NER 901 Class

The NER 901 Class was a class of 2-4-0 steam locomotive of the North Eastern Railway, designed by Edward Fletcher. Between 1872 and 1882 55 of the class were built for the NER.

NER 901 Class
NER 910 2-4-0 at Shildon.jpg
910 at Shildon for the S&D 150 celebrations
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
Build date1872-1882
Total produced55
Rebuild date1884-1885
Number rebuilt55
 • Whyte2-4-0
Leading dia.4 ft 6 in (1.37 m)
Driver dia.7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Wheelbase16 ft 1 in (4.90 m) engine
12 ft 3 in (3.73 m) tender
37 ft 1 in (11.30 m) total
Axle load14 long tons (14 t)
Loco weight39.7 long tons (40.3 t)
Tender weight29.4 long tons (29.9 t)
Total weight69.6 long tons (70.7 t)
 • Firegrate area
15.6 sq ft (1.45 m2)
Boiler4 ft 3 in (1.30 m) diameter
Boiler pressure160 psi (1.1 MPa)
Heating surface1,093 sq ft (101.5 m2)
 • Tubes995 sq ft (92.4 m2)
 • Firebox98 sq ft (9.1 m2)
Cylinders2 (inside)
Cylinder size17 in × 24 in (430 mm × 610 mm) or 17+12 in × 24 in (440 mm × 610 mm)
18 in × 24 in (460 mm × 610 mm) rebuilt
Valve gearStephenson
Valve typeSlide valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort12,590 lbf (56.0 kN)
OperatorsNorth Eastern Railway
London & North Eastern Railway
Retired1912 - 1925
Disposition1 preserved (No. 910), remainder scrapped


From their introduction, the 901 Class were used on the Newcastle-Edinburgh and Newcastle-York runs, hauling 160–170 tonnes (160–170 long tons; 180–190 short tons) loads. During 1884, engines based at Gateshead depot averaged 4,400 miles (7,100 kilometres) per month. Apart from minor instances of updating, only two of the class underwent extensive rebuilding. More substantial modifications were made to the last of the Neilson-built engines, No. 933, which, in 1907, was not only reboilered but converted into a 4-4-0. She was scrapped in 1914, one of 29 of the class withdrawn between 1913 and 1914. But for the onset of the first World War, the rest of the class would have followed suit. Instead the curtailing of new construction led to a shortage of motive power and new work was found for the 901 Class. Some were drafted on to the coastal line between Scarborough and Bridlington but the majority were stationed at Darlington. From here they worked passenger services over the Stainmore route to Kirkby Stephen, Penrith and Tebay. Darlington also kept them on as pilots.

By 1923 only ten of the class remained and the now preserved No.910 was amongst the final five to be withdrawn from service. 910 was displayed by the NER when new at the 50th anniversary of Steam on the Stockton and Darlington railway in 1875,[1] by the LNER at the 100th anniversary in 1925,[2] and again by British Railways at the 150th anniversary in 1975.[3][4]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 25 March 1877, locomotive No. 901 was hauling an express passenger train which was derailed at Morpeth, Northumberland due to excessive speed on a curve. Five people were killed and seventeen were injured.[5]
  • On 4 October 1894, locomotive No. 904 was one of two locomotives hauling a sleeping car train which overran signals and collided with a freight train that was being shunted at Castle Hills, Yorkshire. One person was killed.[5]


Number 910 is preserved by the National Railway Museum. It was moved to the Stainmore Railway Company at Kirkby Stephen East station in 2011 for the Stainmore 150 celebrations, and remains there on loan, housed in the Darlington train shed of the main station building.


  1. ^ Tomlinson & Hoole 1967, p. 675.
  2. ^ Boddy et al. 1968, p. 151.
  3. ^ Slater 1975, pp. 553, 554–5.
  4. ^ Boddy et al. 1988, pp. 45–46.
  5. ^ a b Hoole, Ken (1983). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 4. Truro: Atlantic Books. pp. 13, 16. ISBN 0-906899-07-9.