Although the general perception is that Nigel Gresley’s Pacifics were the first new express locomotives to enter traffic with the recently formed London & North Eastern Railway this was not the case. With the need for additional motive power for secondary main line services the decision was taken to proceed with the well-proven 4-4-0 layout and a design having 6ft 8in diameter driving wheels. The type were constructed in two batches and took names of ‘Shire’ counties and ‘Hunts’ , the latter generally covering the area served by the LNER. In total 76 examples were built between 1927 and 1935 and although more than capable of operating services allocated, the introduction of Thompson’s Class B1 mixed-traffic 4-6-0 locomotives in 1942 saw the D49s gradually lose favour. The first withdrawal came in September 1957, with the last example taken out of service in April 1961. Fortunately, one example, No 62712 Morayshire, survives in preservation on the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway in Scotland.
Hardback, 80 pages, 77 black & white photographs