Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era
1887 – London & South Western Railway
No. 644 at Strawberry Hill in 1921. The brass beading to the splashers was latterly removed from most of the engines
First appearing in the fiftieth year of Queen Victoria’s reign, the engines of this class were always known as ‘Jubilees’.
The 0-4-2 tender was new to the LSWR at this period although it had been found previously on the neighbouring LBSCR and a few other lines, notably the Great Northern and the Glasgow and South Western. The new engines were intended, and were in fact used, for all manner of duties, except top-link expresses, for which they were hardly suited. It is recorded, however, that one of them did on one occasion in an emergency work the famous 11 o’clock West of England from Waterloo (later known as the Atlantic Coast Express).
In all, ninety of the class were built: Nos. 527-57, which came out from Nine Elms in 1887-9, followed by another forty from Neilson & Co. in 1892-3, Nos. 607-46, and a further twenty at Nine Elms in 1893-5, Nos. 597-606 and 647-56. The later engines differed slightly from the original thirty in having the steam chest between, instead of below, the cylinders, and lever reverse together with a few minor improvements. They were very efficient engines and put in a lot of hard work until they gradually began to be scrapped from 1928 onwards. Nos. 618, 627,629 and 636 survived until 1948 to be absorbed into BR stock, but were withdrawn in that year, none of them being renumbered in the 30000 series.No. 617 in Southern Region livery – Mike Morant Collection
They all gradually lost their Adams stove-pipe chimneys in favour of the Drummond pattern, and a few of them latterly carried Drummond type boilers. Most of the first batch were originally given old second-hand tenders of Beattie origin, later replaced by newer ones from scrapped engines of other classes. A few were latterly dual fitted with both Westinghouse and vacuum brakes. Otherwise the class remained unaltered throughout its existence. No. 555 had the distinction of hauling Queen Victoria’s funeral train from Gosport to Fareham on 2nd February, 1901, where the train was handed over to the LBSCR.
Driving wheels – 6’ 0”, Trailing wheels – 4’ 0”, Cylinders – 18”x 26”, Pressure – 160 lb., Weight – 43 tons 8 cwt., LSWR classification – A12 (527-56), 04 (597-656), SR classification – A12 (the whole class), LSWR and SR power classification – J.No. 643 at Raynes Park – Mike Morant Collection