Great Northern Railway (Ireland)
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The railway's main-line joined Dublin and Belfast, which are the two largest cities in Ireland. There were also several cross-country routes, of which the Portadown to Londonderry (Derry) line was the most important (now long-closed). This served places like Omagh and Enniskillen which were to be regarded as strategically important (but this importance did not extend to railway communication). The locomotive stock did not include anything larger than 0-6-0s and 4-4-0s. Clifford considered a 4-6-0 design, but the limitations of Dundalk Works probably precluded it. Some locomotives were constructed at Dundalk between 1887 and 1939: the highest Works Number was 47: Lowe lists them all, but Johnston (whilst listing them all) does not provide a separate list. The majority of the company's requirements were met by Beyer Peacock, and only limited numbers came from other manufacturers. A large compound 4-4-0 design was introduced by Glover in 1932 and a simple expansion version of this was constructed under H.R. McIntosh in 1948. These formed the final British developments of the 4-4-0 type. Norman Johnston's Locomotives of the GNR(I) is the key work and covers the entire history from its beginnings as the Dublin & Drogheda Railway and the Ulster Railway. There were strong resemblances between the Irish railway and its British namesake: the teak carriages, and for a time a shared locomotive industry: Park was trained at Doncaster. Thus if any user is in Ireland rather than at Doncaster please press here..

Ahrons, E.L. Locomotive and train working in the latter part of the nineteenth century; edited by L.L. Asher. Cambridge: Heffer, 1951-4. Volume 6 page 65 et seq
Originally published in Railway Magazine 1925/6
Johnston, Norman. Locomotives of the GNR(I). Newtownards: Colourpoint, 1999, 208pp.
Not entirely error-free: Hawthorn Leslie with an additional "e" to the Hawthorn (others also seem prone to this error?: some surnames have variant spellings, especially in the early nineteenth century.. He also credits Nasmyth Wilson with being situated in Leeds instead of Patricroft, Manchester. In the Introduction notes his debt to R.N. Clements.
Modern locomotives of the Great Northern Ry. of Ireland. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1933, 39, 160-1; 179; 214-15; 252-4. 8 illus.
A survey of the stock extant in 1933.
Murray, K. The Great Northern Railway (Ireland) past, present & future. [Dublin], G.N.R. (I), 1944. xii, 148 p. + 72 plates. (incl. 2 folding). 82 illus., diagr. table, map.
Includes chapters on locomotive development and on Dundalk Works.
Nock, O.S. Irish steam. a twenty year survey 1920-1939. 1982.
Patterson, E.M.
The Great Northern Railway of Ireland. Lingfield (Surrey), Oakwood Press, 1962. [iv], 188 p. + front. + 20 plates. 51 illus., 2 diagrs., 16 tables. plan, 8 maps. Bibliog.
Locomotive development is not considered in depth, but the appendixes include tabulated data on the locomotive stock.
Rogers, H.C.B. The Great Northern Railway (Ireland). Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1948,
54, 141-3: 1949, 55, 6-8; 23-4; 104-6.4 illus.
A locomotive history, with emphasis on 20th century development.


Dublin & Drogheda Railway
Incorporated in August 1836 and opened on 26 May 1844. There was a branch from Drogheda to Oldcastle (still partially open for freight). Still a major component of the Dublin to Belfast railway and also part of the modern rapid system which links Howth with Dublin. Constituent of GNR(I) with locomotive works at Amiens Street, Dublin, where No. 1 and 2 (both 0-4-2 type) may have been constructed in 1861 and 1866, although Lowe questions this. Johnston covers this in his Chapter 1 (pp. 14-22) with nine figures and two tables, which form the basis for those below where: SB=Sharp Brothers; Bu=Butterley; Gr=Grendon; SS=Sharp Stewart; Ne=Neilson; BP=Beyer Peacock; Fa=Fairbairn. Locomotive Superintendents: Sylvester Lees; Patrick Connor, William Duindas, and William Curry.

On page 39 Johnston notes that an 0-4-0 originally constructed by Murdoch & Aiken of Glasgow for the 4ft 6in gauge Slamannan Railway was used by the contractor Jeffs between 1841 and 1844 on the construction of the DDr,.

Name Whyte Builder Works No. Driving wh Cylinders Rebuilt Withdrawn
1 Nor Creina 0-4-2 SB 239/1843 5ft 0in 15 x 20in 1861 1892 later Nestor
2 St Patrick 2-2-2 SB 235/1843 5ft 0in 15 x 18in 1863-4
3 Fag-an-Bealach 2-2-2 SB 254/1844 5ft 6in 14 x 18in 1846 1875 as 2-2-2WT: Howth branch
4 Albert 2-2-2 SB 255/1844 5ft 6in 14 x 18in 1846 1856 as 2-2-2WT
5 Victoria 2-2-2 SB 256/1844 5ft 6in 14 x 18in 1871
6 Dublin 0-4-2 SB 258/1844 5ft 0in 15 x 20in 1866 1892 later Samson?
7 Princess 0-4-2 SB 259/1844 5ft 0in 15 x 20in 1871
8 Alice 2-2-2 SB 272/1844 5ft 6in 14 x 18in 1862
9 Alfred 2-2-2 SB 273/1844 5ft 6in 14 x 18in 1868 1885 as 2-4-0: later Saturn
10 Queen 2-2-2 SB 277/1844 5ft 6in 14 x 18in 1848 1862 originally Bodmer's expanion as 2-4-0
11 Prince 0-4-2 SB 278/1844 5ft 0in 15 x 20in 1857
12 Firefly 2-2-2 Bu


1853 Fig. 2: acquired 1844: not in Lowe
13 MacNeill 2-2-2 Gr


5ft 6in 14 x 18in 1860 Fig. 3
14 2-2-2 Gr


5ft 6in 14 x 18in 1859 Fig. 3
15 Hibernia 2-2-2 Gr


5ft 6in 14 x 18in 1859 Fig. 3
16 2-2-2WT Gr


5ft 6in 14 x 18in 1861
17 Drogheda 2-2-2 Gr


5ft 6in 14 x 18in 1873 1891 Fig. 3Renumbered 7 Venus

Bodmer's expansion: Johnston includes a figure (1) from the Engineer which shows Bodmin's expansion which was applied to some Sharp Brothers supplied in the 1840s: Johnston is doubtful if the locomotive had outside cylinders: in any event it was not a success and was rebuilt as a 2-4-0 in 1848.

Name Whyte Builder Works No. Driving wh Cylinders Rebuilt Withdrawn
2 Mars 2-2-2 SS 1473/1863 5ft 6in 15 x 20in 1865 1894
4 Drogheda 2-4-0 Gr


5ft 6in 15 x 20in 1875 1888 Similar to batch supplied to MGWR
5 Hercules 0-6-0 BP 1161/1862 5ft 0in 17 x 24in 1889 1911 Fig.9
8 2-2-2ST Ne


5ft 0in 12 x 18in 1885-7 phot. : Howth branch
10 Mercury? 0-4-2 BP


5ft 0in 16 x 22in 1884 1905 Fig. 6
11 Ajax? 0-4-2 BP


5ft 0in 16 x 22in 1879/1897 1903 Fig. 6
12 Apollo 2-2-2 SS


5ft 6in 15 x 20in 1871 1886 Fig. 4
12 Achillles 2-4-0 BP 1042/1871 6ft 0½in 16 x 22in 1889/1897 1911 Fig. 8
13 Ulysses 2-2-2 BP


6ft 0in 15 x 20in 1876/1892 1896 Fig. 7
14 2-2-2 BP


6ft 0in 15 x 20in 1874/1885 1896 Fig. 7
15 Aurora 2-2-2 BP


6ft 0in 15 x 20in 1880 1901 Fig. 7
16 2-2-2 BP


6ft 0in 15 x 20in 1877/1887 1898 Fig. 7
18 Diana 2-2-2 SS


5ft 6in 15 x 20in 1870 1886 Fig. 4
19 Pluto 2-4-0 Fa


5ft 0in


1869 1887
20 Vulcan 0-4-2 BP


5ft 0in 16 x 22in 1880/1900 1915 Fig. 6
21 0-4-2 BP


5ft 0in 16 x 22in 1887 1908 Fig. 6
22 Neptune? 2-2-2 SS 1484/1863 5ft 6in 15 x 20in 1888

Dublin & Belfast Junction Railway
Designed to link the Dublin & Drogheda Railway with the Ulster Railway at Portadown. Incorporated on 21 July 1846, but although Drogheda was linked to Portadown in 1852, the Boyne was not crossed by a viaduct until 5 April 1855. The line is extant and forms a major part of the Dublin to Belfast main line. Initially the line was operated by William Dargan. Unlike the other constituents of the GNRI its locomotive history was straight forward and only involved 22 locomotives, all of which were standard designs from either Sharp Stewart or Beyer Peacock. Johnston covers this in his Chapter 2 (pp. 23-7) with four figures and a table, which forms the basis for that below

