The Class D16/3 locomotives were derivatives of a prototype locomotive which was numbered 1900 after the year that it was built and was named “Claud Hamilton” after the then Lord Claud Hamilton (1843–1925), the chairman of the Great Eastern Railway.
The 4-4-0 wheel configured locomotive was quickly followed by an order for a Further forty locomotives which were built between the years of 1900 and 1903 and were classified by the GER as S46 (later to be re-classified as LNER D14s) but they very quickly became known as “Clauds”. Soon after these S46, further batches were produced between the years of 1904 – 1911 and were fitted with Belpaire boilers and classified as D56 (later to become D15s). The final batch of ten engines, this time classified by the GER as H88, later to become LNER D16s, were built in 1923 and fitted with 5’ 1” diameter superheated Belpaire boilers and were aptly named “Super Clauds”.
The D16/3 engines (Rebuilt Clauds) were introduced by Sir Nigel Gresley in 1933 and were rebuilds of D14, D15, and D16/2 engines with superheated round topped boilers, plus other mechanical and cosmetic changes. Out of the 121 built 117 Clauds survived into Nationalisation, of which fourteen were D15s, however the remaining D15s and D16/2s were quickly withdrawn. By 1949 a total of 104 D16/3s were in operation and proved to be efficient and equal to the earlier variants of the B12 locomotives.
The withdrawal of the D16/3 Class actually commenced in 1945 but during this time the Clauds were still being used quite extensively on the Eastern region with eight Clauds being allocated to the Cheshire Lines in 1949. Spares for the D16/3 locomotives began to become a problem and by 1955 a more concerted programme of withdrawal of the Class commenced with No. 62613 being the last to be withdrawn in September 1960.
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