The Maunsell / Hally Class L2 (Metropolitan Class K) 2-6-4T Tank Locomotives
These 2-6-4T tank locomotives were the last engines built for the Metropolitan Railway. A total of six were built
in 1925 by Armstrong Whitworth & Co from parts originating at the Woolwich Arsenal. These parts were built
to the general pattern of Maunsell's Class N 2-6-0.
The final Class K design was by the Metropolitan's new locomotive engineer, George Hally. Hally designed the Class K,
so that the Woolwich parts required little or no modification.
With the addition of boilers which were very similar to those on the
Class N locomotives, the final Hally Class K had a very noticeable
The Metropolitan Railway was absorbed into the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) in 1933.
In an agreement between the LPTB and the LNER, the LNER operated the remaining steam services north of Rickmansworth.
In 1937, the former Metropolitan locomotives were sold to the LNER.
As well as the Class K 2-6-4Ts, the
Class G 0-6-4T (LNER Class M2),
and Class H 4-4-4T (LNER Class H2) locomotives were also
The L2s were fitted with Caledonian Railway-style 'hooters' rather than traditional whistles.
Their height was always within the LNER loading gauge, but they were slightly too wide for the Metropolitan's own
loading gauge. This resulted in at least one recorded platform-scraping, and they were prohibited from working in the
tunnels beyond Finchley Road.
The Class K locomotives were intended for hauling goods traffic, For most of their life, they hauled
freight between Verney Junction and Finchley Road. They also performed shunting duties along this route.
In 1938 they were often used passenger services when many of the
H2 4-4-4Ts were shopped at Stratford Works.
This was repeated in 1942 when many of the
H2 4-4-4Ts were allocated to Nottingham.
Withdrawals started in 1943. This early date might be due to the non-standard boilers used.
Two survived until Nationalisation in 1948, but both were withdrawn before the end of the year. Neither received
British Railways numbers.
||10in. piston valves
||285 sq.ft. (21x 1.1in)
||1017 sq.ft. (172x 1.75in)
||356 sq.ft. (21x 5in)
||(@ 85% boiler pressure)
||87 tons 7cwt
|Max. Axle Load:
||18 tons 9cwt
The last L2 was withdrawn in 1948, and none survived into preservation.
South Eastern Finecast produce a 4mm whitemetal kit of the L2.
Ace Loco Kits produce a 7mm scale (O gauge) kit.
Thank you to Morgan Gilbert for the pictures of his South Eastern Finecast L2.