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Henry is a green goods engine that worked on the North Western Railway. He was originally a failed hybrid of a GNR Gresley A1 Pacific and an Ivatt C1 Atlantic but was rebuilt into a LMS Stainer Black Five in 1935


Henry's exact origins are unknown. The story goes that he was built from drawings stolen from Sir Nigel Gresley at Doncaster in 1919 by an anonymous locomotive builder who held a grudge against him. The spy, however, blundered and took the wrong drawings. Instead of the new A1 "Pacific" locomotives that Gresley was designing at the time, the thief ended up with plans that had been rejected early on. The mistake was realised too late and Henry was built with many resulting flaws, and only a superficial likeness to Gresley's Pacifics. One of these flaws was an undersized firebox, making Henry an unreliable shy steamer.

The thief was delighted to unload his "White Elephant" on to the first desperate customer who came along - The Fat Controller. He had intended to buy a Robinson "Atlantic" of the Great Central Railway, but was tricked into purchasing Henry instead. Henry arrived in 1922, and due to the railway being desperate for locomotives the Fat Controller had no choice but to keep him.

Henry was vain and stopped in the Ballahoo Tunnel and refused to come out, citing that his paintwork would be spoiled by the rain. After several attempts to move him failed, he was bricked up in the tunnel until Gordon broke down while pulling the Express. As Edward was unable to move the train himself, the Fat Controller offered to let Henry out of the tunnel to help. Henry eagerly accepted.

Henry performed well and the Fat Controller promised him a new coat of paint, since Henry's existing paintwork had been spoiled more by his stay in the tunnel than it would have been by the rain. Henry asked to be painted blue like Edward, only for many people to confuse him with Gordon, much to the bigger engine's annoyance. The matter was worsened after a trip to the Works when Henry was given a spare set of Gordon's buffers. Sometime before 1935 the mainline engines were offered new paint. Henry chose green and so ended the Gordon/Henry confusion.


Henry is generally well-behaved, but is occasionally arrogant and vain. Henry is at heart a very hard worker, but his frequent bouts of illness hinder his work. His illness almost always has something to do with his boiler.

Technical Details


Henry's history is unusual. The Fat Controller had intended to buy a Robinson Atlantic of the Great Central Railway, but was swindled and instead received Henry. According to men who worked on Henry pre-rebuild, he had a superficial likeness to Gordon, but the aesthetics were as far as this went. Although Henry's exact origins are difficult to trace, it is generally thought that he was built by an unknown rival locomotive builder to Sir Nigel Gresley, whose spy stole the wrong drawings for Gresley's upcoming A1 pacifics, resulting in Henry. Henry in this shape developed performance issues from flaws in the design, compounded by his stay in the tunnel. Henry was a bad steamer; with good-quality coal, he could get enough heat to make plenty of steam, but when there was a poor lot delivered, his undersized firebox could not hold enough coal to make a proper fire. On advice from Henry's fireman, the Fat Controller ordered high-grade Welsh Coal, which made an appreciable difference in Henry's performance. When Henry suffered an accident and severe damage in the winter of 1935, the opportunity was taken to send him to Crewe, where he was rebuilt into a London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Stanier 5MT "Black Five" 4-6-0. After "The Eight Famous Engines", Henry's Stanier tender was replaced by a standard Fowler tender. Eighteen members of the class have survived into preservation. Several members of this class survived until the end of steam on British Railways in 1968. Three class members, 44781, 44871 and 45110 were used to haul the Fifteen Guinea Special on August 11, 1968. 44871 and 45110 have survived into preservation whereas sister engine 44781 was purchased for use in the film, The Virgin Soldiers, and was scrapped after being used in a train scene disguised as a Malayan Railway L class locomotive (donning the number 531.03).


Henry is painted in NWR apple green with red and yellow lining. His number 3 is painted on the sides of his cab in yellow with red lining and the lining around his cab windows is yellow.