Whyte Builder Works number driving wh cylinders Rebuilt Withdrawn
1 2-2-2 SB 529/1848 5ft 6in 15 x 20in as 2-4-0 in 1872 1885 Fig. 10 (Nos. 1-4)
2 2-2-2 SB 530/1848 5ft 6in 15 x 20in 1876
3 2-2-2 SB 534/1848 5ft 6in 15 x 20in 1877
4 2-2-2 SB 535/1848 5ft 6in 15 x 20in 1879
5 2-2-2 SS 707/1852 5ft 6in 15 x 20in 1870 1879 may have been to modified design
6 2-2-2 SS 708/1852 5ft 6in 15 x 20in 1875
7 2-2-2 SS 709/1852 5ft 6in 15 x 20in 1873
8 2-2-2 SS 711/1852 5ft 6in 15 x 20in 1873
9 0-4-2 SS 738/1853 4ft 6in 16 x 24in 1876 1900 Fig. 27 (p. 40)
10 0-4-2 SS 774/1854 5ft 0in 16 x 22in 1877/1889/1898 1903 Fig. 11
11 0-4-2 SS 775/1854 5ft 0in 16 x 22in 1874 1885-7 Fig. 11
12 0-4-2 SS 776/1854 5ft 0in 16 x 22in 1873 1890 Fig. 11
13 2-2-2 SS 707/1852 5ft 6in 15 x 20in 1870 1879 Fig. 10 (modified)
14 0-4-2 SS 992/1857 4ft 6in 16 x 24in 1879 1893 Fig. 27 (p. 40)
15 0-4-2 SS 1006/1857 5ft 0in 16 x 22in 1890 Fig. 11
16 2-2-2WT SS 1081/1858 5ft 0in 12 x 18in 1885-7
17 2-2-2WT SS 1082/1858 5ft 0in 12 x 18in 1889
18 2-4-0 BP 632/1866 6ft 0in 16 x 22in 1888 1914 Became H class
19 2-4-0 BP 633/1866 6ft 0in 16 x 22in 1886 1920 Became H class
20 2-4-0 BP 835/1868 6ft 0in 16 x 22in 1885 1911 Became H class
21 0-6-0 BP 1159/1872 5ft 1½in 17 x 24in 1889 1937 Figs. 12 and 13 and see below
22 0-6-0 BP 1160/1872 5ft 1½in 17 x 24in 1888 1934

The 0-6-0s were essentially identical to the Great Southern & Western 101 class which originated with a Beyer Peacock design of 1867. Johnston states that most of the locomotive stock was inadequate for the relatively heavy gradients between Dundalk and Newry and most of the Sharp 2-2-2s weree worn out by the time of amalgamation. The large 0-4-2s (9 and 14) and the final Beyer Peacock locomotives were exceptions.

Irish North Western Railway
Railway eventaully extended from Dundalk to Clones, Enniskillen, Omagh, Strabane and Londonderry with a branches to Cavan and Bundoran. Incorporated in 1845 as the Dundalk and Enniskillen; reached Castleblayney on 15 February 1849 and Enniskillen on 15 February 1859. Initially operated by William Dargan. By 1876 the railway owned 37 locomotives, many of which were obsolete. Included three constructed at Dundalk. The following are listed by Johnston as being Locomotive Superintendents: R. Bell (October 1850), John Blue (September 1852), R. Needham (October 1852), Frederick Pemberton (December 1858), Thomas Haigh (February 1870) and Charles Clifford (March 1871). The last was to go on to greater things.

Dundalk & Enniskillen Railway
Began with four locomotives supplied by Thomas Grendon of Drogheda which were similar to Nos. 13-17 supplied to the Dublin & Drogheda Railway (Johnston, page 15, Fig. 3). These were supplied in 1848, during the period that William Dargan was running the line (and one of the 0-4-2s was reatained by him). There were two 2-2-2s with 14 x 18in cylinders and 5ft 6in driving wheels, and two freight type 0-4-2s with 4ft 4in coupled wheels and 14 x 18in cylinders. These were followed by three Sharp 2-2-2s (similar to that illustrated in Fig. 4 on page 16 of Johnston): these were No. 4 of 1852 and Nos 5 and 6 of 1854. These were scrapped in 1883-5. Two Grendon long-boiler 0-6-0s were obtained: Nos. 7 in 1855 and 8 in 1856. These were similar to locomotives supplied to the Midland & Great Western Railway and had 5ft coupled wheels, 16 x 24in cylinders and a heating surface of 1090ft2. No. 8 was rebuilt in 1879 with a new boiler and cylinders and in this form survived until November 1903: No. 59A was the last surviving Grendon locomotive (illustrated on page 29 in photograph and as Fig. 15). In 1858 two Sharp Stewart 0-4-2s, Nos. 9 and 10 (with 5ft coupled wheels and 16 x 22in cyliinders), were obtained: these were identical to locomotives supplied to the Dublin & Belfast Junction Railway (Nos. 10-11: see Johnston Fig. 11 page 24). No. 9 was rebuilt in 1880 and scrapped in 1895. No. 10 was scrapped in 1885.

In 1859 a Beyer Peacock 2-2-2 was acquired and numbered 11, and was followed by 13 and 14 in 1861. These had inside frames, 5ft 6in driving wheels and 15 x 20in cylinders. They were to become the GNR N class. No. 11 was rebuilt as a 2-4-0 in 1875 and was further rebuilt in 1883 and 1889 becoming similar to the G class. In this form it lasted until 1914. The two others were rebuilt as singles and lasted until 1907 (No. 14) and 1910 (No. 13) and were the last Irish tender singles. Number 12 was a secondhand Longridge (1860) 2-4-0 from the Londonderry & Enniskillin Railway.

In 1861 two Neilson 0-4-2s Nos. 15 and 16 were acquired, and these were followed by Nos. 28 and 29 in 1863. These had 5ft 3in coupled wheels, 16 x 24in cylinders and 979ft2 heating surface. Twelve similar locomotives were supplied to the Midland & Great Western Railway. Builder's photograph Johnston page 31.

Londonderry & Enniskillin Railway
Incorporated in July 1845: opened to Strabane on 15 April 1847, and to Enniskillen on 19 August 1854. Robert Dods was Locomotive Superintendent from 1848 to 1854 (and of the Londonderry & Coleraine from 1852). The line began operation with three Longbridge long-boiler engines which were similar to three ordered by the Londonderry & Coleraine Railway. Each batch consisted of three different types, but all shared cylinder dimensions of 15 x 24in: the goods 2-4-0s had inside cylinders and 4ft 11in coupled wheels; the passenger 2-2-2s had 6ft 1in driving wheels and outside cylinders, and the luggage engines (2-4-0s) 5ft 6in coupled wheels and outside cylinders. Fig. 17 (Johnston p. 32) shows the 2-2-2 type. The Londonderry & Coleraine cancelled its order, but not until its luggage engine had been delivered, and after two years lying unused it was lent to the Enniskillen line.

2-2-0WT (light-weight locomotives)
The railway employed light 2-2-0WTs of the type devised by Bridges Adams. The first (No. 4) was supplied from Bow Works. Four similar light locomotives were ordered from Longridge (Johnston p. 33), but it had gone out of business and these were supplied by Kitson, Thompson & Hewitson in 1852 (not noted by Lowe). These had 5ft 0½in driving wheels and 10 by 16in cylinders and were known as the Gemini class. Theye received numbers 5-8. No. 7 was converted to coal burning in 1858. All had been withdrawn by 1876, although No. 22 (former No. 7) was used to drive machinery at Dundalk Works. Nos. 11 and 12 were supplied by Robert Stephenson & Co.. They had 5ft 2in driving wheels and 11 x 18in cylinders. They may have run on the Londonderry & Coleraine Railway for a time. They were prone to derail.

Two secondhand refurbished former broad gauge Ulster Railway 2-2-2 locomotives were obtained via Coates & Young of Belfast. These were 2-2-2s, former Ajax and Achilles of 1841. They became LER Nos. 9 and 10 and were scrapped in 1857.

Nos. 13/14: John Jones: 1855
The only John Jones locomotives supplied to Ireland. They had 4ft 7in coupled wheels and 25 x 20in cylinders. Johnston pp 3-4 and Fig. 40. Locomotives scrapped in 1894/6.

Later Irish North Western Railway locomotives
With the opening of the line to Bundoran in 1866 the railway acquired two Manning Waedle 0-6-0Ts from Brassey & Field, conractors. These were WN 4/1859 and 18/1860 and were named Rutland and Malvern (formerly used during construction of Malvern & Worcester Railway). They had 11 x 17in inside cylinders, 3ft 3in coupled wheels and a heating surface of 392ft2. They were scrapped in 1891.

Nos. 32-3: Dübs: 1866
WN 122-23. These followed an S.W. Johnson design for the NBR (the 341 class). They had 6ft coupled wheels and 15 x 21in cylinders. Johnston pp 34-5 including a detailed working diagram (Fig. 21) and a line drawing (Fig. 22).

Nos. 34: Dübs: 1867
WN 124: 5ft 3in coupled wheels; 16 x 24in cylinders. Johnston page 35, including deatiled working drawing (Fig. 23).

Nos. 35-6: Dübs: 1871-2
WN 462/1871 and 595/1872. Wheatley (NBR) standard goods. 17 x 24in cylinders; 5ft coupled wheels; grate area 16.5ft2 and total heating surface of 1109ft2. Johnston page 35 including Fig. 24 (line drawing).

No. 37: Dundalk: 1873
Similar to the Dübs design, but with 5ft 6in coupled wheels. Became GNR No. 73 and scrapped in 1892. Johnston pp. 35-6.

No. 22/GNR No. 72: Dundalk: 1874
6ft coupled wheels; inside frames; 16 x 21in cylinders. Lasted until 1923.

