Issued Jointly by The Gresley Society Trust, Great Central Railway and North Norfolk Railway.

Ex Great Northern Railway 0-6-2T No 1744

Recent discussions between the Gresley Society Trust (the locomotive’s owners) the North Norfolk Railway and the Great Central Railway have taken place with a view to agreeing the most suitable operational base for the locomotive.

These discussions have been extremely cordial and all parties wish to safeguard the locomotive’s operational future and help maintain its commercial appeal. In order to best facilitate these objectives it has been agreed that the locomotive will change its operational base to the North Norfolk Railway as from January 2018, where it will continue to have the benefit of regular steamings.

No 1744 (formerly BR No 69523) has been associated closely with the Great Central Railway for over forty years and it is  agreed by all parties that future short-term guest visits to the Great Central Railway will take place after the locomotive’s next General Overhaul, due in 2019.

Philip Benham, Gresley Society chairman, said:

“We are delighted to have reached agreement for the North Norfolk Railway to become the future home for the N2. At the same time we are very conscious of the great debt of gratitude we owe to the Great Central for the care and attention they have bestowed on our unique locomotive over such a long period. I hope that once the forthcoming overhaul is complete it won’t be long before the loco visits Loughborough again.

“Meanwhile we look forward to working with the North Norfolk Railway, and to an exciting future for the oldest Gresley locomotive in existence – including, of course, being reunited with NNR’s resident Gresley ‘quad-art’ set and the centenary year in 2021.”

Hugh Harkett, North Norfolk Railway, Managing Director said:

"We have always enjoyed having the N2 on the many occasions she has come to the North Norfolk. As a permanent resident at Weybourne we shall nurture her stay here even more and, as Philip Benham has said, she will be a perfect match for the Quad-Arts and indeed the Kings Cross Suburban rakes".

Richard Patching, Great Central Railway Chief Executive said:

“It’s been a great privilege for GCR to have enjoyed the N2 for over forty years as an operational loco, and we’d wish that to be placed on record. The prospect of being able to see it here again in the future, that it remains in good hands, and that it will continue as a working loco beyond its centenary are all reasons why the three parties agreed readily to this proposal.”


Issued on behalf of the The Gresley Society Trust (

For more information, please contact: Ian MacCabe (; 07583-988406)




 Saturday 7th July 2.00pm at CLUB 39 1-2 Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3JN. The venue is 10 mins. walk from the railway station and shares it's entrance with Sticky Mits Childcare Centtre at the junstion of College Road and Queensgate in The Waterdale Centre in Doncaster

There will be a presentation of "The History of The Gresley Society" by Ian MacCabe-what we have achieved in the last 55 years and what of the future?"


Is Sir Nigel Gresley worthy of a statue?

Sir Nigel Gresley (1876-1941) was foremost among many eminent railway engineers in this country, and his influence in other countries was such that we can only regard him as world-famous.  He was highly imaginative and inventive.  His first patent, taken out on 2 January 1908, was for the articulation of railway vehicles, and this is still highly relevant today.  Articulation is used by railway and tramway vehicles of all kinds, and this makes Sir Nigel unique among his contemporaries.  It is reason enough to regard him as a great engineer.

More than that, he was inventive in many aspects of locomotive design.  All of his  locomotives and carriages were blessed with a cleanliness and elegance of line: even his largest goods locomotive was impeccably handsome.   The smaller suburban locomotives, and those built for branch lines, all had the characteristic purity of Gresley line.  

The elegance of Gresley’s locomotives was seized upon by the advertising department of the LNER at King’s Cross.  In particular they appeared on posters, in booklets, timetables, luggage labels - anywhere that the LNER could take advantage of their modern looks.  The speed of some of the passenger types attracted much attention from writers on locomotive performance, and thanks to the LNER’s enlightened policy of issuing lineside permits to trusted photographers, Gresley locomotives were well represented in magazines and books.  

Some of his trains may rightly be regarded as amongst the most beautiful ever built, and had features that made them stand out as works of great design.   The LNER streamline trains introduced the idea of the fixed-formation express train: this is still with us today, as is at-seat dining, with no need for a separate dining car.  

It is for all of these reasons that Sir Nigel Gresley should be commemorated by a statue: few enough are the memorials to truly great railway pioneers such as the Stephensons, Joseph Locke, and others.  Now, in the statue of Gresley at King’s Cross we are to celebrate a twentieth century engineer of the highest standing.  There can be no question that, among the nation’s engineers, he fully deserves it, and indeed in a country not well known for revering its engineers, it is long overdue.