Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era
1882 Stroudley 0-4-2
Stroudley’s main line express locomotives for the LBSCR were unusual in that whereas other designers at this period were building engines mainly of the 2-4-0 or 4-4-0 type, the Brighton engines had no leading bogie or even pony truck. The use of large front coupled wheels for express work was considered in some quarters to be somewhat hazardous, but the engines turned out in fact to be very steady runners and there is no record of any of them having been derailed at speed. Te design proved to be an excellent one and they took their turns along with more modern classes on the principal Brighton expresses, well into the 20th century.Heraldics for royal train – at the National Railway Museum
The first engine was No.214 Gladstone, completed in 1882 and 35 others followed down to 1891, numbers 215-20 and 172-200. The last mentioned were built in reverse order, Nos.198-200 in December 1887, 196 and 197 in May 188, and so on, until the last one No.172 Littlehampton appeared in 1891. The last ten came out after Stroudley’s death in 1889. The class had been preceded by the six somewhat similar engines built in 1878-80, but with rather smaller dimensions these never achieved the success of the ‘Gladstones’, and they had all gone by 1904. Of the ‘Gladstones’ themselves, ten were scrapped prior to the First World War, but no more withdrawals took place until 1923. The last in service was No.172, scrapped in 1933, but Gladstone itself has been preserved, having been restored to its original condition with the old yellow livery.
The engines were rebuilt by Marsh from 1906 onwards, and many of them acquired boilers with Ramsbottom safety valves over the firebox. The copper-capped chimney also in many cases gave way to plain cast iron ones, the yellow livery was replaced by Marsh’s chocolate brown, and most of them lost their names. Under Southern auspices the colour was again changed to green, the numbers became B172, etc. (none ever received a 2000 number), and the few remaining names disappeared, including that of 184, which had borne the name of Stroudley in commemoration of its designer.