Ulster Railway
Johnston Chap. 4: this was the oldest constituent of the GNR, and was the second railway to open in Ireland, opening from Belfast to Lisburn on 12 August 1839 and Portadown on 12 September 1842. This was constructed to the broad gauge of 6ft 2in, but was converted to the Irish standard (5ft 3in gauge) between 1847 and 1848. All the broad gauge locomotives were constructed by Sharp Brothers and the earliest 2-2-2s had a similarity to GWR No. 7 Lion built in 1837. Spitfire was sold to the Belfast & Ballymena Railway in 1847: see Scott).

Broad gauge locomotives supplied by Sharp
Name Works No driving wheels cylinders Number (1848) Withdrawn
Express 48/1839 6ft 0in 13 x 18in


Fury 49/1839 6ft 0in 13 x 18in


Spitfire 57/1839 6ft 0in 14 x 18in to BNCR 1847
Etna 130/1841 5ft 6in 14 x 18in


Firefly 133/1841 5ft 6in 14 x 18in


Achilles 155/1841 5ft 6in 14 x 18in sold 1849
Ajax 156/1841 5ft 6in 14 x 18in sold 1849

Name Works No driving wheels cylinders Number (1848) Withdrawn
Samson 206/1842 5ft 0in 14 x 20in


Hercules 207/1842 5ft 0in 14 x 20in



Standard gauge locomotives

Sharp Brothers: 1846-7
Identical to DBJR locomotives with 5ft 6in driving wheels; 15 x 20in cylinders and 80psi boilers. Johnston Fig. 10 p. 24 and page 39

Names Running Nos. Works Number Rebuilt Withdrawn
Cyclops 7 343/1846 1870
Lucifer 8 366/1846 1867/1876/1886 1906 rebuilt as 2-4-0 in 1867
Pluto 5 344/1846 1864 1882
Juniper 10 367/1846 1869/1885 1905
Cerebus 11 392/1847 1864/1884 1901
Vulcan 12 394/1847 1865/1885 1905 rebuilt as 2-4-0 in 1865
Spitfire 13 507/1847 1869/1876 1888 Former BBR Hawk: rebuilt as 2-4-0 in 1869

Nos. 14/15: Sharp Stewart: 1853
WN 741 and 741: double-frames; 4ft 6in coupled wheels; 16 x 24in cylinders. Withdrawn 1875. Johnston pp. 39-40.

No. 16: Sharp Stewart: 1853
WN 975: Inside frames: 4ft 6in coupled wheels; 16 x 24in cylinders. Withdrawn 1877. Johnston p. 40.

Nos. 17-19: Sharp Stewart: 1857-8
Intended for Portadown and Dungannon Railway and the extension to Monaghan. WN 989 and 1007-8. Named Shamrock, Rose and Thistle. Double frames: 5ft 6in driving wheels; 15 x 20n cylinders. Converted to 2-4-0s in 1863-5. Withdrawn 1886-7. Johnston p. 40 and Fig. 4 page 16.

John Eaton period
Covered by Johnston from p. 40.

Nos. 1/22-23: Beyer Peacock: 1859-61
All had 5ft 6in coupled wheels; 15 x 20in cylinders; inside frames and a total heating surface of 925.4ft2. Johnston p. 41, Fig. 28.
1 Lagan 151/1859
22 Iveagh 225/1861
23 Tyrone 226/1861

Nos. 2/24-5: Fairbairn: 1859-62
These shared the same basic dimensions as the Beyer Peacock locomotives, but had a slightly larger heating surface (1019ft2) and a form of double frame arrangement which only served the leading and trailing axles. Johnston (p. 41) calls this a form of the Jenny Lind type
2 Blackwater 1859
24 Breffney 1862
25 Clanaboy 1862

Nos. 3/4: Sharp: 1860-1
4ft 6in coupled wheels; 16 x 24in cylinders. Johnston p. 41.
3 Erne 1156/1860
4 Owenreagh 1274/1861

Nos. 20-1: Sharp: 1861
5ft 6in driving wheels, 15 x 20in cylinders, double frames. Johnston (p. 41) states that Eaton had input into the design.
20 Ulidia 1275/1861
21 Dalriada 1276/1861

H class: Nos. 26-9: Beyer Peacock: 1863
6ft 1in coupled wheels. 16 x 22in cylinders. Johnston (p. 41) states that Eaton had input into the design. Johnston p. 49 et seq notes that this became a Northern Division standard design and received further additions by rebuilding/renewing earlier locomotives to more or less conform. ..
26 Ulster 367/1863
27 Munster 369/1863
28 Leinster 368/1863
28 Connaught 370/1863
On page 44 Johnston notes that there were problems with broken crank axles, but the replacements lasted 300,000 miles.

Four-coupled passenger engines, Ulster Ry. Locomotive Mag., 1919, 25, 124-5. 2 illustrations

K class: Nos. 7/6/5/39: Belfast Works: 1871-1882
These had 5ft 0in coupled wheels and 16 x 22in cylinders and were similar to the Sharp Stewart 0-4-2s of 1861, but built at the Ulster Railway's Belfast Works. Johnston pp. 44-5 and Fig. 31 illustrates No. 5 Typhoon. The others were 7 Cyclone; 6 Tornado and 39 Tempest. Johnston p. 49 et seq notes that this became a Northern Division standard design and received further additions :4 Owenreagh; 2 Blackwater and 9 Pluto (last illustrated as line drawing in Fig. 33)..
Nos. 40-1: Sharp Stewart: 1876
WN 2560/1876 and 2561/1876 were 40 Sirocco and 41 Simoom. Johnston pp. 44-5. Sharp Stewart general arrangement drawing page 46.

C class: Nos. 37-8: Belfast Works: 1872-8
Named Stromboli and Vulcano. 5ft coupled wheels. 17 x 24in cylinders. Lasted until 1945 (last surviving Ulster Railway locomotive) and 1939. Johnston p. 49 et seq notes that this became a Northern Division standard design and received further additions but with 4ft 7in coupled wheels. These were constructed at Belfast between 1876 and 1878 and by Beyer Peacock in 1879 (WN 1870-1).

Early stages of amalgamated railway including brief Northern Railway of 1875-76
The Northern Railway was formed on 1 March 1875 and combined the Dublin & Drogheda with the Dublin & Belfast Junction and these were joined by the Irish North Western on 1 January 1876. Finally the Ulster Railway joined to form the Great Northern Railway Company (Ireland) on 1 April 1876. In terms of locomotive construction the new railway had similaririties with the early LNWR with a Northern Division based at Belfast where Eaton continued to control activity until his retirement in 1885: the control even extended to the retention of the brick red livery for locomotives. The Southern Division was active in reconstruction both in Dublin and at Dundalk, but in May 1879 the new railway decided to construct a new locomotive workshop at Dundalk, and from 1 January 1881 J.C. Park (from Doncaster) took up the post of Locomotive Superintendent.
On page 49 Johnston records the diversity of motive power: only four classes had more than four members, and the largest was the Sharp singles of the 1850s. There were notable shortages of "modern" engines: inside cylinder 2-4-0s and 0-6-0s. This sometimes makes it extremely difficult to know where to place things in a logical order, and it is frequently simpler to examine Johnston's summarising tables at the rear of the volume. Finally, Johnston's Fifth Chapter also includes the absortion of the Newry and Armagh Railway and its locomotives.

Northern Division: 1876-1885
In most respects this was "business as usual" and it is simpler to note the emergence of the C class 0-6-0 as a continuance of Ulster Railway policy. Similarly, the more diverse K class 0-4-2 also emerges, as does the the H class 2-4-0.

Southern Division: 1876-1880

B class: Clifford: 1877
New class with 4ft 7¼in coupled wheels and 16 x 24in cylinders: from 1879 supplied with 17 x 24in cylinders and earlier locomotives modified. All supplied Sharp Stewart (WN 2677-80; 2842-44 and 2924-5) and all originally named. All rebuilt withe larger boilers from 1897 (except WN 2680 which received a smaller boiler in 1896). All withdrawn by 1938. Johnston pp. 53-4 and summary table p. 200.

G class: Beyer Peacock: 1875-
Design sprang from the Dublin & Dundalk Railway 2-4-0 No. 12 Achilles of 1871. It was a relatvely standard Beyer Peacock design, but showed the influence of Curry. The locomotives orginated with 5ft 7in coupled wheels and 16 x 22in cylinders. Johnston's table on page 197 is more helpful if rearranged in Works Number order:
1539/1875   3
1540/1875 42
1749/1877 25
1750/1877 24
1751/1877 80 as No. 49 fitted new 16½in cylinders: not withdrawn until 1921
1752/1877 59
2342/1883 46 as No. 48 fitted new 16½in cylinders: not withdrawn until 1921
2343/1883 47 fitted new 16½in cylinders: not withdrawn until 1921.
All were rebuilt between 1887 and 1903 and three were further rebuilt in 1915. Johnston notes on page 108 that WW1 caused the survivors to be fitted with new 16½in cylinders. Withdrawn 1911-1921 Johnston (p. 108) also notes that Irish North Western Railway No. 30 which had become No. 43A was overhauled in 1914 and given the number 202 also lasted until 1921..

