The Stirling & Ivatt Class E1 2-4-0 Locomotives
The Great Northern Railway's (GNR) Class E1 2-4-0s were the final version of a design created by
Patrick Stirling in 1867.
Amongst the first locomotives Stirling designed for the GNR,
the GNR Class E3 2-4-0s were designed to haul slow passenger, fast parcel, and special goods traffic.
With the GNR facing steadily increasing traffic, these new engines boasted 17in x 24in cylinders - a significant
improvement over existing GNR types. Another departure was the use of double frames.
The inside frames carried the coupled wheels, and the outside frames carried the leading wheels.
Twenty two E3s were built between 1867-71, and the last was withdrawn in 1912.
The E3 design was modified in 1874 to incorporate larger 17.5in x 26 in cylinders. These larger cylinders required
longer frames, and the smokebox was also extended to match. In 1880, the boiler diameter was also increased by 2in to
4ft 2.5in. These new locomotives were given the classification of E2, and a total of 117 were built between 1874 and
1895 in 19 batches of varying sizes. Most were built at Doncaster, but two batches (total: 15 engines)
were built by Kitson & Co. in 1883-4.
With construction of the E2s spanning two decades, the design was
modified over time. As well as the use of slightly larger boilers, the inside frames were strengthened.
From 1882, the valve spindles were supported by guides instead of links. None of the E2s that used links were modified.
From 1884, the quoted coupled wheel diameter increased from 6ft 7in to 6ft 7.5in due to the introduction of new
steel tyres. The leading wheel diameter also increased to 4ft 1.5in. From 1884, the driving axle boxes had their
laminated springs replaced with Timmis helical springs.
Stirling died in 1895, and was succeeded by
Ivatt modified the E2 design to produce his GNR Class E1.
Ten E1s were built in 1897. There were a number of detail differences between the E1s and E2s, but the most
significant difference was the use of an Ivatt standard
domed boiler. The new boilers were 4ft 5in in diameter, and represented an increase in
boiler pressure from 160psi to 170psi.
From 1898, a total of 73 E2s were re-boilered as E1s. Twenty six of these rebuilds, and eight of the new build E1s
survived into LNER ownership to become LNER Class E1.
The E1 engines were also fitted with continuous splashers, unlike the individual splashers used on the E2s and E3s.
The E1s also had Ivatt-style cabs, although many of the rebuilt
E2s kept their Stirling-style cabs.
Another curious combination was the continued use of
Stirling-pattern brass trumpet cases for the Ramsbottom safety
valves. Combined with the domed boiler, this was an unusual feature of the E1s.
The GNR 2-4-0s were used throughout the GNR network for most of their lives, and typically hauled slow and
branch passenger traffic, parcels, and fast goods. In their early days they would sometimes haul light expresses
if a Stirling Single was not available.
By 1900, the E1s and E2s were increasingly being used for pilot work.
With a system-wide shortage of goods engines, they were also being used for goods work.
In 1913, the South Eastern & Chatham Railway (SE&CR) was experiencing an extreme shortage of locomotives
and borrowed fifteen E1s from the GNR. All fifteen returned in 1915 when the SE&CR introduced its new
Class L 4-4-0 locomotives.
By 1918, withdrawals were beginning to take their toll. By this time E1s were usually only found working country
Only 34 E1s survived into Grouping (1923). These were allocated to Lincoln (9), Boston (7),
Grantham (7), Colwick (5), Copley Hill (2), Retford (2), Hitchin (1), and New England (1).
All were working local passenger services. The LNER was quick to withdraw most of these survivors, and only seven
survived to see 1925. Five of these were withdrawn in 1925, leaving the last two to be withdrawn in 1927.
The last, No. 3814, was withdrawn from Boston where it had spent its last few years working the quiet Lincolnshire
||1016 sq.ft. (213x 1.75in)
||(@ 85% boiler pressure)
||80 tons 0cwt
||41 tons 10cwt
||38 tons 10cwt
|Max. Axle Load:
None of the E1s survived into preservation.
I am not aware of any models of the E1 locomotives.