The Sacre GCR Class 12A 2-4-0 Locomotives

GCR Class 12A, No. 169B (M.Peirson)

Although Sacre designed a number of 2-4-0 types for the Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR, later GCR), No. 169B of his Class 12A was the only one to survive into LNER ownership. Twenty eight 12As were built in three batches in 1875, 1884, and 1885. The design was a typical Sacre design with double frames and a round-topped firebox.

Robinson rebuilt the 12As with new boilers in the early 1900s. No. 169B received its new boiler in 1902. A flush firebox and combination injectors were also fitted.

The 12A locomotives were initially allocated to the Cheshire Lines, and received a good reputation as fast locomotives. Contemporary timetables show 12A-hauled services scheduled to run from Manchester to Warrington (15.7 miles) at an average speed of 52.5 mph. Later in life, the 12As moved to secondary work. No. 169B spent its last years at Annesley shed, hauling the staff train ("The Dido") to/from Bulwell Common.

The GCR Class 12A is sometimes described as LNER Class E3, but there is no evidence that this was an official class designation. Although there is a gap in the LNER classification scheme, No. 169B was withdrawn in June 1923 before 'E3' could be used.

Technical Details

Cylinders (x2): (inside) 16x24in.
Motion: Stephenson
Valves: slide
Boiler: Max. Diameter: 4ft 3in
Pressure: 135psi
Heating Surface: Total: 1119 sq.ft.
Firebox: 946 sq.ft.
Tubes: 850 sq.ft. (179x 1.75in)
Grate Area: 15.6 sq.ft.
Wheels: Leading: 3ft 9.5in
Coupled: 6ft 0.5in
Tender: 3ft 9.5in
Tractive Effort: (@ 85% boiler pressure) 9,720lb
Wheelbase: Total: 35ft 10.25in
Engine: 15ft 0in
Tender: 12ft 0in
Weight (full): Total: 62 tons 18cwt
Engine: 37 tons 4cwt
Tender: 25 tons 14cwt
Max. Axle Load: 14 tons


None of the GCR Class 12A locomotives survived into preservation.


I am not aware of any models of the GCR Class 12A locomotives.


Thank you to Malcolm Peirson for the photograph of the No. 169B.