GER Class C53

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.

GER Class C53
LNER Class J70
8226 at Stratford locomotive depot, 28 September 1946
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
DesignerJames Holden
BuilderStratford Works
Build date1903–1921
Total produced12
  UICC n2t
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Driver dia.3 ft 1 in (0.940 m)
Wheelbase6 ft 8 in (2.032 m)
Length20 ft 8 38 in (6.309 m)
Loco weight27 long tons 1 cwt (60,600 lb or 27.5 t)
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity15 long cwt (1,700 lb or 800 kg)
Water cap625 imp gal (2,840 l; 751 US gal)
  Firegrate area
9.2 sq ft (0.85 m2)
Boiler pressure180 lbf/in2 (1.24 MPa)
Heating surface348.08 sq ft (32.338 m2)
CylindersTwo, outside
Cylinder size12 in × 15 in (305 mm × 381 mm)
Valve gearWalschaerts
Performance figures
Tractive effort8,931 lbf (39.73 kN)
OperatorsGER » LNER » BR
ClassGER: C53
Power classBR: 0F
Axle load classLNER/BR: RA 2
Withdrawn1942 (1), 1949–1955
DispositionAll scrapped


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]
YearOrderBuilderQuantityGER No.LNER No.LNER 1944 No.Notes
1903C53Stratford Works2135–1367135–71368216–8217
1908C64Stratford Works3137–1397137–71398218, —, 8219
1910I67Stratford Works113071308220
1914P75Stratford Works3127–128, 1317127–7128, 71318221–8223
1921D85Stratford Works3125–126, 1297125–7126, 71268224–8226

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]
YearQuantity in
service at
start of year
Locomotive numbers

In fiction

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. 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. OCLC 30278831.
  • 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.; Yeadon, W. B. (November 1970). Fry, E. V. (ed.). Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., part 8A: Tank Engines - Classes J50 to J70. Kenilworth: RCTS. ISBN 0-901115-05-3.

Further reading

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