H class: Beyer Peacock: 1866-8 and 1880-1
The later locomotives were WN 1968-9/(1880) and 2103-4/(1881). The earlier locomotives had been supplied to the DBJR in 1866-8 (Beyer Peacock WN 632-3/1866 and 835/1885). All had 6ft 0½in coupled wheels and 16 x 22in cylinders. The basic material is tabulated by Johnston on page 197: further information is provided in a caption on page 54. All were subsequently rebuilt: Johnston p. 108 notes that Glover fitted new fireboxes which enabled the boiler pressure to be raised to 175 psi and new cabs. Latterly they were used on the Warrenpoint btanch and on Portadown to Newry locals. The earlier locomotives were withdrawn between 1911 and 1920, and the later ones in 1932.

Newry & Armagh Railway
Absorbed by GNR (I) in 1879. It had been created in July 1845 with an ambitious plan to connect Newry with Enniskillen, but by 1 March 1854 it had reached Goraghwood, and it took another ten years to reach Armagh. The locomotive stock reflected the corporate poverty: the first locomotive was a 2-2-0WT: It may have been called Enniskillen and was supplied by Sharp Brothers to the Londonderry & Coleraine Railway in 1853, but was exhibited at the Dublin Trade Exhibition in April 1853, and was sold at the end of 1853 to the Newry-based railway. It had 5ft 3in driving wheels and 11 x 18in cylinders. Johnston Fig. 34 shows it in its original condition. It was converted to a 2-2-2WT in 1866 and sold in 1874. The second locomotive was named Newry and was ex-Moore, the contractor for the initial section opened: it was an 0-4-0T supplied by Hawthorn of Leith. It was converted to an 0-4-2T before absorption into the GNRI stock (Johnston Fig. 35). It had 4ft 6in coupled wheels and 13 x 18in cylinders.
In 1859 a third locomotive which became No. 1 was supplied by Fairbairn: this had 5ft 2in coupled wheels and 14 x 20in cylinders. In 1864 it was sold to Watson, contractor for the Goraghwood to Armagh section. . .
Two secondhand long boiler 0-6-0s were purchased from the contractors Watson & Overend and became Nos. 1 and 4, and eventually GNRI Nos. 83-4 and lasted until 1886 and 1881 respectively. (Johnston Fig. 36).
No. 5, an outside-cylinder 2-4-0T was acquired in 1864. It had 5ft coupled wheels and 15 x 22in cylinders. It was supplied by Sharp Stewart, but may have been constructed by John Jones. It became GNR 85 and ended as 85A shunting in Dublin where it was known as The Buck before being scrapped in 1894 (Fig. 37).
Two Vulcan Foundry 0-4-2STs supplied in 1864 were too heavy in that form and became 0-4-2s: in this form they formed the GNRI X class Nos. 81 and 82. They had 5ft 0½in coupled wheels and 16 x 22in cylinders. They lasted until 1887 and 1896.
The final potential acquisition was Sharp Stewart 0-4-2 (similar to the Ulster Railway's K class). The railway could not meet the bill and the locomotive was sold to the Belfast Central Railway.
Patterson Belfast & County Down Railway states two 0-4-2Ts supplied by Fairbairn/Sharp Stewart were acquired with railway and were sold to BCDR in 1882 and 1883 (having been briefly GNR(I) Nos. 82 and 80)

Park period
Johnston (Chapter 6) called this Doncasterising the GNR(I)


Sekon: p. 323: No. 73 decorated for hauling Duke of York's train


A class: Beyer Peacock/Dundalk: 1882-1891
The design was a new version of the standard GNR goods locomotives. They were the first locomotives to incorporate Doncaster features, notably the cab and tender, but were otherwise Beyer Peacock products with 17 x 24 in cylinders, 4ft 7¼ in coupled wheels and 130 psi boiler pressure (later increased to 140 psi). The class eventually reached a total of fifteen. Two were built at Dundalk in 1890/1: Nos. 60 Dundalk and 33 Belfast. The remainder carried the names of Irish counties. No. 79 Cavan is illustrated with its straight nameplate on the front ring of the boiler. The class was rebuilt in 1905-18, but superheaters were never fitted. Nos. 31 and 149 were sold to the SL&NCR in 1928 and 1931, and No. 69 (ex-79) joined them in 1940. Seven were withdrawn in 1935-7, but five survived WW2 and three entered CIE stock: No. 150 (built in 1890) lasted until 1961. Source: Johnston. pages 59 and 200.

AL class: Beyer Peacock: 1893-6
Johnston (pp. 71-3  also 200) emphasises that this was not an enlarged version of the A class. The boiler was identical to that fitted to the P class and a new chassis was fitted, but the 17 x 24in cylinders were retained. Johnston p. 111 records that new 4ft 6in operating at 175 psi were fitted from 1914..
36 Waterford BP 3583/1893
59 Kilkenny BP 3584/1894
151 Westmeath BP 3607/1894
152 Limerick BP 3608/1894
153 Clare BP 3609/1894
32 Drogheda Dundalk 13/1894
29 Enniskillen Dundalk 14/1895
55 Portadown Dundalk 15/1895
56 Omagh Dundalk 18/1896
The class lasted intact until 1957


J class: Beyer Peacock: 1885-9
These were not the first Irish 4-4-0s, but were the first to operate on the GNR. They had 5ft 7in coupled wheels, 16 x 20in cylinders, and 140 psi boilers. Johnston pp.63-4 (Fig 40 diagr s.el. and plan) and 197
117 Shamrock WN 2515/1885
118 Rose WN 2516/1885 sold SLNCR in July 1921 becoming Blacklion
17 WN 2517/1885
18 WN 2518/1885
45 Pansy WN 2655/1885
48 Iris WN 2656/1885
19 WN 2818/1887
20 WN 2819/1887
119 Thistle WN 2820/1887 sold SLNCR in July 1921 becoming Glencar
21 WN 3017/1889
115 Lily WN 3018/1889
116 Violet WN 3019/1889
All withdrawn by 1924.

P class (6ft 7in): also known as 72 class: Beyer Peacock: 1892-5
First express 4-4-0s. Johnston pp 70-1 and 198. The first two of four locomotives had 17 x 24 in cylinders and all-steel boilers pressed to 140 psi and were WN 3455-6/1892: running  Nos. 82 Daisy and 83 Narcissus. and the second pair (with higher, 150 psi, boilers) were WN 3664-5/1895: running  Nos.72 Daffodil and 74 Primrose (the names were not added until 1896). They were fitted with 4ft 6in boilers in 1913-15 (Johnston pp. 109-10) and superheated in 1931-2 and lasted until the 1950s. see also Locomotive Mag., 133, 39, 179

P class (5ft 6in): Beyer Peacock: 1892-5/Dundalk: 1904-6
These were identical to the locomotives with the larger driving wheels. Johnston pp 71 and 198. They were Beyer Peacock WN 3501-3/1892 and 3666/1895: running  numbers: 51-4. The first two received the names Hyacinth and Snowdrop in 1896, but the other two did not receive names. Dundalk WN 27-8/1904, RN 88-9 named Victoria and Albert; and Dundalk WN 29-30/1906, running Nos. 104-5 (Ovoca and Foyle) followed. Between 1923 and 1927 (Johnston p. 122) the class received larger 175 psi superheated boilers and 6½in piston valves and enlarged cylinders. The class was used on the Newcastle, Irish North, Bundoran and Oldcastle lines. See also Glover modifications in general...


Modified G class: Beyer Peacock: 1883
Nos. 46 and 47 included in earlier table. Rebuilt in 1903 with 16½ x 22 in cylinders and new boilers. Withdrawn 1921. Johnston p. 60,.


JS class: Beyer Peacock: 1885
Nos. 88 Victoria and 89 Albert: WN 2519-20/1885. First bogie locomotives on GNR: 6ft 7in driving wheels; 16 x 22in inside cylinders. The total heating surface was 970ft2. They were used on the Limited Mail trains which connected Dublin with Belfast in about three hours. From 1896 they were demoted to the Howth services and then withdrawn in 1904. According to Fryer had a 14.84 ft2 grate area. Johnston pp. 61-3; includes a weight diagram. According to Locomotive Mag., 1933, 39, 179 converted to 4-4-0 in 1904
Fryer, Charles. Single wheeler locomotives. 1993. Chapter 3

Tank engines


T class (later BT class): 1885-93
Very small locomotives: most built at Dundalk. 4ft 7in coupled wheels. 14 x 18in cylinders. Johnston (pp. 64-7 and 202) considers them to be similar to Stroudley's Terriers. Beyer Peacock WN 2623-5 of 1885 were given running numbers 97-9. Dundalk 1 and 2/1887; 3 and 4/1888 and 5 and 6/1889 received parallel running numbers. The remaining Dundalk locomotives are listed:
7 9/1891
8 10/1892
91 11/1893
92 12/1893
No. 1 was rebuilt as an 0-6-0T in 1920 and renumbered 119: it was used as a shunter at Londonderry until1935. Remainder withdrawn in 1920-1. They were used on Belfast to Lisburn and Dublin to Howth services, on the Ardee branch and on the Armagh to Castleblayney line once it had opened in 1909. In 1914 the boiler pressure was raised to 160 psi to operate push & pull services. Johnston 64-7 and 202: also Fig. 41 (side elevation and plan).

Bogie tank locomotive, G.N.R. (Ireland). Locomotive Mag., 1908, 14, 139. illus.
No. 8 illustrated: J.C. Park credited: dimensions quoted as 4ft 7in coupled wheels, 15in x 18in cylinders; 593.72ftt2 total heating surface and 11.25ft2 grate area. Boiler pressure 140 psi.

