GCR Class 11F

The Great Central Railway Class 11F or Improved Director Class is a class of 4-4-0 steam locomotive designed by John G. Robinson for passenger work. The LNER classified them as Class D11 from 1923. They were based on the earlier GCR Class 11E "Director" class (LNER D10).

GCR Class 11F
LNER Class D11
GCR Class 11F 62690 (LNER D11/2 No. 6397) The Lady of the Lake at Haymarket MPD, Edinburgh, in 1958
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
DesignerJohn G. Robinson
Build date1919–1924
Total produced35
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Leading dia.3 ft 6 in (1.067 m)
Driver dia.6 ft 9 in (2.057 m)
Length56 ft 5.5 in (17.209 m)
Loco weight61.15 long tons (62.13 t; 68.49 short tons)
Tender weight48.30 long tons (49.08 t; 54.10 short tons)
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity6 long tons 0 cwt (13,400 lb or 6.1 t)
Water cap4,000 imp gal (18,000 l; 4,800 US gal)
  Firegrate area
26.5 sq ft (2.46 m2)
  Diameter5 ft 0.5 in (1,537 mm) to 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm)
Boiler pressure180 psi (1.24 MPa)
Heating surface1,543 sq ft (143.3 m2)[1]
  Tubes972 sq ft (90.3 m2)[1]
  Flues416 sq ft (38.6 m2)[1]
  Firebox155 sq ft (14.4 m2)[1]
  Heating area209 sq ft (19.4 m2)
CylindersTwo, inside
Cylinder size20 in × 26 in (508 mm × 660 mm)
Valve gearStephenson
Valve type10 inches (254 mm) piston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort19,645 lbf (87.4 kN)
  • GCR: 11F
  • LNER: D11/1, D11/2
Power classBR: 3P2F
DispositionOne preserved, remainder scrapped

There were two subclasses: D11/1 were the original GCR engines and D11/2 were those built in 1924 by the LNER to a reduced loading gauge with smaller boiler mountings for hauling passenger trains in Scotland.[2]

Operational career

The 11F Class was initially used on passenger work on the GCR system, including fast expresses from Sheffield Victoria to London Marylebone. Later in their careers, they were used on short distance passenger trains. On lines of the Cheshire Lines Committee during the late 1940s and early 1950s, they hauled expresses between Manchester Central and Liverpool Central; also semi-fast trains from Manchester Central via Northwich to Chester Northgate.

Their 6 ft 9 inches driving wheels made them fast locos, but consequently unsuitable for hauling freight trains. The eleven original 11F locos were withdrawn during 1959 and 1960 as diesel multiple units took over operation of the shorter distance passenger trains.


The first member of the GCR Class 11F, No. 506 Butler-Henderson, was withdrawn from use by British Railways during 1960. It has been preserved as part of the UK National Collection and currently wears restored GCR colours. No. 506 is the only surviving GCR passenger locomotive.

The locomotive operated passenger trains on the preserved Great Central Railway in Leicestershire during the late 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s but is now out of running order. The locomotive was placed on long term loan for static display at Barrow Hill Engine Shed, near Chesterfield, in 2005.[3]

According to the Great Central Railway Plc, it is scheduled to be exhibited at the proposed NRM-endorsed Leicester Railway Museum, along with LNER class V2 Green Arrow.

Stock list

GCR/LNER stock list
GCR No.NameDate builtLNER No.1946
Date withdrawnNotes
501MonsSeptember 192255012665May 1959
502ZeebruggeOctober 192255022666December 1960
503SommeNovember 192255032667August 1960
504JutlandNovember 192255042668November 1960
505YpresDecember 192255052669August 1960
506Butler-HendersonDecember 191955062660November 1960Preserved
507Gerard Powys DewhurstFebruary 192055072661November 1960
508Prince of WalesMarch 192055082662August 1960
509Prince AlbertMarch 192055092663May 1960
510Princess MaryMay 192055102664August 1960
511MarneDecember 192255112670November 1960
1378Bailie MacWheebleJuly 192463782671May 1961
1379Baron of BradwardineAugust 192463792672September 1961
1380Evan DhuAugust 192463802673July 1959
1381Flora MacIvorAugust 192463812674July 1961
1382Colonel GardinerAugust 192463822675October 1959
1383Jonathan OldbuckAugust 192463832676October 1959
1384Edie OchiltreeSeptember 192463842677August 1959
1385Luckie MucklebackitSeptember 192463852678March 1959
1386Lord GlenallanOctober 192463862679September 1958
1387Lucy AshtonOctober 192463872680September 1961
1388Captain CraigengeltOctober 192463882681July 1961
1389Haystoun of BucklawOctober 192463892682September 1961
1390Hobbie ElliottOctober 192463902683September 1958
1391Wizard of the MoorOctober 192463912684October 1959
1392Malcolm GraemeOctober 192463922685January 1962
1393The Fiery CrossOctober 192463932686July 1961
1394Lord James of DouglasOctober 192463942687August 1961
1395Ellen DouglasNovember 192463952688July 1961
1396Maid of LornNovember 192463962689July 1961
1397The Lady of the LakeNovember 192463972690July 1961
1398Laird of BalmawhappleNovember 192463982691November 1961
1399Allan-BaneNovember 192463992692November 1959
1400Roderick DhuNovember 192464002693November 1961
1401James FitzjamesNovember 192464012694November 1959


Bachmann Branchline produce model of the D11 in other Great Central liveries, LNER liveries and British Railway liveries, including a NRM exclusive model of 'Butler Henderson' [4]


  1. Boddy et al. 1981, p. 86.
  2. Marsden, Richard. "The Robinson Class D11 (GCR Class 11F) 'Improved Director' 4-4-0 Locomotives". www.lner.info. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  3. "Director class "Butler Henderson", Great Central Railway". York: The Board of Trustees of the National Railway Museum. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  4. http://www.hornbymagazine.com/2013/03/08/butler-henderson-arrives/
  • Boddy, M.G.; Brown, W.A.; Hennigan, W.; Neve, E.; Platt, E.N.T.; Russell, O.; Yeadon, W.B. (January 1981). Fry, E.V. (ed.). Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., part 3B: Tender Engines - Classes D1 to D12. Kenilworth: RCTS. ISBN 0-901115-46-0.
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