The Lickey Banker, aka “Big Bertha”

Another extract from The Railway Engineer 1920 volume. This is from the May edition, an article about the newly built Midland Railway 0-10-0 No. 2290. Built specifically for one job, banking (pushing) trains up the Lickey incline, just outside birmingham. It is the steepest climb on a mainline railway in the UK, with a gradient of 1 in 37.7 (2.65%) for 2 miles.

No 2290 was built at the  Derby works of the Midland Railway Company in 1919, was based at Bromsgrove shed and was in daily use until 1956, when it was scrapped and replaced with a BR standard 9F.
Even with the development of more powerful locomotives and multiple unit trains, some banking is still needed today for freight services, and is provided by a class 66

More details on Wikipedia, meanwhile here’s a short piece of film of her in action

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