E5  2-4-0  NER  Tennant – NER 1463

ner 1463

Power Classification
Weight – Loco74t 4cwt
               Tender42t 2cwt
Driving Wheels7ft 0ins
Boiler Pressure160psi
CylindersInside – 18in x 24in
Tractive Effort12,590lbf
Valve GearStephenson (slide valve)

McDonnell suddenly resigned from his position of Locomotive Superintendent with the North Eastern Railway (NER) in September 1884. Although only seven of the ordered thirty-six 38 class 4-4-0 locomotives had been delivered, it was clear that they lacked power when hauling the heavier trains that they were designed for. In fact, the existing Fletcher 901 class 2-4-0s proved more capable with these duties. It was twelve months before McDonnell’s successor, T.W.Worsdell would be appointed, and the NER urgently needed a capable express locomotive. To this end, the NER’s General Manager, Henry Tennant, chaired a special committee to design an express locomotive. The design process was very quick: tenders for materials were issued in December 1884, and the first locomotive entered service in May 1885. Officially known as class 1463 (LNER class E5), the new locomotives quickly acquired the nickname of Tennants after the design committee’s chairman.

The new E5 locomotives were direct descendents of Fletcher’s 901s. The cab design was changed, and a completely new tender design was used. A total of twenty E5s were built in 1885, with Darlington (1463-1472) and Gateshead (1473-1479 and 1504-1506) building ten each. They were initially allocated to Edinburgh, Gateshead and York.



Gateshead1464 and 1469-1479


York1463 and 1465-1468


The Edinburgh based locomotives were used to haul trains between Edinburgh and Newcastle which enabled the night expresses to operate non-stop on this route. In 1895 engine 1505 is reputed to have completed the trip from Newcastle to Edinburgh in 127 minutes.

The only rebuilding involved the fitting of Worsdell-pattern boilers between 1892 and 1896. The initial boilers therefore had very short lives, even compared to boilers on contemporary NER locomotives. This was because of the particularly high mileages worked by the E5s, and the boiler’s iron construction. The new boilers represented a reduction in tubes from 221 to 205, but an increase in working pressure from 140psi to 160psi. These rebuilds did not have a significant effect on the external appearance of the E5s.

In about 1899, 1467 was fitted with Younghusband’s patent valve gear. Younghusband was in charge of a section of the NER’s drawing office, and this valve gear was tested on a number of NER locomotives. The design was based on Gooch’s valve gear, but achieved a maximum steam port opening in a very short period of time. The valve gear had the disadvantage that it was very heavy, and it was not fitted to any further E5s. Stephenson valve gear was eventually re-fitted to 1467, although the exact date of conversion is unknown. It may have been as late as 1918 when 1467 received new cylinders.

Ramsbottom safety valves were fitted. These were initially uncased on the original boilers, but they were given brass trumpet-shaped covers when the Worsdell boilers were fitted.

Designed for heavy express passenger work, the E5s took up these duties very quickly with few problems. During the summer of 1885, 1467 was trialed with Fletcher 901 class 156, and McDonnell 38 class 126, between Penrith, Darlington, and Saltburn. The results of these trials are not recorded, but the E5 must have performed well.

The E3 class engines were clocking up mileages of 40,000 miles per year shortly after their introduction. This was in excess of any other contemporary NER locomotive type, and would not be exceeded until the introduction of the D20 4-4-0s in 1899.

The introduction of the D22 4-4-0 (NER class F and F1) locomotives in 1886, concentrated the Tennants to the Newcastle-York section of the NER mainline. Further 4-4-0s displaced the E5s from the main line to secondary expresses, such as the Scarborough-York-Leeds route. The E5s continued to clock high annual mileages on these secondary services.

All twenty E5s were still allocated to secondary express duties, when they entered LNER ownership following Grouping in 1923. As well as the Scarborough route, typical services also included the Darlington to Penrith, and Darlington to Tebay services. Withdrawals started in 1926, and were completed with the withdrawal of 1474 from York in February 1929.

Withdrawals with final depot allocated to.










Kirkby Stephen11






West Hartlepool


York (North)11



NER 1463

1463 in the British Transport Museum at York - July 1972

NER 1463 was built at Darlington in May 1885 and allocated to York depot.

It was withdrawn from service in August 1927 whilst based at Darlington. By this time it had completed 1,343,616 miles whilst in service.

1463 is part of the National Collection and is loan to the Darlington Head of Steam Museum where it is on static display.

The National Railway Museum have said that since the locomotive is an updated version of Edward Fletchers 901 class (of which 910 is preserved) it is not clear why this locomotive was preserved.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Darlington Head of Steam MuseumOn static displayNational Railway Museum NRM Object Number{1975-7020}
1463 in the British Transport Museum at York - June 1960.jpg
1463 in the British Transport Museum at York – June 1960
1463 in the British Transport Museum at York - July 1972
1463 in the British Transport Museum at York – July 1972
1463 in the Heads of Steam Museum at Darlington – June 2017

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