Posted by Jio Butler on 09 March 2017 10:52 AM
Designed as a successor to the LNWR’s extensive 0-8-0 fleet, which had lineage dating back to the 1890s, the G2 Class surfaced in the 1920s and, thanks to its developments, was able to dominate the LNWR and LMS network right through to the end of steam. To rekindle the fire of a bygone era, the LNWR G2 comes to authentic life within Train Simulator, courtesy of Partner Programme developer MeshTools, ready for contemporary mixed-traffic service!
Building upon the previous iteration of 0-8-0 locomotives became nothing short of a habit for the LNWR, and early examples such as the A Class were consistently rebuilt to incorporate new features. One particular class of locomotive, the G2, was designed as a more capable 0-8-0 than the earlier G1, which in turn was essentially a superheated D Class. Upgraded features such as a higher boiler pressure, strengthened frames, large axles and axle boxes plus a redesigned and strengthened direct acting joy valve gear were all present in the G2, and the 60 locomotives which were produced were all entirely new builds.
While the LNWR G2 Class comprised of an average-sized fleet, the overall number of active 0-8-0s totalled up to 502 – the 4th largest fleet of the LMS and 6th largest of British Railways. With numbers running high, the LNWR 0-8-0s were a regular sight across the network, and the G2s, with their various advancements, proved popular for nearly any duty. Freight, passenger, banking, shunting, you name it and a G2 would often be at the helm.
As the now-merged LMS began to further innovate in locomotive design, with Sir William Stanier producing iconic designs such as the LMS Black 5, Jubilee and Princess Coronation Classes, the LNWR 0-8-0s managed to stand their ground as a worthy piece of the railway puzzle. Surprisingly, the G2 fleet became subject to a number of Stanier-overseen upgrades, the net result being that no two G2s were ever quite the same.
Having served since 1921, the G2s were starting to age alongside even older LNWR 0-8-0s. It was decided that a further development process would be undertaken, and the result was the LMS 7F. Also known as the G3, nicknamed Austin 7, the LMS 7F followed on from the G2 and featured a long travel Walschaerts valve gear and higher boiler pressure, and was intended to allow the 0-8-0s to retire. The 7Fs were fantastic when they worked, however they were very prone to failures. Inadequate axle boxes from Derby’s 4F spelled an early end for the expensive to run and rarely available 7F fleet, the last of which was withdrawn in 1959.
Having outlived their ‘successors’, the G2 locomotives lived on until 1964, with the last two leaving service at the end of that year. Out of the 60 LNWR G2 locomotives, which were known by many as the Super Ds, only one survived into preservation. Today, 49395 lives in Shildon as part of the National Railway Museum’s collection.
The LNWR G2 Class for Train Simulator authentically recreates the mixed-traffic icon in clean and weathered LNWR, LMS and BR liveries, complete with contemporary freight rolling stock and a bonus LNER J94 steam locomotive in weathered BR Black livery. For even more steam-era authenticity, a LNER J50 is also included for AI purposes.
Career Scenarios for the Weardale & Teesdale Network will let you put your skills to the test in both the LNWR G2 and LNER J94, and both locomotives are Quick Drive compatible so you can test your metal wherever you may choose!
The LNWR G2 is available now for Train Simulator, head to the Store for more details! ■