403 Thorkell

FACT SHEET

NWR No.
403

NWR Name:
Thorkell

Wheel Arrangement
2-6-0

Builder
Royal Arsenal, Woolwich/NWR Crovan’s Gate Works

Class
Maunsell SECR N Class Mogul (NWR Rebuild)

History

The N Class of mixed traffic 2-6-0 locomotives was designed in 1914 by Richard Maunsell. Production of the first batch was delayed by the outbreak of the First World War. Assembly began towards the end of the war and the first locomotive, No. 810, emerged from Ashford Works for proving trials in July 1917. No. 810 was trialled for three years before another 15 locomotives (Nos. 811–825) were ordered in 1919. These were built between 1920 and 1923; their construction delayed by a backlog of repairs caused by the war.

The first batch of the N class proved successful in service, and the Ministry of Supply drew up a contract for a second batch to the same specification – to be built at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich.  Building of the second batch went ahead to retain skilled labour at Woolwich, and by 1924, the prefabricated components stored at Woolwich formed 110 complete N class kits for purchase from the government.

Note: The above is true apart from me adding a fictional 10 loco ‘kits’ to include in my fictional universe. Info from wikipedia.

In 1924, the NWR, in desperate need of locomotives, purchased several of these ‘kits’ to assemble at Crovan’s Gate works. 3 of the locos were built as 2-6-2Ts for working commuter services, with 5 becoming tender locos. They differed from their SECR counterparts by having enlarged cabs with side windows fitted (a blessing on a Winters day up in the North West). The NWR did not purchase tenders with the kits, and instead used tenders recovered from scrapped ROD 2-8-0s.

All were named after important figures in Sudrian history. Thorkell of Norwich lived from 1035-1092 and fought at Stamford Bridge. He befriended his captive, Godred Crovan, and later settled in Sodor. The Kellson family claim to be his descendants.

The Model

THORKELL is made from a Bachmann N Class, with a GBL Hornby Black 5 cab fitted (the cab floor was extended). A tender was salvaged from a scrapped ROD 2-8-0 and attached by customising the coupling with styrene strip. Currently this is a non-runner after a valve gear malfunction burnt the motor out.

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