4-4-0 tender engines

In 1897 Francis Webb introduced the first 4-4-0 locomotives on the L&NWR, the Jubilee class, these were followed by the slightly larger Alfred the Great Class in 1900. Both classes were 4 cylinder compounds.In 1904  George Whale introduced the Precursor class and inside cylinder simple expansion locomotive. In  1910 C.J. Bowen Cooke introduced his development of the Precursors, the highly successful George the Fifth class. The compound engines were modified by Whale, some with separate sets of valve gear, as the Benbow class , some converted to 2 cylinder simples, as the Renown class.

The first type of 4-cylinder compound passenger engine designed by F.W. Webb 40 of which were built at Crewe Works from 1897. A 4-4-0 type with driving wheels 7ft 1in diameter. At 9ft 8in long, their coupling rods were the longest in the country at that time. These engines were used on the heaviest and fastest trains on the line, until superseded by the “Alfred the Great” class in 1901, which were very similar but with larger boilers.

A development of the Jubilee class of 4-cylinder compound passenger engine but with a larger boiler. 40 examples were built at Crewe Works between 1901 and 1903. They superseded the Jubilee engines on the heaviest express trains. In 1903 one engine (No.1952 Benbow) was modified to have four independent sets of valve gear in place of the two sets as originally fitted and all forty engines were converted before the end of 1907. See also Benbow class.

In 1903 Alfred the Great class 4-4-0 No.1952 BENBOW was modified to have four independent sets of Joy valve gear in place of two sets. In the original design the outside valves were actuated by rocking levers The modification was a success and all forty Alfred the Great engines were modified, then being known as the ‘Benbow’ class. The Benbow design was approved by F.W. Webb before his retirement, but implemented by his successor G. Whale.

A class of 130 very successful 4-4-0 express passenger engines built by George Whale from 1904. After the value of superheating was proved many of the class received superheater boilers with extended smoke boxes and their performance was then indistinguishable from the “George the Fifths”; they retained separate splashers over the driving wheels and so were different in appearance. They were the first of Whale’s larger engines and the last one was not scrapped until 1949.

In 1908 Whale began converting Webb’s “Jubilee” class into two-cylinder simple engines, by taking off the outside cylinders, lining up the inside cylinders to 18½ inches and fitting “Alfred the Great” boilers and Precursor-style cabs – in effect making them into smaller “Precursors”. The first of these conversions was to 1918 “Renown”, which gave its name to the whole class. Though these conversions went ahead quite slowly, almost all “Jubilees” and most “Benbows” were eventually converted.

A class of 4-4-0 locomotives built by Bowen Cooke from 1910, a superheated development of Whale‘s “Precursor” class, and named after the first of the class. Engines of the class probably performed more prodigious feats of hauling heavy trains at high speeds than any other 4-4-0.