We are looking at one of the less well-known new build projects in the form of the GCR 567. The GCR 567 Locomotive Group has been formed to construct a classic Victorian locomotive a Great Central Railways Class 2 later re-classed as LNER D7. Like most of the new builds the group is basing the locomotive on the original designs and has improved a number of simple but beneficial aspects. A GCR 567 volunteer explained an example of this is the original design suffered from frame weakness as a result of the design of the installation of the cylinder block, this has been addressed in the revision of the design, together with incorporation of an energy absorption zone behind the front buffer beam to provide some measure of protection for the front of the frame from impacts. Once combined with the carriages of the GCR Rolling Stock Trust it will re-create a typical Edwardian train from the early years of the GCR London Extension to run on the modern Great Central Railway.
The GCR Class 2 were a 4-4-0 type locomotive designed by Thomas Parker with the prototype being exhibited in Manchester in 1887. In total 25 of these locomotives were built between 1890 and 1894 for use on the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, later the Great Central Railway. The last batch of six, built 1894, had larger bearings for the coupled wheels, coil springs (instead of leaf springs) for the driving axle and was classified 2A.
The GCR Class 2s were originally used on the MSLR mainline express trains and regularly hauled the Manchester to King’s Cross expresses to and from Grantham. Records suggest that they were very economical locomotives during this period but with the development of the Pollitt D6 and Robinson D9 locomotives in 1895 and 1901 respectively, the Class 2s were reduced to stopping and secondary services. Withdrawals of the class started in 1926 and progressed slowly with the last D7 being withdrawn in 1939 and sadly no examples are around today but with the GCR 567 group aim to change that.
The GCR team are based on the northern part of the Great Central Railway which is rather poignant given that the original locomotives where built for the line in the 1890s. The new build is really starting to come together with the cutting of the frames beginning this month combined with some parts they sourced from other locomotives, the project looks to be rolling along nicely. I do really like the overall looks of the locomotive, it reminds me of the LSWR T9.
More information can be found on the groups website which can be found here.
Thanks for reading.