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GER Class C53

GER Class C53
LNER Class J70
8226 at Stratford locomotive depot, 28 September 1946
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer James Holden
Builder Stratford Works
Build date 1903–1921
Total produced 12
Configuration 0-6-0T
UIC classification C n2t
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Driver diameter 3 ft 1 in (0.940 m)
Wheelbase 6 ft 8 in (2.032 m)
Length 20 ft 8 38 in (6.309 m)
Locomotive weight 27 long tons 1 cwt (60,600 lb or 27.5 t)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 15 long tons 0 cwt (33,600 lb or 15.2 t)
Water capacity 625 imp gal (2,840 l; 751 US gal)
Boiler pressure 180 lbf/in2 (1.24 MPa)
Firegrate area 9.2 sq ft (0.85 m2)
Heating surface:
– Total
348.08 sq ft (32.338 m2)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 12 in × 15 in (305 mm × 381 mm)
Valve gear Walschaerts
Performance figures
Tractive effort 8,931 lbf (39.73 kN)
Operator(s) GER » LNER » BR
Class GER: C53
Power class BR: 0F
Axle load class LNER/BR: RA 2
Withdrawn 1942–1955
Disposition All scrapped

The GER Class C53 was a class of twelve 0-6-0T steam tram locomotives designed by James Holden for the Great Eastern Railway. They passed to the London and North Eastern Railway at the grouping, and received the LNER classification J70.


  • History 1
  • In fiction 2
  • References 3
    • Notes 3.1
    • Bibliography 3.2
  • External links 4


These locomotives had 12-by-15-inch (305 mm × 381 mm) outside cylinders driving 3-foot-1-inch (0.940 m) wheels; all enclosed by skirting. They were the first locomotives on the Great Eastern to use Walschaerts valve gear.[1] They were used on the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway and the ports of Great Yarmouth and Ipswich from the 1930s to the 1950s. They replaced earlier GER Class G15 0-4-0 of similar appearance.

Table of orders and numbers[1]
Year Order Builder Quantity GER No. LNER No. LNER 1944 No. Notes
1903 C53 Stratford Works 2 135–136 7135–7136 8216–8217
1908 C64 Stratford Works 3 137–139 7137–7139 8218, —, 8219
1910 I67 Stratford Works 1 130 7130 8220
1914 P75 Stratford Works 3 127–128, 131 7127–7128, 7131 8221–8223
1921 D85 Stratford Works 3 125–126, 129 7125–7126, 7126 8224–8226

The first withdrawal was in 1942. The remaining locomotives were renumbered 8216–8226 in 1944. The remaining eleven locomotives passed to British Railways in 1948 on nationalisation, and had 60000 added to their numbers. Withdrawals restarted in 1949, slowly at first, then more quickly, and the last went in 1955.[2]

Table of withdrawals[3]
Year Quantity in
service at
start of year
Locomotive numbers
1942 12 1 7138
1949 11 1 68218
1951 10 1 68221
1952 9 1 68224
1953 8 4 68216, 68217, 68219, 68220
1955 4 4 68222, 68223, 68225, 68226

In fiction

Toby replica on Avon Valley Railway

The J70 was the inspiration for the character Toby the Tram Engine in The Railway Series by the Rev. W. Awdry, and the spin-off television series Thomas & Friends.



  1. ^ a b Aldrich 1969, p. 105
  2. ^ Aldrich 1969, p. 106
  3. ^ Allen et al. 1970, p. 102


  • Aldrich, C. Langley (1969). The Locomotives of the Great Eastern Railway 1862–1962 (7th ed.). Wickford, Essex: C. Langley Aldrich.  
  • Allen, D. W.; Boddy, M. G.; Brown, W. A.; Fry, E. V.; Hennigan, W.; Manners, F.; Neve, E.; Proud, P.; Roundthwaite, T. E.; Tee, D. F.;  

External links

  • J. Holden locomotives — Great Eastern Railway Society
  • The J70 0-6-0 (GER Class C53) Tram Engines — LNER Encyclopedia
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