These locomotives were Robinson's final design of passenger tank engine and were built to replace the ageing tank engines then in use on the Marylebone suburban services. They were built in two main lots. The first twenty one engines were built between 1911 and 1917 for the GCR, and the second between 1923 and 1926 for the LNER.
There were detailed differences between the various batches of the CGR locomotives over their life. The main ones were the change of cab side without windows to one with two, and various alterations to the chimney, dome and safety valves, depending, to a certain extent, on their shed allocation (mainly in LNER days).
The locomotives built for the LNER incorporated the design modifications from new to make them suitable to operate within the LNER rolling stock gauge. Gresley built-up chimneys and low domes were fitted from new and the cab roof was lowered. The width of the side tanks, cab and bunker was reduced by two inches. All the locomotives of the class, bar one, survived to be taken into British Railways' stock in 1948. The last one was withdrawn in 1960 following widespread dieselisation of the services for which they were designed.
Due to the large number of variations, members of this class exhibited over their long life span, it is recommended that a good photograph of the engine to be modelled be obtained. There are a number of good reference books available including the Railway Correspondence & Travel Society's "Locomotives of the LNER, part7".
The MSC Models Kit
The kit covers the locomotives of the first lot built for the GCR and enables the A5 to be built in either the original Great Central Railway or London North Eastern Railway versions. The principal difference is in the cab sides, but there was also a wide variation in boiler fittings such as chimneys and domes, the most common of which are catered for within this kit.
The kits can be powered by a number of different motor units, but the MSC Models Crailcrest motor unit is particularly recommended.
Wheels have not been provided in the kit as there are a number of different standards available in O Gauge. Slaters Plastikard Ltd and Walsall Model Engineering wheels are recommended.