For enthusiasts and researchers of the Great Eastern Railway

C8 Class 4-4-0 1874

301-302

7002 32GERS Collection 7002 32

 

Johnson’s superintendence on the GER was also marked by the building of the first inside-cylinder 4-4-0 locomotives in England – as distinct from Scotland, where the type had been in use for two or three years beforehand. The two engines, numbered 301 and 302, were intended for express passenger work, and built at Stratford Works as class C8 in 1874 after Johnson had been replaced by William Adams. Adams made a few detail changes to the design, substituting his own design of cab, and adding Webb injectors. The locomotives’ elegant lines were somewhat spoiled by pairing them with second-hand wooden-framed tenders from old Sinclair locomotives.

 

7030 020E. Poteau/GERSHC 7030 020

James Holden must have had something of a soft spot for the two C8 class 4-4-0s, for although he had produced his own standard designs for express passenger work, in 1888 he had them both rebuilt with new boilers. The two engines had previously been renumbered as 305 and 306, and they had also been given better-looking second-hand Johnson tenders. In the rebuilding, further second-hand tenders from the Adams Mogul 2-6-0s were substituted. The result was two of the most elegant locomotives that the GER possessed. They were used mainly as pilot engines, with one at Liverpool Street, and the other at Tottenham, for the expresses that ran to and from St. Pancras over the Tottenham & Hampstead line. This is number 306 posing in the loco sidings at St. Pancras – from the mid-1890s a colourful spectacle could be witnessed here, with the deep ultramarine blue and mid green of the GER and London, Tilbury & Southend locomotives mixing with the indigenous Midland Railway crimson lake.

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