‘N2’ a ‘beast’

Steam Railway (UK) - - Down Main -

As you’ll know, this re­newed in­ter­est in ‘tankies’ has been sparked by news that the Gres­ley So­ci­ety is to put its 1921-built ‘N2’ onto the main line this year (SR462). The 0-6-2T is at Ty­se­ley for the nec­es­sary work, in­clud­ing fit­ting of safety elec­tron­ics. How then does 84E’s chief en­gi­neer who ex­pe­ri­enced the for­mer ‘Top Shed’ en­gine dur­ing his time at the Great Cen­tral in the 1970s - rate it? “It’s an ab­so­lute beast of an en­gine. I never saw one in ser­vice, but I’m told that watch­ing one come out of the ‘Widened Lines’ at King’s Cross was a bit of an ed­u­ca­tion.” The ‘N2’s’ driv­ing wheel di­am­e­ter, by the way... is 5ft 8in. One fur­ther thought - al­most all a tank en­gine might do could also be done by an­other sort of un­der-rep­re­sented mo­tive power: the small ten­der en­gine. Some­thing like a ‘Col­lett Goods’? “Oh, a ‘2251’? They’d laugh at it.” “You can only imag­ine what a ‘Dean Goods’ was like. Back at the turn of the 19th cen­tury, those guys were strik­ing out with goods trains from Bris­tol or Cardiff and tak­ing them to Lon­don!”

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