The LNER Railcars and Multiple Units

The LNER operated a variety of railcars and multiple units. All three propulsion systems (steam, electric, and internal combustion) were represented.

Steam Railcars

In the early 1900s several companies sought to streamline branch line operation by eliminating the need for the locomotive to detach and run round the train at the terminus. The so-called "rail motor" involved an integral unit of a small 0-4-0 locomotive and carriage, reviving a concept dating back to the broad gauge "steam carriage" of 1847. The GNR's six examples, introduced in 1905, survived until 1926, with lengthy periods in storage. Alongside the more flexible "push pull" system, with its adapted but independent steam locomotives, the LNER also revived the older concept by purchasing 95 vertical-boilered geared steam railcars from 1925, one of which survived briefly under BR ownership.

Builder and TypeFirst BuiltLast WithdrawalComments
GNR Rail Motor Coaches 1905 1926
Sentinel-Cammell Railcars 1925 1948
Clayton Railcars 1927 1937

Internal Combustion Railcars

The LNER inherited a number of railcars with internal combustion. Most were built on a trial basis and never purchased in larger numbers. All units had been withdrawn by 1939.

Builder and TypeFirst BuiltLast WithdrawalComments
NER Inspection Car 1908 1939
NER Petrol-Electric Autocars 1903 1931
NER Petrol Rail Motor Bus 1922 1927
NER Petrol Autocar 1923 1934
GCR Petrol-Electric Railcar 1912 1935 'Bollington Bug'
Armstrong Whitworth Diesel-Electric Railcars 1933 1939
Metro-Vick-Cammell Railcar 1937 1951 (re-gauge)

Electric Multiple Units

The NER was among the pioneers of electrification, bequeathing 126 cars to the LNER for its Tyneside system. All were withdrawn by 1945 save for two loco-hauled de-icing vans not withdrawn until 1966. The LNER added 132 vehicles to cater for expansion of the network and also shared ownership with the LMS of 68 cars for the Manchester-Altrincham system. All of these vehicles survived to Nationalisation (1948). 300 cars to an LNER design were built in the early British Railways years when the planned Shenfield and Glossop schemes were completed. Finally, LNER involvement with London Underground extensions made them nominal owners of 289 tube cars.

Route/StockBuilderFirst BuiltLast WithdrawalComments
NER Tyneside NER 1904 1956
LNER Tyneside LNER 1937 1967 Replacements for NER Tyneside stock
Manchester South Junction & Altrincham LMS / LNER 1931 1971 LMS/LNER joint ownership
Northern Line Tube Stock London Transport 1938 Now on the Isle of Wight as Class 483
Liverpool Street to Shenfield LNER/BR 1949 1975 BR Class 306
Glossop Line LNER/BR 1954 1984 BR Class 506

Tram Cars

At Grouping (1923), the LNER took over two small electric tramway systems. These and their tram cars are described on the following two pages:

Cruden Bay GNSR 1899 1945 Officially closed at the end of 1940
Grimsby & Immingham GCR 1911 1961 Steam railcar from 1910-12