Malcolm Root - The Essex Regiment - B17 Class
1950s East Anglia scene showing B17 Class "The Essex Regiment". Railway Art Birthday Card by Railway Artist Malcolm Root
The B17 Class of three-cylinder 4-6-0 were one of the best of their type in Britain. Designed by the legendary Nigel Gresley for working expresses on routes not suited to his larger pacifics, the class became a familiar sight in Essex and East Anglia especially, running on the routes from Liverpool Street terminus to Norwich, Cambridge and Lowestoft among others.
Each batch, of which there were three were named after a common theme. Batch one locomotives were named after large houses and became known as ‘Sandringhams’, Batch two were named after football teams and Batch three were named after famous Army regiments. In an expert piece of marketing, the LNER and later BR used locomotives named after local houses, teams or regiments in the vicinity of their namesakes. The locomotive shown is running on an East Anglian express and is equipped with the earlier GER type tender to allow the loco to fit on the older turntables then in use in the area. 61658 was of course “The Essex Regiment”