Tag Archives: Mercian Magazine

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era – The LBSCR E6 0-6-2T

Taken from the ‘Mercian’ Magazine

The LBSCR E6 0-6-2T – by Casey Jones


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.


Names were:

407 – 10,  Worplesdon,  Binderton,  Graffham,  Chilworth.

411 – 14,  Blackheath,  Tandridge,  Fenchurch,  Piccadilly.

415 – 18,  were not named.


Dimensions were:

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.

The first one was withdrawn in 1957 and the rest have since followed to the scrap heap.


Chasewater Railway Museum July 1959 Bits & Pieces 6 RPS Mag No.1

The first newsletter of the RPS was published in July 1959 and followed the information given in the previous leaflet.

It invited members “to send letters, articles and news items for inclusion in future issues”.

Other items raised were Why don’t we take over a Branch Line?” The short answer was – not enough members.

“What type of Branch Line are we interested in?”

“The type of branch line we are interested in would have adequate storage space for relics and must be within easy access of large centres of population.  The exact criteria will be the subject of investigation by your committee, but we must bear in mind that the bulk of traffic would come from visitors on summer weekends and Bank Holidays who would not necessarily be railway enthusiasts.  We should be able to offer such people other attractions in the way of fine scenery and a terminus that is a natural tourist attraction with good facilities for meals, sight-seeing, etc”.

“Where will this Branch Line be?”

The early RPS members studied a proposal for taking over a line in South Devon but after consideration turned it down for two reasons

“1) Too small membership to make it possible.

2) Too far from the large centres of population where the      greatest support would come from.”

The thinking behind ‘Districts’ was explained.

“We think it desirable that wherever possible members should be able to visit a place where active work is going on during summer weekends or even just for an hour or two in the evening.  Also by concentrating our collection of relics in one place, we would deprive many members of the opportunity of seeing the relics of their local railways.

“Working from this basis, we have evolved the idea of an organisation built up of districts, each playing their own part within a national plan for preserving a collection of relics.  The first district has been formed, covering the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, and this is called the West Midland District.  A meeting of local members has been called to discuss plans for a London and Home Counties District.  The suggested area is the counties of Bucks, Essex, Herts, Kent, London, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex.  Other suggested areas for similar schemes are East Midlands, N.W England, Scotland, South Wales, Tyne/Tees and Yorkshire.”

Other items were – How do we form a District, Increasing our Membership, and the names and addresses of the officers of the RPS.