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LNER Thompson Class L1

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Power type  Steam
Build date  1945, 1948–1950
Configuration  2-6-4T
Designer  Edward Thompson
Total produced  100
LNER Thompson Class L1
Builder  Doncaster Works (1) Darlington Works (29) North British Locomotive Co. (35) Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns (35)

The London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) Thompson Class L1 was a class of 2-6-4T steam locomotives designed by Edward Thompson. The prototype no. 9000 was built in 1945, but the remaining 99 were built under British Railways jurisdiction in the period 1948–1950.



The class, at least on paper, should have been very free steaming and powerful engines but, in practice, they were not suited to the work to which they were assigned. The engines had 5-foot-2-inch (1.575 m) driving wheels, which would give them excellent power at low speed, such as that required for freight work, but these engines were intended for passenger use. The speeds required for suburban passenger work wore the engines out in a remarkably short time. Axleboxes, crosshead slides and crank bearings all suffered due to the high speeds.

Accidents and incidents

  • On 19 November 1958, a freight train overran signals and was in a rear-end collision with another at Hitchin, Hertfordshire. A third freight train ran into the wreckage and was derailed. Locomotive No. 67785 was pushed over by the wagons from the third train.
  • Modifications

    In an attempt to reduce wear, two experiments were tried. In May 1951, five locomotives had liners fitted to their cylinders to reduce the cylinder bore from 20 to 18 34 in (508 to 476 mm). In March 1953, five locomotives had their boiler pressure reduced from 225 to 200 lbf/in2 (1.55 to 1.38 MPa). Neither experiment was a success.


    Withdrawals were between 1960 and 1962. None survived to preservation.


    Hornby produces the L1 class in 00 gauge with a number of different liveries, both green with LNER or BR running numbers, and black with BR running numbers.


    LNER Thompson Class L1 Wikipedia