The Heavy Freight Designs of John G. Robinson

The Heavy Freight Designs of John G. Robinson

John G. Robinson produced his most successful design, the class 8K (later O4) heavy freight 2-8-0, in 1911. This particular example was built at Gorton Works in 1912 and is the last survivor of the type in this country. The locomotive is part of the National Collection but is on loan to the Great Central Railway in Loughborough where it carries its British Railways livery and number 63601. The photograph was taken at Leicester North station on 15th July 2003.

'O4' class 2-8-0 freight locomotive, number 63601, at Leicester North station in 2003. See Details

Robinson's 8K locomotive design was a winner, and was later chosen by the Railway Operations Division (R.O.D) as their standard locomotive. Many were built for use overseas during, and after, the First World War. Some of these still survive in Australia, but only one of the original Great Central locomotives escaped the cutters torch. That locomotive is now on the Great Central Railway in Loughborough in its British Railways guise as No. 63601. This photograph shows one of the builders plates carried on the locomotive's wheel splashers. It reads GREAT CENTRAL RLY - BUILDERS - 1912 - GORTON WORKS.

Builders plate from 04 class 2-8-0, No. 63601. See Details

In the latter years of the Great Central Railway, a new class of fast passenger locomotive was built, and this was the John Robinson designed Class 9P 4-6-0's. A smaller wheeled version for fast freight services, known as the 9Q, was later designed by Robinson and some of the class were built by Beyer Peacock & Co. of Manchester in 1921. This image is the official Beyer Peacock works photograph of No. 34 - the locomotive being painted in grey for the occasion.

Great Central Railway Class 9Q, 4-6-0, No. 34. See Details