The GER Class 527 was a class of fifteen 2-6-0steamtender locomotives designed by William Adams for the Great Eastern Railway (GER). This was the last design that Adams prepared for the GER, although they did not enter service until his successor Massey Bromley had taken office and incorporated some modifications to the design.
In order to haul heavier trains and compete for the coal traffic into London, the GER asked William Adams to design a locomotive capable of hauling a train of 400 long tons net (700 tons gross).
Tests were carried out with 265 class 4-4-0s to ensure that such trailing loads were feasible, followed by a prototype 2-6-0 number 527. Number 527 was the first locomotive in Britain to use the 2-6-0 wheel arrangement, and was named Mogul after the Great Moguls of Delhi, the epithet becoming the generic name for locomotives with that wheel arrangement.
As was the GER’s practice for locomotives built by outside contractors, the class was referred to by the number of the first locomotive, subsequent locomotives being numbered sequentially up to 541.
They were used on coal trains from Peterborough to London, but were found uneconomic, and so had short lives, being withdrawn between 1885 and 1887.
In order to compete with the quite archaic Type 28 and Type 29 locomotives, Belgian State Railways ordered a copy of the 527 class, built by Neilson & Co. in 1881. This lone engine, used on heavy trains between Jemelle and Arlon on the Luxembourg line, performed poorly.
In 1894, it was used as a test bed for a new kind of boiler designed by the Belgian engineer Mr. Docteur. It featured a steam reservoir perched atop the boiler and a firebox made of refractory brick and surrounded by air instead of water. The original cylinders were kept but the Wilson safety valves were replaced by Ramsbottom valves and a second-hand two-axle tender replaced the 3-axle tender. However, this prototype was quickly withdrawn and sent for breaking up in 1906.
- “The Adams Era”. Great Eastern Railway Society. No. 527 Class 2-6-0 1878-1879. Retrieved 29 April 2008.
- Allen, Cecil J. (1956) . The Great Eastern Railway (2nd ed.). Hampton Court: Ian Allan. p. 96.
- “Locomotive Classifications”. Great Eastern Railway Society. para. 5. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
- Dambly, Phil (1989). Vapeur en Belgique : des origines à 1914 (in French). Brussels: Blanchart. p. 152.
- “Just What The Docteur Ordered”. www.douglas-self.com. Retrieved 2 October 2020.