The S.D. Holden F6 (GER Class G69) 2-4-2T Locomotives

S.D. Holden F6 2-4-2T BR No. 67228 at Stratford in 1956 (PH.Groom)

Designed by S.D.Holden, the F6 was the last of the 2-4-2T tanks developed by the Great Eastern Railway (GER). Visually they looked very similar to T.W.Worsdell's F4 and F5 classes, although the cab side windows can be used for identification purposes. Two batches totalling only twenty locomotives were built between 1911 and 1912.

The F6s were built with high GER cabs, Ramsbottom safety valves, and condensing gear. From 1924, the LNER started to lower the cab roof by about 7in to bring them within the LNER loading gauge. The safety valves were gradually replaced with Ross pop safety valves from 1926.

The F6s spent virtually their entire lives in the East Anglia area and especially on the GER London suburban services. They started to move away from the London suburban services with the advent of the N7 0-6-2Ts. The last were displaced from London with the arrival of the Thompson L1 2-6-4Ts. The displaced F6s replaced the F3s which were being withdrawn from rural services in East Anglia.

All of the F6s survived into Nationalisation in 1948, but 1950s dieselisation resulted in rapid withdrawals between 1955 and 1958.

Technical Details

Cylinders (x2): 17.5x24in.
Motion: Stephenson slide valves
Boiler: Max. Diameter: 4ft 2in
Pressure: 180psi
Diagram No.: 34
Heating Surface: Total: 1114.7 sq.ft.
Firebox: 96.7 sq.ft.
Tubes: 1018.0 sq.ft. (227x 1.625in)
Grate Area: 15.2 sq.ft.
Wheels: Leading: 3ft 9in
Coupled: 5ft 4in
Trailing: 3ft 9in
Tractive Effort: 17,571lb (@ 85% boiler pressure)
Total Wheelbase: 23ft
Engine Weight: 56 tons 9cwt (full)
Max. Axle Load: 17 tons 3cwt
Coal Capacity: 3 tons 0cwt
Water Capacity: 1450 gallons


The last F6s were withdrawn in 1958, and none survived into preservation.


Both Falcon Brassworks and Alan Gibson sell 4mm scale kits of the F6.


Thank you to the P.H. Groom collection for permission to use the above photograph of BR No. 67228.