HISTORY OF THE NER CLASS P2 & P3
In the early 1900s, the size of freight and mineral trains on the North Eastern Railway was increasing, an early result of this was Wilson Worsdell’s Class P2 (LNER J26), first built in 1904. Essentially a Class P1 (LNER J25) with a larger boiler, it was one of the first locomotives following the new NER mantra of “Bigger boiler, better brakes”.
Two years later, a slightly modified design superseded the 50-strong Class P2, the P3 (LNER J27). Both classes were outshopped with round spectacle plates, however after the introduction of Vincent Raven’s Class T2 (LNER Q6), larger contoured spectacle plates started to be fitted to both classes. The North Eastern Railway fitted all but one P3 before the 1923 grouping (No. 1041 was the outlier, finally receiving the new shaped windows in 1940), but only twenty-two P2s received the same treatment before the NER abandoned the refit; the remaining twenty-eight P2s retained their original round windows until withdrawal.
The P2s and P3s were initially used on long-distance goods and mineral services, but were displaced by the later Classes T2, S2 (LNER B15), and S3 (LNER B16), though the two classes of loco could be found almost anywhere on the North Eastern’s network.
There were many modifications to the two classes, including (but not limited to) different smokebox doors, dome shapes, boiler diagrams (from 1939), and the gradual replacement of Ramsbottom safety valves to the Ross-Pop type. Another variant (not included in this pack) covered the last thirty-five P3s, which were superheated. Removal of the superheating began in 1945, with only six superheated J27s making it to withdrawal.
Withdrawals of the J26s began in 1958, the last one being withdrawn from service in 1962; the first J27 was taken out of service in 1959, and the final one in 1967.
One J27, 1923-built No. 2392 (BR 65894) has been preserved by the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group, and is based on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.