Although not as renowned or as powerful as its close relative the A1, Sir Nigel Gresley's V2 design was arguably his most versatile and possibly his most successful non-express locomotive. The most famous locomotive of this class was no. 4771 Green Arrow, which bore a striking resemblance to A1/A3 Flying Scotsman. Green Arrow was the first of 183 V2 locomotives to be produced and came into service in 1936.
The V2s were built as express goods locomotives, but they proved to be so versatile that they quickly became employed as mixed traffic locomotives, tackling both goods and passenger trains. Indeed V2s were known to substitute for A1s, A3s and even A4s on the mainline express routes, although this was not particularly common. Green Arrow itself was known for running the first leg of the Kings Cross to Glasgow express goods service, which it ran until its withdrawal in 1962 when it became a part of the National Collection.
After a period of absence, Green Arrow returned to mainline service in 1973, back in its original apple green LNER livery and with running number 4771, rather than the BR number 60800 which it carried for a time, along with the traditional BR Brunswick green livery. In this same year it took part in the 'Rail 150' cavalcade at Shildon to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening the Stockton & Darlington Railway.
Since then Green Arrow has been a regular sight hauling trains on preserved railways around Britain, including the Bluebell Railway and the Great Central Railway. It also makes regular appearances at the National Railway Museum in York.