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Classes A5 to A8

Four classes of LNER 4-6-2 tank engines are detailed.

Class A5

A5 tank
Photo E R Wethersett. Ex GCR A5 class tank engine designed by Robinson seen here on an Aylesbury train near Chorley Wood. 21 were built between 1911 and 1917. This class was used mostly for express suburban duties. 10 more were built just after grouping and a further 13 in 1925 (classified as A5/2) for use in the NE area. All were scrapped by 1959. A5/2 tank

Class A6

A6 tank
ex NER A6 class tank engine built in 1907. This class was used mostly for secondary line passenger duties, for example, on the Scarborough to Whitby line.
Originally built as a 4-6-0T, these locos were rebuilt by the LNER as 4-6-2Ts with 5' 1" driving wheels. No. 692 is seen here at Starbeck photographed by E R Wethersett.

Class A7

A7 tank
Photo C Turner. Ex NER A7 class tank engine built in 1910. Some of these shunting locomotives were superheated and there were variations (as with class A6) in the boiler mountings and smokeboxes.
A7 tank

Class A8

A8 tank
Photo C Turner. Ex NER A8 class tank engine built in 1913 as a 4-4-4T. These were 3 cylinder machines with 5' 9" driving wheels.
A8 tank

Article by W A C Smith

The following is an extract from an article on "British 4-6-2 Tank Engines" by W A C Smith published in the August 1953 edition of The Railway Magazine.

The majority of the 4-6-2 tanks still at work are in former North Eastern Railway territory, although only twenty were built as such by that company. Vincent Raven\'s first design for the North Eastern Railway was the class "Y" series of twenty 3-cylinder, 4-6-2 mineral tanks which appeared in 1910 and 1911. They were numbered 1113, 1114, 1126, 1129, 1136, 1170, 1174-1176, 1179-1183, 1185, 1190-1193 and 1195 and had 16 X 26 in. cylinders, 4 ft. 7 in. driving wheels, 180 Ib. pressure, a tractive effort of 29,403 Ib., a weight of 87 tons 10 cwt., and carried 5 tons of coal and 2,300 gal. of water. The majority have been rebuilt with superheaters and a reduced pressure of 180 Ib. Under the L.N.E.R. they became class " A7 " and were renumbered 9770-9789 in 1946. No. 9789 was scrapped in 1951, and Nos. 6975 and 69777 in 1952.
In 1907 and 1908 ten class "W" 2-cyl. 4-6-0 tanks, Nos. 686-695, were built at Gateshead to the design of Wilson Worsdell, with a coal capacity of 2 tons (except No. 695) and a water capacity of 1,500 gal., for the hilly Scarborough-Whitby hue. To increase their coal and water supply for this heavy work they were rebuilt as 4-6-2 tanks by Raven in 1915. They had 19 x 26 in. cylinders, 5 ft. 1 in. driving wheels, 175 Ib. pressure, and a tractive effort of 22,830 Ib. After the grouping they were classified "A6" and were renumbered 9790-9799 in 1946. Latterly they were at Starbeck or Hull, mainly on shunting and pilot duties, and during the past five years all but one were withdrawn. This sole survivor of the "Whitby Tanks" No. 69796, was engaged on carriage shunting at Hull Paragon Station until its withdrawal last March.
The most numerous series of the 4-4-4 tank type in this country were 45 of the N.E.R. class "D" designed by Raven, the first of which, Nos. 2143-2162, were turned out from Darlington in 1913 and 1914. Twenty-five more, Nos. 1326- 1330, 1499-1503 and 1517-1531, were completed in 1920 and 1921. They were handsome engines and were the only 3-cyl. 4-4-4 tanks in existence. They had 16 x 26 in. cylinders, 5 ft. 9 in. driving wheels, 160 Ib. pressure, a weight of 84:| tons, and carried four tons of coal and 2,000 gal. of water. They were intended for the Darlington-Saltburn line, but were then required for Scarborough-Whitby trains. Their adhesion weight of 39 tons was found to be insufficient and they were rebuilt by Gresley between 1931 and 1936 as 4-6-2 tanks (class " A8") the first to be altered was No. 2162. The rebuilding increased the adhesion weight to 52 tons and they now have a boiler pressure of 175 Ib., weigh 87 tons 8 cwt., and have a tractive effort of 22,120 Ib. They are numbered 69850-69894.
In 1937 a boiler was designed which would fit all three classes of 4-6-2 tanks on the North Eastern area of the L.N.E.R., either saturated or superheated. The dome is set further back and it is of squarer shape than the earlier types.
Meanwhile, 21 4-6-2 tanks had been built for the Great Central Railway between 1911 and 1917 to the design of John Robinson. They were numbered 23, 24, 128, 129, 165-170, 371-374, 411, and 447-452 and had 20 x 26 in. cylinders, 5 ft. 7 in. wheels, 180 Ib. boiler pressure, a weight of 85 tons 18 cwt., a tractive effort of 23,435 Ib., a bunker capacity of 4 tons 3 cwt., and a water capacity of 2,280 gal. The boiler was standard with the first Robinson 4-4-Os (later class "D9"). A further ten, Nos. 367 30, 45, 46, 88, 154, 156, and 158 were delivered from Gorton early in 1923, lettered L.N.E.R. but bearing the G.C.R^ crest. They had double-window cabs and under the L.N.E.R. renumbering scheme of 1924 their numbers were, in common with those of other former G.C.R. engines, increased by 5,000. The Great Central 4-6-2 tanks later became class " A5 " and were long familiar on the Marylebone suburban services.
A further batch of 13 were built by Hawthorn, Leslie & Company in 1925 and 1926 for the North Eastern Area, showing once again Gresley's partiality for Robinson's Great Central designs, but were fitted with L.N.E.R. boiler mountings. They were numbered 1712 1719, 1738, 1750, 1756, 1760, 1766-1768, 1771, 1782, 1784, and 1790, and carried four tons of coal and 2,330 gal. of water. Under the L.N.E.R.'s post-war renumbering scheme in 1946 the Gorton-built engines became Nos. 9800-9829, excluding No. 5447 which had been scrapped in 1942, while the L.N.E.R. series received the numbers 9830-9842.