Newry Warrenpoint & Rostrevor Railway
Taken over in July 1886. Railway was incorporated in July 1846 and was opened on 28 May 1849, but never reached Rostrevor. Its locomotive stock was interesting and Johnston pp. 67-8 notes that Lowe is unrelaible on the locomotives of this railway. The railway began with three Bury 2-2-2s of 1848/9. William Dargan ran the line from 1850 for five years and sold the Bury locomotives to the Waterford & Limerick Railway. Eventually the company purchased the locomotives used by Dargan. Nos. 1 and 2 were Grendon 2-2-2WTs with 5ft driving wheels and 11 x 16in cylinders. No. 1 was rebuilt in 1886 as a 2-2-2T and named Rostrevor (Fig, 42) and was scrapped in 1892. No. 2 was not taken into GNR stock. A further Grendon 2-2-2WT may have been No.3 and was named Victoria (although it is doubtful if she would have been amused by it): this is depicted in Fig. 43 and was photographed (reproduced) by L.J. Watson before it was scrapped in 1885. Victoria had 4ft driving wheels and 9 x 15in cylinders. Another Grendon 2-2-2WT was probably purchased in 1866. It had 4ft driving wheels and 9 x 13in cylinders. It was sold to a contractor in 1885. The final locomotive was a Beyer Peacock (WN 2142/1882) 2-4-0T named Warrenpoint: it had 5ft coupled wheels and 14 x 20in cyclinders; 602ft2 heating surface, 10.5ft2 grate area and 120 psi boiler pressure. It became a member of the GNR O class. Sources: Johnston. and Loco. Mag... 1936, 42, 215-16. Latter includes a photograph of Warrenpoint

Belfast Central Railway
Purchased in September 1885. Johnston page 64. The line was incorporated in July 1865 to connect the GNRI with the BNCR and BCDR and to construct a central station which was never built. The line provided access to the docks and to the other railways for freight, but closed in 1965. The motive power was as follows:
Nos. 1 and 2: Black Hawthorn 0-6-0STs with 3ft 6in coupled wheels and 14 x 20in cylinders: WN 59/1868 and 356/1874. No. 1 was ex-Kelly & McFarlane. They became GNR 93 and 94 and were scrapped in 1892/1894.
No. 3 was a Beyer Peacock (WN 1707/1878) 2-4-0T with 5ft coupled wheels and 14 x 20in cylinders. It formed part of the O class. Scrapped in 1898.
No. 4 was a Beyer Peacock (WN 1935/1880) 4-4-0T with 5ft coupled wheels and 15 x 20in cylinders and was a bogie version of the 2-4-0. It received 16 x 20in cylinders in 1887 and a new 165 psi boiler in 1904. It became BP class member No. 96 and lasted until 1950.
No. 5 was an ex-Newry & Armagh Railway Sharp 0-4-2 which was sold in 1886 to the BNCR, where it became No. 50 and was scrapped in 1907.
Source: Johnston.

Armagh Accident

Ireland's most serious railway accident happened on 12 June 1889, and involved a Methodist Sunday School excursion from Armagh to Warrenpoint. The carriages were fitted with non-automatic vacuum brakes and time interval signalling was still involved. It led to the universal adoption of automatic brakes and full signalling. Source: Johnston. pp. 68-9.

Clifford period
Johnston Chapter 7 notes that this period was "when size became really important". Park's locomotives had tended to be under-powered: Clifford's locomotives could match those running south from Dublin on the GS&WR. During this period the Irish economy prospered and trains grew heavier.


PG class: Dundalk/Neilson Reid: 1899-1904
4ft 7in coupled wheels, 18½ x 24in cyclinders, 4ft 6in boilers. Boiler pressure originally 160 psi, later 175 psi. Johnston pp. 81-2 and 201. Includes Neison Reid official photograph of No. 101. Johnston p. 110 notes that the cylinders were lined up (bushed) to 17½in between 1913 and 1916 in an attempt at economy. On pp. 122-3 Johnston records that between 1924 and 1929 all received new 4ft 6in superheated boilers, but retained their slide valves: they became PGs on conversion.. Nos. 101-3 received new cylinders which may been 18 x 24in. All passed to UTA in 1958. Last survived until 1964..See also Glover modifications in general..
78 Strabane Dundalk 21/1899 Ren 151: in 1921 fitted with superheated boiler, but retained slide valves: Johnston p. 119
100 Clones Dundalk 22/1900
101 Balmoral Neilson Reid 5753/1901
102 Belleek Neilson Reid 5754/1901
103 Dunleer Neilson Reid 5755/1901
11 Dromore Dundalk 25/1903
10 Bessbrook Dundalk 26/1904

QG class: NBL: 1903-4
These four locomotives were the freight equivalents of the Q class but with 4ft 7in coupled wheels: the 18½in x 26in cylinders and the 175 psi boiler were common. Johnston p. 83 and 201. Johnston p. 110 notes that the cylinders were lined up (bushed) to 17½in between 1913 and 1916 in an attempt at economy. Johnston p. 123 notes that the class received 4ft 6in superheated boilers, but retained their slide valves and became QGs (dates added to list below.. See also Glover modifications in general...
152:Lurgan NBL 15890/1903 superheated 1926
153 Scarva NBL 15891/1903 superheated 1928
154 Lambeg NBL 16433/1904 superheated 1928
155 Navan.NBL 16434/1904 superheated 1926

LQG class: NBL/Dundalk: 1906-08
As QG design, but with larger (4ft 9in) boiler: 1511ft2. total heating surface and 19.8ft2 grate area
158 Ballybay NBL  17082/1906 : major rebuild see below
159 Cootehill NBL  17083/1906
160 Culloville NBL  17084/1906
110 Laytown NBL  18286/1908
111 Malahide NBL  18287/1908
161 Adavoyle NBL  18288/1908
162 Ballyroney NBL  18289/1908
163 Banbridge NBL  18290/1908
164 Fintona NBL 18291/1908
78 Pettigo Dundalk 31/1908
108 Pomeroy Dundalk 32/1908
The CIE alloted engines lasted until the end of steam. Johnston pp. 83-4 and 201. Johnston pp. 119-20 records that in 1921 No. 158 was subjected to a major rebuild with lengthened frames, larger (19in x 26in) cylinders and 8in piston valves (Fig. 56). From 1927 superheatered boilers and 8in piston valves were fitted without the frame extension, and No. 158 lost its extended frames (see Johnston p. 123). In this form they were known as LQGs and were the most powerful 0-6-0s in Ireland..See also Glover modifications in general..

Six-coupled goods locomotives, G.N.R. (Ireland). Locomotive Mag., 1908, 14, 158. illus.
No. 78 Pettigo illustrated

NQG: Nasmyth Wilson: 1911
Works numbers 929-33. Running numbers/names: 9 Kells; 109 Moira, 112 Keady, 38 Kesh and 39 Beragh: last two fitted with extended smokeboxes and Phoenix superheaters (superheaters removed in 1914). Johnston pp. 98-100 (where Nasmyth Wilson is very incorrectly located in Leeds, ratherr than Patricroft, Greater Manchester). In 1930/1 all were rebuilt with superheated 4ft 6in boilers, new 17 x 26in cylinders and 8in piston valves. No. 109 received a 4ft 9in boiler in 1930, and most, but not all received this type of boiler. Latterly the class was concentrated at Drogheda to work heavy cement trains on the Navan branch. Johnston pp. 125-6. See also Glover modifications in general..

NLQG: Nasmyth Wilson: 1911
Works number 950. Running number/name: 165 Newbliss. This was fitted with an LQG boiler, but with a much larger sloping grate firebox. The total heating surface was 1430ft2 and the grate area 22.8ft2. An extended smokebox was fitted, but without a superheater. Johnston pp. 98-100 including Fig. 52 (diagr. s. el.). It was rebuilt with a superheated boiler in 1929 and conformed to the LQG type except for the frame type. Johnston pp. 125-6. See also Glover modifications in general..  


PP class: Beyer Peacock/Dundalk: 1896-1911
Based on the P class, but with slightly longer coupled wheelbase, larger cylinders (18 x 24in) and a longer firebox. The total heating surface was 1128 ft2, the grate area 18.3 ft2 and the boiler pressure 150 psi. Six constructed by Beyer Peacock in 1896-8. Might have been known as Precursor class after name of first of class. The second series of 1898 (beginning with No. 75 had slightly larger cylinders and high boiler pressure. The use of coil springs on the driving axles led to the nickname 'Wee bouncers'. Johnston pp 76-7 and 198. The problem with this class is that some were fitted with 4ft 3in boilers and others with 4ft 6in boilers, and that production extended over a long period: on pp. 124-5 Johnston attempts to disentangle some of the complexities..See also Glover modifications in general..
70 Precursor BP 3799/1896 Johnston pp 76-7 and pp. 114-15 new saturated 4ft 6in boilers and 17½ x 24in cylinders
71 Bundoran BP 3800/1896 Johnston pp 76-7 and pp. 114-15 new saturated 4ft 6in boilers and 17½ x 24in cylinders
74 Rostrevor BP 3801/1896 Johnston pp 76-7 and pp. 114-15 new saturated 4ft 6in boilers and 17½ x 24in cylinders

75 Jupiter BP 3926/1898 Johnston pp 76-7 and pp. 114-15 new saturated 4ft 6in boilers and 17½ x 24in cylinders
76 Hercules BP 3927/1898 Johnston pp 76-7 and pp. 114-15 new saturated 4ft 6in boilers and 17½ x 24in cylinders
77 Achilles BP 3928/1898 Johnston pp 76-7 and pp. 114-15 new saturated 4ft 6in boilers and 17½ x 24in cylinders

106 Tornado BP 4736/1906 Johnston p. 91 modified appearance
107 Cyclone BP 4737/1906 Johnston p. 91
45 Sirocco BP 5327/1909 Johnston p. 91
46 Typhoon BP 5327/1909 Johnston p. 91

Contemporary account:
Passenger locomotive, G.N.R. (Ireland). Locomotive Mag., 1906, 12, 77. illus.
Text refers to Tornado class: No. 107 illustrated with 18 x 24in inside cylinders, 6ft 7in coupled wheels; 1119.5ft2 total heating surface, 18.5ft2 grate area and 175 psi boiler pressure.

