Bird Illustration of a 264 Class

264 Class (B6)

[The 251 Class] , handsome though they were, and powerful too, were scarcely “out” before they were eclipsed by engines handsomer and more powerful. These later comers, six in number, were the last passenger engmes designed by Mr. Sturrock for the G. N. R., and, indeed, before they were put into actual service their designer had practically ceased his connection with the locomotive department of the line. They were numbered from 264 to 269, Nos. 264 to 266 being built by Messrs. John Fowler and Co. (makers’ Nos. 747 to 749), in 1866; and Nos. 267 to 269 by the Yorkshire Engine Co. (makers’ Nos. 1 to 3), in 1867.

The accompanying illustration (Fig. 33) shows the leading features of the first three, the chief dimensions being : diameter of leading wheels 4-ft. 3-in., and of four coupled wheels 7-ft.; wheel-base: from leading to driving wheel centres 9-ft. 7 -in., and from driving to trailing wheel centres 8-ft. 6-in.; total wheel-base 18-ft. 1-in.; cylinders 17-in. by 24-in.; boiler barrel, length 10-ft. 1-in., diameter inside smallest ring 3-ft. 10-in., containing 167 tubes of 2-in. diameter; heating surface: firebox 121 sq. ft., tubes 907 sq. ft., total 1,028 sq. ft.; grate area 197 sq. ft.; capacity of tender 2,500 gallons.

fig 34

The other three engines, built by the Yorkshire Engine Co., differed slightly in external appearance from their predecessors, as can be seen from Fig. 34, which shows No. 268, and it is possible that to some small degree the dimensions were also different, but in the main it may be taken that the figures already given apply to both sets of engines.

These locomotives did not enjoy a very long career in their original form, however, for Mr. Stirling took an early opportunity to rebuild them, and in the process converted them into single engines with flush-topped boilers. In this new form they entered on quite a new lease of life, and for many years they were ranked among the most useful engines on the line. They are now nearly all broken up.

More Notes

Groves notes that the whole class was converted to 2-2-2s and shedded at Peterborough before working the East Lincs. Line. They were withdrawn between December 1898 and May 1902.

Some or all of the description has been edited from G.F.Bird's Locomotives of the Great Northern Railway

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There are no preserved locomotives of this type.

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