Taken from the ‘Mercian’ Magazine
The Class E6 goods tank locomotives of the London Brighton & South Coast Railway share with their sister class the E5s the distinction of being the only ex-Brighton engines to have remained in substantially their original condition throughout the Southern Railway and British Railways’ regimes.
The E6s numbered twelve locos only, numbered 407-18, and were the last class to be designed by Mr. Robert Billington. He did not live to see the first emerge from Brighton Works for he died shortly before number 407 was completed in 1904.
These locomotives are considered by many to be identical to the E5 passenger version, but this is not so. In addition to smaller driving wheels the E6s have a slightly greater overall length, higher axle loading, outside brake rods, underslung steamchest and a tapered chimney similar to that fitted to the B4 Class 4-4-0.
Billington had in mind an eight-coupled tank engine for shunting work, and certain parts for these had already been manufactured before the project was scrapped. The last two E6s were fitted with heavier coupling rods of ‘H’ section originally intended for this project and thus differed from the others in the class in this respect.
As built the first eight were named and these finally ended the chapter of the naming policy which was for so many years a part of the Brighton Company.
407 – 10, Worplesdon, Binderton, Graffham, Chilworth.
411 – 14, Blackheath, Tandridge, Fenchurch, Piccadilly.
415 – 18, were not named.
DW – 4’ 6”, Cyls. 18 x 26 ins. THS 1211 square feet, Grate 19.32 square feet
Pressure, 160 lbs. per sq.in. TE 21200 lbs. Weight 61 tons.
In 1911 numbers 407/11 were rebuilt with 5’ diameter boilers by Earl Marsh. This raised the pressure to 170 lbs. and the weight by 2 tons. The rebuilds were classified E6x and with their large boilers and extended smoke boxes coupled with small wheels they looked very top heavy. The class has spent most of its life working from Norwood Junction and Stewarts Lane Depots, being chiefly employed on the Deptford Wharf branch or the Norwood to Waddon Marsh heavy coal trains.