25 Liffey Dundalk 33/1911 Johnston p. 93
43 Lagan Dundalk 33/1911 Johnston p. 93

50 Donard BP 5465/1911 Johnston p. 97
129 Connaught BP 5466/1911 Johnston p. 97
44 Leinster BP 5467/1911 Johnston p. 97
12 Ulster BP 5468/1911 as supplied fitted with Phoenix superheater removed 1915 Johnston p. 97
42 Munster BP 5469/1911 as supplied fitted with Phoenix superheater removed 1914 Johnston p. 97
Diagrams of Phoenix superheater: Fig. 50 page 96.

Q class: Neilson Reid (NBL)/Beyer Peacock: 1899-1904
These were much larger than the PP class: 6ft 7in coupled wheels; 18½in x 26in cylinders; 175 psi boiler pressure, total heating surface of 1362ft2 and a grate area of 19.9ft2. Johnston (pp. 77-81 and 198) considered that the class could vie with the best in Ireland and Britain. The only fault was that the frames were too shallow and this led to cracking..General arrangement drawing (elevation and plan) from Engineering, 1900, 6 July. No. 134 was withdrawn in 1951, but there were no further withdrawals until 1957 Johnston p. 110 notes that the cylinders were lined up (bushed) to 17½in between 1913 and 1916 in an attempt at economy. Johnston pp. 117-18 notes that the first series was superheated in 1919-22 and that the second followed in 1923-4 with new 4ft 6in boilers, operating at 175 psi, 8in piston valves and modernised cabs. They were used to operate trains from Belfast to Clones and Derry: on the latter basket-type staff collecting apparatus was fitted. Nos. 122, 125 and 133 were fitted with NCC tablet exchanging apparatus for working to Portrush..
133 Apollo Neilson Reid 5557/1899
134 Adonis Neilson Reid 5558/1899
135 Cyclops Neilson Reid 5559/1899
136 Minerva Neilson Reid 5560/1899
130 Saturn Neilson Reid 5756/1901
131 Uranus Neilson Reid 5757/1901 preserved
132 Mercury Neilson Reid 5758/1901
124 Cerberus Neilson Reid 6156/1902: illustrated on page 79 decorated for hauling the Royal Train in 1903
125 Daphne Neilson Reid 6157/1902
122 Vulcan NBL 15766/1903
123 Lucifer NBL 15767/1903
120 Venus Beyer Peacock 4565/1904
121 Pluto
Beyer Peacock 4566/1904

QL: NBL/Beyer Peacock: 1904-10
Compared with previous class had a longer coupled wheelbase to accommodate a larger firebox. The grate area was 22.14ft2 and the total heating surface 1531ft2. The last was built by Beyer Peacock and had strap big-ends instead of the solid fork type fitted to the NBL locomotives. Johnston page 81 includes a weight diagram; also p. 198. The 17 ton axle load restricted route availability. Johnston p. 110 notes that the cylinders were lined up (bushed) to 17¾in between 1913 and 1916 in an attempt at fuel economy.Johnston pp. 118-19 notes that Nos. 157, 114 and 113 were fitted with superheaters whilst retaining slide valves, but problems were experienced with lubrication. Therefore superheating was accompanied by fitting 6½in piston valves, but these were inadequate for the 18½in cylinders. Glover considered the class to be uneconomic as the grates were too large for economical steaming on lightly loaded services, and the frames were too weak for express work: surprisingly some lasted until 1960. See also Glover modifications in general.
113 Neptune NBL 16190/1904
114 Theseus NBL 16191/1904
156 Pandora NBL 16510/1904
157 Orpheus NBL 16511/1904
126 Diana NBL 17814/1907
127 Erebus NBL 17815/1907
128 Mars NBL 17816/1907
24 Juno Beyer Peacock 5329/1910

1911 locomotive exchange
Johnston pp. 93-5 cites R.N. Clements J, Irish Rly Rec. Soc., 1976 (No. 71, October). The exchange locomotives were GNRI No. 113 Neptnne which went south and GS&WR 4-4-0 No. 322 (which was broadly of the same dimensions, but had larger exhaust passages, but lower boiler pressure) which worked north of Dublin. Normally the GNR(I) used much cheaper Scottish coal from Killochan at Belfast and Tredegar coal at Dublin, but the GS&WR inisted on using its normal Nantyglo coal on the tests. On the GNR the GS&WR locomotive was tested against QL class No. 114 and Nos. 24 and 136. On the GS&WR No. 115 was tested against 306 class No. 307. In general the visiting locomotives returned higher coal consumptions, and Killochan coal was far cheaper than the Welsh coal, but demanded a higher consumption (the highest recorded in the tests). The illustrations include GS&WR No. 322 at Dundalk and No. 113 prepared for despatch to Inchicore..

Tank engines


RT class: Beyer Peacock: 1908-11
Intended for working in Belfast dock area where height had to be limited to 11ft 8in. Intended to have suficient coal capacity (3 tons) to be able to work all day. Small coupled wheels (4ft 3in) enabled a short coupled wheelbase. Sloping grate as over rear coupled wheels. 17 x 24in cylinders. Total heating surface 1086ft2. 175 psi boiler pressure. 22-3 were supplied in 1908 (WN 5093-4) and 166-7 in 1911 (WN 5531 and error in Johnston). Acquired by UTA, last withdrawn in 1963. Johnston pp. 92-3  and 203. includes a  weight diagram. Contemporary reference:
Great Northern Ry (Ireland). Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1910, 16, 65.
Supplied Beyer Peacock to Charles Clifford requirements. No. 22 illustrated.


QGT: Robert Stephenson & Co. 1905
Extremely Doncaster looking (N1 with a C12 boiler?). 4ft 7¼in coupled wheels; 18½in x 26in cylinders gave a high tractive effort of 23,957 lbf. Running Nos. 98 and 99. WN: 3137-8. Originally allocated to Belfast as shunters, but No. 99 later moved to Dublin. Johnston pp. 83 and 203.The two locomotives were superheated in 1932 and 1935 (see Johnston p. 129).See also Glover modifications in general...

QGT2: : Robert Stephenson & Co. 1911
Running Nos. 168 and 169. WN: 3454-5. Larger fireboxes (grate area 21.3ft2) than earlier locomotives. Based at Adelaide, Belfast to shunt new marshalling yard thereat. Johnston pp. 100-1 including Fig. 53: weight diagram (s. el)..


JT class: Dundalk: 1895-1902
Actually a Park design, but introduced following his death and was subject to enlargement as batches introduced, and rebuilt between 1917 and 1925 with improved 4ft 2in boilers and standard (16½ x 22in) cylinders. Source: Johnston 75-6, 114 (rebuilding) and 202.
93 Sutton Dundalk 16/1895 140 psi boilers
94 Howth Dundalk 17/1896
90 Aster Dundalk 18/1898 160 psi boilers, larger cylinders
95 Crocus Dundalk 20/1898
13 Tulip Dundalk 23/1902 175 psi boilers, larger (17 x 22in) cylinders
14 Viola Dundalk 24/1902
Used on Dublin suburban services; then on branch lines, including operation of the Dundalk. Newry and Greenore Railway when taken over in 1933. Most withdrawn between 1955 and 1957, but No. 91 (ex No. 13) became CIE property and lasted until 1963. No. 93 is preserved at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum.

Lisburn and Howth railmotors: 1905-06

The Lisburn cars (for service to Belfast) were supplied by North British with bodywork by R&T Pickering in 1905. There were three (Nos. 1-3) and they were of the 0-4-0 type with outside cylinders (12 x 16in) driven by Walschaerts valve gear. The vertical boiler operated at 175 psi. They had accommodation for both first and third class passengers. The four Howth (to Dublin) steam railcars (Nos. 4-7) were built by Manning Wardle (similar to the North British engine units) with Brush bodywork. Nine trailer cars were also built. The power cars suffered from vibration, mechanical problems and excessive heat. From 1913 they were converted into push & pull units. Johnston pp. 87-9..

Proposed 4-6-0
In March 1911 Clifford contacted the Chief Engineer to request the maximum dimensions acceptable and was informed that the maximum axle load would have to be 15 tons as shown in Fig. 49 in Johnston p. 95 which also quotes from article in Five Foot Three, 1981 (25) by Paddy Mallon in which he assessed the difficulties of maintaining such a locomotive at Dundalk Works: it would have exceeded the width of the traverser and been beyond the capacity of the overhead crane. Mallon compared the potential design with the GER 4-6-0s

Glover period: 1912-1933
George Glover had been trained on the North Eastern Railway at Gateshead under W.M. Smith: this connection was to manifest itself fully in his final design: the magnificent V class three-cylinder compounds.

