For enthusiasts, researchers and modellers of the Great Eastern Railway

F48 Class 0-6-0 1900-1903


G58 Class 0-6-0 1905-1911


LNER Classes J-16 and J-17

7032 22GERS Collection 7032/22

Within months of the introduction of the S46 ‘Claud Hamilton’ 4-4-0s (q.v.) in 1900 a goods tender engine version appeared, the F48 class. They featured the same boiler, motion and cylinder design, and had similar side-window cabs, built-up chimneys, and smokebox doors, but with conventional hinges. The roomier cylinder and motion layout allowed space for bridging couplers in the valve-rods, enabling the valves to be driven around the leading coupled axle, thus avoiding the problems that had arisen with the N31 class (q.v.). Hard as it may be to believe, at the time, these were nominally the most-powerful 0-6-0 tender engines in Britain, a distinction that the GER re-gained with the successive 0-6-0s of the E72/T77 and D81 classes. A ‘pre-production’ weight diagram was produced for the F48 class which – apart from some dimensional differences from the engines as built – showed them with the T46-type ‘watercart’ tender, although they probably were not intended to have been oil-fired. In the event, the first ten engines, numbered 1150-1159, had a mixture of second-hand Worsdell H14 and Z14 3066- and 2755 gallon tenders, as shown in this official portrait of No. 1150.

7002 72GERS Collection 7002/72

The second batch of the F48 class were delivered immediately after the first, between November 1900 and February the following year. They were identical in all respects, except that they had new class S23 2640-gallon tenders. These proved to be the last of the type to be built, and whilst those on Nos. 1160-2 had the standard axle spacing of 6-ft. 6-ins. + 5-ft. 6-ins. the remaining seven had a symmetrical wheelbase, the frames being identical to those of the contemporary T46 class ‘watercarts’ and later tenders. All ten tenders incorporated other contemporary detail alterations, most noticeable of which were the separate step-plates at the front. No. 1164 is shown in this official photograph with one of the final seven equal-wheelbase tenders.

7032 36GERS Collection 7032/36

Another forty F48 0-6-0s followed, numbered 1170-1209, between 1901 and 1903. These had the same wider and higher-roofed cabs as the contemporary ‘Clauds’, and were also supplied with the goods version of the new, larger tender. Without the water scoops fitted to the passenger locomotives, these held 3500 gallons of water. The class were primarily employed on the coal traffic between London and Yorkshire, where it was found that they had a tendency to wheel-slip in poor railhead conditions. This was perhaps unsurprising, as their factor of adhesion was 4.09. This was just about the minimum accepted value for a steam locomotive:- on the Y14 class 0-6-0s that they succeeded the factor of adhesion was 4.91. Thus, all engines were fitted with additional sandboxes for the centre driving wheels, as shown in this photograph of No. 1170. From the building of No. 1190 in 1902 four-column safety valves were fitted, and these were also fitted to the earlier locomotives in due course.

7005 226G. Smith/GERSHC 7005/226

In late 1901 Holden decided to try a boiler with a Belpaire firebox on the next batch of new ‘Clauds’. However, alterations would have had to be made to the design of the engine frames to accommodate it, which would have delayed production. The boiler was therefore fitted to F48 No. 1189 as this could be done without any modifications, and it was out-shopped in February 1902, as seen in this photograph.

700 0995Real Photographs T6343/GERSHC 700/0995

The trials with the Belpaire boiler were successful, and it became standard on the following batches of 0-6-0s built between 1905 and 1911, these engines being known as the G58 class. Shown in the photograph is No. 1217, built in May 1905. Co-incidentally, this locomotive is now preserved in the National Collection.

7032 40GERS Collection 7032/40

Shortly after superheaters became standard on the ‘Claud’ 4-4-0s they were also fitted to the G58 0-6-0s from the end of 1914 onwards, the process proceeding at a leisurely pace and not being complete until 1932. This official photograph shows No. 1229 when superheated in 1921. Note that – on these earlier superheated engines – the smokebox was not enlarged originally, as was done on the contemporary ‘Clauds’, and the snifting valves were thus lower down on the smokebox and closer to the chimney.

7018 294GERS Collection 7018/294

Again as with the ‘Claud’ 4-4-0s, the earlier F48 round-topped boiler engines were rebuilt with Belpaire boilers, beginning in 1921 with No. 1193, the process being completed in 1932. On this example the smokebox has been enlarged. Upon rebuilding the cabs were altered as necessary, and these engines were then regarded as part of the G58 class, as they were now identical. Under the LNER the F48s and G58s became classes J-16 and J-17 respectively. Shown here is former F48 No. 1198 fresh from rebuilding to a superheated G58 in November 1921. In the later GER period the engines began working over the Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast route, which included working through the notoriously-damp Bolsover Tunnel. Once again wheel-slip was experienced, and further sand-boxes for the rear trailing wheels were added to all engines eventually, as can be seen here.

7037 20GERS Collection 7037/20

Shown here in the early LNER period is No. 8223 (ex-1223). At this time it still had a saturated boiler, and it was not superheated until 1929. It has however been fitted with additional sanding for the rear axle.

7080 013GERS Collection 7080/013

This photograph shows one of the J-17s in final BR condition, one of those to still have a small-capacity tender. The engines underwent little alteration in the LNER period apart from the fitting of coal guards to the tender, steel cab roofs and pop safety valves. Under the 1946 LNER renumbering scheme the J-17s became numbers 5500-5589. However, in 1944 No. 1200 became one of the very few British locomotives to be destroyed by enemy action when it received a more-or-less direct hit by a V-2 rocket at Channelsea Junction at Stratford. This engine had been the last J-16 to be rebuilt to J-17, and did not carry its allotted new number 5550. General withdrawal of the class commenced in 1954, and three remained in stock at the end of steam power on the GE section in September 1962.