By the time Patrick Stirling was appointed Locomotive Superintendent of the GNR in 1867, the second series of his predecessor’s twenty outside-framed 0-4-2 Back Tanks were just being delivered, but it was already clear that alone they were unable to cope with the sheer volume of the fast-growing suburban traffic. Stirling therefore produced a revised version of Sturrock’s 241 and 270 classes by designing an 0-4-2 Well Tank with inside frames for the leading coupled wheels, which were classified the 126 class.

Thirteen examples were built by Doncaster between 1868 – 1871, and they began to displace some of the earlier classes from Widened Lines duties, although those affected initially only went as far as Hatfield, with some remaining at Kings Cross.

Between 1884 and 1889, 4′ 2½” straightback boilers replaced the original 4′ 0½” ones, and like the 120 class, five locos gained Ivatt’s 4′ 5″ domed boilers between 1899 and 1907. The introduction of Ivatt’s Atlantic C2 tank in 1897 saw the gradual displacement of the class to more rustic climes, although members of the class hung on tenaciously to Widened Lines duties until as late as 1904, and withdrawal commenced the following year.

Between 1903 and 1905, all members of the class were placed on the duplicate list to leave their numbers free for Ivatt’s new 0-8-2T, 1905 also being the year of the first of the classes withdrawals.

Of course, as with many of the Widened Lines locomotives, the trade is unsurprisingly silent, so I will be scratchbuilding an example of the class.

Number 121, seen here c1904 carries the 4′ 2½” straightback boiler, and has had its original wooden brakes replaced by more modern iron ones.The splasher cutouts have been plated over, and coal rails added to the bunker, though I’m at a loss to describe the function of the bracket on the smokebox.

With the current dearth of info on the GN 4-wheeled suburban stock, this post brings to an end the introduction to the four main companies which will be present on Basilica Fields in the first phase of building, and in the earlier period of 1890 – 1897/8. There are two or three directions the blog could take from the next post onwards – the later period on 1897/8 – 1906/7, I could introduce the wider concept of the line and bring in the other companies vying for a slice of the cake, or move on to matters up on the viaduct with the Great Eastern.

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