Tender locomotives

SG class: Beyer Peacock: 1913
5ft 1in coupled wheels, 19 x 26in cylinders, 1354ft2 total heating surface including 250ft2 superheater (Schmidt type), 29.9ft2 grate area and 165 psi boiler pressure. Charles Clifford design.

Superheater goods locomotives, Great Northern Railway (Ireland). Loco. Mag., 1913, 19, 124-5. illus., diagram (side elevation)
Works photograph shows it numbered 37. Johnston (pp. 105-6) notes renumbering

SG2: Beyer Peacock: 1915/Nasmyth Wilson: 1924-5
These had new 175 psi boilers, Robinson superheaters and Ross pop safety valves which they shared with the S2 4-4-0s. They had 5ft 1in coupled wheels and 19 x 26in cylinders. The first batch (Beyer Peacock 5896-5900/1915) was numbered 180-4 and the second (Nasmyth Wilson 1428-32/1924-5) (with very minor differences): 15-19. Johnston pp. 111-13 and 201.

SG3: Beyer Peacock: 1920-1
Funded by Govenment compensation for maintenance arrears incurred during WW1. Beyer Peacock WN 6040-52. Large boiler with 1598ft2 total heating surface and a sloping 22.9ft2 grate and 19½ x 26in cylinders. Johnston pp. 115-17 and 201. Until 1932 when the Boyne Viaduct was strengthened the locomotives were restricted to working between Belfast and Dundalk and Portadown and Londonderry.


S class: Beyer Peacock: 1913
These Beyer Peacock locomotives were designed under Clifford's period, but included pre-delivery modifications by Glover (Johnston pp. 101 and 103-5). They were delivered in the Doncaster-style green livery, but rapidly acquired black. They were delivered with Ramsbottom safety valves, but they also incorporated Schmidt superheaters and 8in piston valves. They had 6ft 7in coupled wheels, a heating surface of 1366ft2 and a grate area of 22.9ft2. They were WN 5628-32/1913: running numbers and names: 170 Errigal, 171 Slieve Gullion, 172 Slieve Donard, 173 Galtee More and 174 Carrantuohill. The nameplates were of the curved type and placed on the splashers. Initially problems were experienced with steaming, but was improved by reducing the blast pipe diameter and the blower ring was moved. The superheater dampers were removed in 1914-15. The piston tail rods and pyrometers were also removed. From 1926 the boiler pressure was increased to 200 psi. The valve travel was also increased from about the same time. In August 1935 No. 170 was involved in a locomotive exchane with NCC 2-6-0 No. 96 Silver Jubilee: No. 170 ran between Belfast and Portrush and Belfast and Larne. Nos. 171 and 172 were experimentally fitted for oil firing in 1936. They were renewed from 1938 with new frames and received names..

S2 class: Beyer Peacock: 1915
Beyer Peacock WN 5901-3/1915. These had new 175 psi boilers, Robinson superheaters and Ross pop safety valves which they share with the SG2 0-6-0s. They were orginally to have been named, and the nameplate for No. 190 Lugnaquilla was actually supplied and fitted to the rebuilt locomotive in 1939. The other names selected were Carlingford and Mount Hamilton (the name of Glover's house!). Johnston pp. 104; 111-13 and 199.

U class: Beyer Peacock: 1915
Beyer Peacock WN 5904-8. This was a tender version of the T class of 4-4-2T with the same cylinders and 5ft 9in coupled wheels, but with a total heating surface of 1056ft2 and 8in piston valves. They were numbered 196-200. They had a universal route availability shown by a white diamond on the edge of the buffer beams. Johnston pp.113 and 199. This class received additions in 1948..

V:1932: Glover:
This was the last new compound design to be introduced in the British Isles. The locomotives were successful and the Dublin-Belfast service was accelerated to make full use of their speed capacity. Van Riemsdijk (Compound locomotives p. 29) dismisses them as "essentially Midland compounds with a higher boiler pressure". Phil Atkins (electronic comm) notes that Glover worked under J.M. Smith at Gateshead and that J.W. Smith (J.M.'s son) was still Works Manager at Gorton (LNER) when the design must have been being discussed at Beyer Peacock. Johnston covers the class on pp. 127-9 and shows that the boiler was in some respects an advance upon that fitted to the Midland compounds with a grate area of 25.22 ft2 (but less than that of the LMS compounds) achieved by an extremely long (10ft 8in) coupled wheelbase. (general arrangement diagram Fig. 58 on p. 128) and 130-1 (latter for blue livery) and 199 which shows that the WN were 6731-5. One especially useful part of the Johnston account is a synopsis of Glover's proposal to the Company's Board: the Dundalk Works could not accommodate a 4-6-0 and therefore a 4-4-0 had to be designed. A three cylinder design would place less stress upon the permanent way. Compounding was justifiable as the LMS operated over 200 locomotives of this type (Johnston notes that Glover slightly over-played the statistics). It is also noted that Glover arranged for his running inspectors to gain experience of compounds by sending them over to Carlisle: some draghtmen were sent across to Derby Works...

Compound locomotive performance on the Great Northern Railway (lreland.) – including a description of the locomotives and of the Boyer self-recording speed indicator. Rly Engr. 1933, 54, 281-3. diagr. (s.& f. els.)
Mercury, pseud. New compound locomotives and striking accelerations on the G.N.R. (lreland). Rly Mag., 1932. 71, 35-40. 3 illus., diagr. (s. el.), 3 tables.
Includes performance on the Dublin-Belfast run.
New compound express locomotives, Great Northern Ry. (Ireland). Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1932, 38, 192-2. illus., diagr. (s. & f. els.)
Three-cylinder compound locomotive, Great Northern Railway (Ireland). Engineer, 1933, 155, 98-9 + supplement. illus., 4 diagrs.
Includes detailed sectionalized diagrams.

From 1936 the compounds were painted in a special light azure blue enamel. This is recorded in un-titled paragraphs:
Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1936, 42, 83.
Rly Mag., 1936, 78, 229.

Performance and testing
Nock's Irish steam pp. 167-8 notes some fine performances recorded by himself in 1938 behind No. 85 Merlin between Dundalk and Goraghwood and behind No. 84 Falcon between Portadown and Dundalk. Nevertheless, he considered these did not equal those recorded with Driver Micky O'Farrell on the footplate of locomotives still operating at 250 psi when No. 85 achieved an average speed of 62.9 mile/h between Drogheda aand Dublin.

[Interchange trials: N.C.C. 2-6-0 tested between Belfast and Dublin and G.N.R. (I). compound on N.C.C.] . Rly Mag., 1935, 77, 385.
Irish railway developments. Rly Mag., 1945, 91, 136-7+. illus.
Robbins, J.M. The "Enterprise" express of the Great Northern of Ireland. Trains ill., 1951, 4, 61-3. 2 illus.


Rutherford, Michael. A Brief Survey of the Irish 4-4-0. Part 3: (Railway Reflections No.123).X Backtrack, 2006, 20, 552-63.
Notes that following WW2 the class received new Belpaire boilers manufactured by Harland & Wolff with a boiler pressure of 215psi.

Tank engines

0-6-0CT: Hawthorn Leslie: 1928
Given No. 31. Standard Hawthorn Leslie product: 3ft 4in coupled wheels. 14 x 20in outside cylinders and Walschaerts valve gear. It was bought for shunting in Dundalk Works. Johnston p. 124 incorrect spelling of Hawthorn"e": includes a weight diagram. On the division of the railway it became the property of Dundalk Engineering Works, but was sold to the CIE in 1960: it was scrapped at Inchicore in 1965

Crane locomotive, Great Northern Railway (Ireland). Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1929, 35, 346-7. illus., 2 diagrs. (s. & f. els.)


T (T1) class: Beyer Peacock: 1913
The D&SER had built a new 4-4-2T in 1911: No. 20 King George V and Glover persuaded Wild to display No. 20 at Amiens Street to show to the GNR Directors. Johnston pp. 106-7 (Fig. 54: diagr. f. el.). WN 5737-41. Running Nos. 185-9. 5ft 9in coupled wheels; 18 x 24in cylinders. Saturated boilers, but fitted with superheaters in 1920s. They may have been perceived originally as Irish North engines as two went to Clones and one each to Derry and Dundalk and early workings included ones from Clones to Belfast, but they gradually switched to suburban work. Johnston p. 110 notes that the cylinders were lined up (bushed) to 17¼in between 1913 and 1916 in an attempt at fuel economy.

T2: Beyer Peacock: 1921-30
Johnston pp. 114 and 203 notes that in 1915 design work was advanced for a modified version of the T1 4-4-2T to be constructed by Nasmyth Wilson, but that due to shortage of materials caused by WW1 the project was dropped. In 1920 the design was revived (the order book at Nasmyth Wilson states Works Numbers 1115-1119 finished by Beyer Peacock who gave them WN 6035-9). The cylinders were 18 x 24in. The superheated boiler had a heating surface of 1056ft2. The initial batch received running numbers 1 to 5. A batch of ten was supplied by Nasmyth Wilson (WN 1423-39) in 1924: these had scattered running numbers: 21, 30, 115, 116, 139, 142-144; 147 and 148. In 1929-30 Beyer Peacock (WN 6630-4) delivered the final batch which was given running Nos. 62-66: these had 200 psi boilers and steam sanding. About ten were used on Dublin suburban services and the remainder were based at Belfast and Portadown. From 1939 the boiler pressure was reduced to 175 psi on all the tank engines. In July 1940 No. 147 was fitted with an experimental boiler with a welded steel firebox and Sinuflo tubes. In 1941 No. 142 was subject to experiments in turf burning. In 1946 several were equipped for oil burning. Johnston pp. 120-2..

