


  • OS Nock: The British Steam Railway Locomotive, Volume 2, 1925-1965 , Ian Allan Ltd., London 1966, pp. 157-158
  • Wolfgang Messerschmidt: 1C1. Origin and distribution of the prairie locomotives. Franckh'sche Verlagshandlung, Stuttgart 1966

Web links

Commons : LNER Class V2  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. "The" Green Arrow "LNER Three-cylinder 2-6-2 locomotive", The Engineer 161. June 26, 1936, p. 676 ( Memento of the original from October 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.gracesguide.co.uk
  2. [1]
  3. Train photos: 60800 Green Arrow , accessed April 10, 2015
  4. a b Yorkshire Post: Red light for Green Arrow's final journey , April 4, 2008 , accessed April 10, 2015
  5. ^ Daily Mirror: Question Time, October 18, 2007 , accessed April 11, 2015