Printout of a story from The Last Main Line:

From Gresley to Thompson

Undoubtedly the most famous products that Beyer Peacock turned out were the Garratt type articulated locomotives. These machines were very popular in Africa and the Far East, although there were a few built for service here in Britain. They consisted of a boiler mounted between two sets of driving wheels and connected by flexible hoses, the result being a locomotive of great power that could negotiate tight bends. At the time of photography in 1925, this particular example was built for the London & North Eastern Railway to a Nigel Gresley design, and had the mighty wheel arrangement of 2-8-0+0-8-2. It was numbered 2395 in the LNER fleet and spent most of its working life on banking (assisting heavy trains up steep hills by pushing from the back) duties on the Worsborough incline.

Sir Nigel Gresley died in office in 1941 and was replaced by Edward Thompson. Thompson started his term as Chief Engineer by trying to establish a series of LNER 'standard' locomotives. To test his different design theories, Thompson rebuilt many of the locomotives built by his predecessors, including several of John Robinson's 8K (later 04) 2-8-0 freight engines. The rebuilt locomotives emerging with modified cabs and higher pressure boilers, although from the frames down they were still as Robinson had designed them. They were classified as 04/8's, and this example, No. 63881, was photographed at Darnall Shed, Sheffield in 1960.

After producing many ineffective and inferior locomotives, Thompson came out with the B1 4-6-0. The locomotive was intended as a mixed-traffic work horse and the class proved to be both successful and popular; a far cry from Thompson's other designs. This particular example of the class is British Railways (ex-LNER) B1 No. 61106, pictured hauling 'THE SOUTH YORKSHIREMAN' on the approach to Leicester Central Station, circa 1951.