New tank locomotives, Great Northern Ry. (Ireland). Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1924, 30, 363-4. illus., diagr. (s. & f. els.)

1947 Laidlaw-Drew oil firing equipment was fitted to some T2 class locomotives.
Oil fired locomotives, Great Northern Railway (Ireland). Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1947, 53, 103-5. 2 illus., diagr.
Oil-fired locomotives on the G.N.R. (Ireland). Engineer, 1947, 183, 331-2. diagr. (REA 1528).
Oil-fired locomotives on the G.N.R. (I.) Rly Gaz., 1947, 86, 585-7. 4 diagrs., plan.

Rebuilding earlier classes including superheating
Johnston in his Glover chapter covers many modifications to earlier designs, notably the P class of 4-4-0s. the AL class; JT class, PP class, Q class, QL class, LQG, PG, P class with 5ft 6in coupled wheels, QG, NLQG, NQG, QGT

Converting locomotives for superheated steam experience on the Great Northern Ry. (Ireland). Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1925, 31, 36-7. illus. 2 diagrs.

Proposed 2-6-2T
Johnston p. 126 notes that Glover requested North British Locomotive to cost a 2-6-2T when requesting tenders for the final batch of 4-4-2Ts.

Enginemen's instruction car, 1920
Johnston p. 115 includes a photograph taken by H.C. Casserley in April 1953 and a contemporary plan published in Rly Gaz., 1921, 16 September

Acquisitions from Castleblayney, Keady & Armagh Railway
This line was opened from Armagh to Keady on 31 May 1909 and from thence to Castleblayney on 10 November 1910. The GNR(I) took the works over the contractor Robert Worthington and this included two Hunslet locomotives which entered the stock of the GNR(I) when they were shedded at Portadown. In 1921 and 1920 they entered departmental stock and were sold in 1930. Kells became No. 203 and was an outside cylinder 0-4-0ST built in 1904: it had 2ft 8½in wheels and 10¼ x 15in cyclinders. It weighed about 16 tons. Mullingar became No. 204: it was an inside cylinder 0-6-0T of 1889. It had 15 x 20in cylinders and the boiler pressure was only 100 psi. Johnston pp. 108-9.

Locomotive Mag., 1918, 24, 192.
Both illustrated in state with names not as incorporated into GNR stock

Howden/McIntosh period
Geoge B. Howden had been Chief Civil Engineer since 1929 and became Chairman of the GNRI in 1939. McIntosh took over locomotive management from 1939: he was son of the famous Caledonian locomotive engineer, hence the glorious blue applied following the retirement of Glover.

Tender locomotives

UG: Dundalk: 1937
This was a modern design. It had 200 lb/in2 boiler pressure and was intended for mixed traffic work. Johnston covers the 1937 batch on pp. 131-3 and 202 where it is noted that they were Dundalk WN 25-9/1937.

New 0-6-0 locomotives, G.N.R. (I). Rly Gaz., 1937, 66, 817. illus.
0-6-0 type locomotives, Great Northern Rly. (Ireland). Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1937, 43, 135-6. illus.

UG modified: 1948
Johnston covers this last batch on pp. 138-9 and 202. They were supplied by Beyer Peacock (WN 7249-53/1948) and had slight changes from the earlier series, most notably the Stanier-style tenders. They carried the numbers: 145-149.

New 5 ft 3 in gauge locomotives for the G.N.R. (Ireland). Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1948, 54, 66-7. 2 illus.
New locomotives for G.N.R. (I). Rly Gaz., 1948, 88, 461-3. 4 illus., 2 diagrs. (s. els.) (Rly Eng. Abstract 2625).

Two letters in Br. Rly J. relate to the "Stanier type" tenders fitted to the last GNR(I) locomotives supplied by Beyer Peacock
Rowledge, J.W.P.Stanier tenders. Br. Rlys J., 3, 175.
See BRJ 21 (article on LMS 4000 gallon tenders): Mentions tenders of the Stanier type fitted to NCC Moguls (argues that six actually fitted) and to Beyer Peacock locomotives supplied to GNR (I). classes UG 0-6-0, U 4-4-0 and VS 4-4-0.
Coakham, D.G.Stanier tenders. Br. Rlys J., 3, 175.
See BRJ 21: information on the 2500 gallon "Stanier-type" tenders fitted to the GNR (I) U and UG classes and the 4000 gallon tenders fitted to the VS class. Cites Modern Transport.


S class renewal:1938: Howden:
The S class was introduced by Clifford in 1913. Under Howden the locomotives were completely renewed with heavier frames and long travel valves. Johnston (pp. 133-4) notes that they were turned out in blue livery and received names. No. 190 Lugnaquilla received the plates cast in 1915: the remainder received a different type of plate. Rutherford (Backtrack, 2006, 20, 552) concurs and adds that the locomotives were finished in the new blue livery and received delightful names; Errigal. Slieve Gullion, etc..

GREAT Northern Railway (Ireland). Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1938, 44, 17.
King, L. "Slieve Gullion"— the last Irish 4-4-0. Rly Wld, 1966, 27, 60-1. 2 illus.
This locomotive had been preserved.
Robbins, J.M. The "Enterprise" expresses of the Great Northern of Ireland. Trains ill., 1951, 4, 61-3. 2 illus.

U class: 1948: McIntosh:
This type was first constructed by Glover in 1915. When more 4-4-0s were required after the Second World War, the design was modernized by McIntosh and further locomotives were built by Beyer Peacock WN 7244-8/1948. Johnston pp. 138-9 and 199..

New 5 ft 3 in gauge locomotives for the G.N.R. (Ireland). Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1948, 54, 66-7. 2 illus.
New locomotives for G.N.R. (I). Rly Gaz., 1948, 88, 461-3. 4 illus., 2 diagrs. (s. els.). (REA 2625).
Also includes the UG class.


Two letters in Br. Rly J. relate to the "Stanier type" tenders fitted to the last GNR(I) locomotives supplied by Beyer Peacock

Rowledge, J.W.P. Stanier tenders. Br. Rlys J., 3, 175.
See BRJ 21 (article on LMS 4000 gallon tenders): Mentions tenders of the Stanier type fitted to NCC Moguls (argues that six actually fitted) and to Beyer Peacock locomotives supplied to GNR (I). classes UG 0-6-0, U 4-4-0 and VS 4-4-0.
Coakham, D.G. Stanier tenders. Br. Rlys J., 3, 175.
See BRJ 21: information on the 2500 gallon "Stanier-type" tenders fitted to the GNR (I) U and UG classes and the 4000 gallon tenders fitted to the VS class. Cites Modern Transport.

VS: 1948: Mcintosh:
This was a simple expansion version of the Glover V class. Johnston covers the design on pp. 140-2 and 199 where it is noted that the Works Numbers were 6961-5.Notes that the design incorporated self-cleaning fireboxes, hopper ashpans, rocking grates and spark arresters and were fitted with smoke deflector plates and Belpaire fireboxes..

Allen, C.J. Two striking new designs. Trains ill., 1949, 2, 4-6. illus., diagr. (s. el.)
4-4-0 locomotives for the G.N.R. (I). Rly Mag., 1949, 95, 60.
New express locomotives for the Great Northern Railway (Ireland). Rly Gaz., 1948, 89, 525+. illus., diagr. (s. & f. els.), table.
New 4-4-0 locomotives, Great Northern Railway (Ireland). Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1948, 54, 150-1. illus., diagr. (s. el.)

Rutherford, Michael. A Brief Survey of the Irish 4-4-0. Part 3: (Railway Reflections No.123). Backtrack, 2006, 20, 552-63.
Notes that the design incorporated self-cleaning fireboxes, hopper ashpans, rocking grates and spark arresters. They were supplied by Beyer Peacock and were the final 4-4-0 design to be built anywhere..


Two letters in Br. Rly J. relate to the "Stanier type" tenders fitted to the last GNR(I) locomotives supplied by Beyer Peacock

Rowledge, J.W.P.Stanier tenders. Br. Rlys J., 3, 175.
See BRJ 21 (article on LMS 4000 gallon tenders): Mentions tenders of the Stanier type fitted to NCC Moguls (argues that six actually fitted) and to Beyer Peacock locomotives supplied to GNR (I). classes UG 0-6-0, U 4-4-0 and VS 4-4-0.
Coakham, D.G. Stanier tenders. Br. Rlys J., 3, 175.
See BRJ 21: information on the 2500 gallon "Stanier-type" tenders fitted to the GNR (I) U and UG classes and the 4000 gallon tenders fitted to the VS class. Cites Modern Transport.


Robbins, J.M. The "Enterprise" expresses of the Great Northern of Ireland. Train ill. 1951, 4, 61-3. 2 illus.
Semmens, P.W.B. Impressions of the Irish railways. Rly Mag., 1953, 99, 291-6.4 illus.
Footplate impressions.

Liveries (1900)
Liveries: carriages and engines of Irish railway companies. Rly Mag., 1900, 7, 427.
Great Northern Railway; locomotives, dark green; carriages, main line, oak; branch lines, purple brown.