2842 ‘Kilverstone Hall’ at Cambridge in 1939. © Walter Dendy
The fleet of Class B17 locomotives were designed by Nigel Gresley to haul passenger services along the Great Eastern Main Line. Due to weight restrictions and the former GER B12s no longer able to haul heavy trains, there was a requirement for a lightweight yet powerful 4-6-0 - which proved difficult to achieve. The locomotives utilised features from other LNER classes such as the A1, K3 and O2 but difficulties in ensuring the B17s would be capable on the line drew out the construction process. In service, the class received the nicknames “Sandringhams” and “Footballers” and survived up until 1960 following nationalisation.