One of the most iconic railway locomotives used to work the Tyne Dock to Consett route ie the 9F Steam Locomotives
The Class 9F was the last in a series of standardised locomotive classes designed for British Railways during the 1950s, and was intended for use on fast, heavy freight trains over long distances. It was one of the most powerful steam locomotive types ever built for British Railways, and successfully performed its intended duties. The class was given the nickname of ‘Spaceships’, due to its size and shape.
At various times during the 1950s, the 9Fs worked passenger trains with great success, indicating the versatility of the design, sometimes considered to represent the ultimate in British steam development. Several experimental variants were constructed in an effort to reduce costs and maintenance, although these met with varying degrees of success. They were also capable of reaching speeds of up to 90 miles per hour (145 km/h).
The total number built was 251, production being shared between Swindon (53) and Crewe Works (198). The last of the class, 92220 Evening Star, was the final steam locomotive to be built by British Railways, in 1960. Withdrawals of the class began in 1964, with the final locomotives being withdrawn from service in 1968, the final year of steam traction on British Railways. Several examples have survived into the preservation era in varying states of repair, including Evening Star.
They were generally thought of as very successful locomotives, O S Nock stating “The ‘9F’ was unquestionably the most distinctive and original of all the British standard steam locomotives, and with little doubt the most successful. They were remarkable in their astonishing capacity for speed as well as their work in heavy freight haulage.
The original proposal was for a boiler from the BR Standard Class 7 Britannia 4-6-2, adapting it to a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement but Riddles eventually settled upon a 2-10-0 type because it had been used successfully on some of his previous Austerity locomotives. Distributing the adhesive weight over five axles gave a maximum axle load of only 15 tons, 10 cwt.
The driving wheels were 5 feet 0 inches (1.52 m) in diameter. However, in order to clear the rear coupled wheels, the grate had to be set higher, thus reducing firebox volume. There were many problems associated with locomotives of such a long wheelbase, but these were solved by the design team through a series of compromises.
The centre driving wheels had no flanges, and those on the second and fourth coupled wheels were reduced in depth. This enabled the locomotive to round curves of only 400 feet (120 m) radius. As on all other BR standard steam locomotives, the leading wheels were 3 feet 0 inches (0.91 m) in diameter.
source Wikepedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BR_Standard_Class_9F
Another great source article https://www.derbysulzers.com/24102.html
A brief look at the Tyne Dock – Consett iron ore workingsClass 9F’s 92060 – 92066 & 92097 – 92099Class 24’s 24102 – 24111
BR 9F 2-10-0
Designed for British Railways by Robert Riddles, a total of two hundred and fifty one 9Fs were built originally for use on heavy freight trains. ten 9F locomotices, numbers 92060-92066 and 92097-92099 were modified, with the fitment of a pair of Westinghouse Air pumps, specifically to haul the the iron ore trains from Tyne Dock to Consett.
The 9Fs began duties on the ore trains in 1956 with the final 9F hauled train, named the Tyne Docker, running to Consett on 19 November 1966 behind a specially cleaned and adorned 92063.
A number of 9Fs have been saved for preservation, the most well known of which, Evening Star, is part of the National Collection.
Please get in touch if you have any pictures or memories of the 9F Steam Locomotives
Facebook page re 9F’s https://www.facebook.com/groups/517377101747933
Video to enjoy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeOnudmiqzU