A1 Trust launches new V4 subsidiary for new-build

TORNADO builder The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has launched a new subsidiary to build a Gresley V4 2-6-2 at a cost of around £3 million.

The trust has acquired more than 500 original class V4 drawings from Malcolm Barlow, a Doncaster scrap dealer who launched the now-defunct Gresley V4 Society in 1994 to build a new example of the extinct class.

The new V4 Steam Locomotive Company Limited will undertake the building of the trust’s third new steam locomotive – V4 No. 3403 – after No. 60163 and No. 2007 Prince of Wales.

An impression of what the new V4 will look like, based on a picture of No. 3401 Bantam Cock at Doncaster in February 1941. A1SLT

The V4 was Sir Nigel Gresley’s last design for the LNER before he died in 1941.

The class V4s had similarities in their appearance and mechanical layout to the class V2s, of which pioneer No. 4771 Green Arrow is preserved as a part of the National Collection. Introduced in 1936, the V2s had limited route availability, but V4 was a lightweight alternative, suitable for use over the whole of the LNER network.

Two locomotives were built at the LNER’s Doncaster Works in 1941.

The first, No. 3401 Bantam Cock, had a scaled-down version of the Gresley Pacific boiler with a grate area of 27½ sq ft. Its tractive effort of 27,000lbs was produced by boiler pressure of 250 psi and three cylinders of 15in diameter.

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