This locomotive was ordered at the same time as Green Goddess, by Count Louis Zborowski, and stored with her at New Romney until building of the line started. She was used during construction and hauled the first official train on the occasion of the Duke of York's visit on 5th August 1926. Her early history is very similar to No. 1, but in 1936 she appeared with tapered boiler lagging,
more pronounced than specified in Henry Greenly's original design.
Northern Chief did some work during the war
but was in poor condition by 1946, and to get
her through that first post-war season she had
to be fitted with No.3's boiler. Following an
accident at Dymchurch she received her own
re-tubed boiler, before getting a complete
overhaul at New Romney in 1947-48. In 1952 her boiler was adapted to take a superheater, which led to all locos receiving
a superheated type boiler on their next refit's. Her smoke deflectors were fitted in 1955. In 1971 she was sent to the Ravenglass and
Eskdale Railway to assist that company in
locomotive trials, becoming the second RH&DR
loco to visit the Lake District. Until 1981, she retained her original Greenly designed tender. However, she is now on her
third tender which was originally built for Green
Goddess, but given to Northern Chief in 1989. Northern Chief has always been liveried in one green or another, except during the war when she was painted black. At present, her green
livery resembles that of British Railway's locomotives of the 1950's.
This locomotive, which became something of a television star courtesy of Channel 4's 'Classic Trains' series.