Tag Archives: SECR

Some Early Lines – The Folkestone Harbour Branch (A bit more!)

Some Early Lines
The Folkestone Harbour Branch
(A bit more!)

Gas Lamp

A unique line on the Southern Region was the Folkestone Harbour Branch where South Eastern Railway 0-6-0 tank locomotives worked boat trains up the very steep, but short, line to Folkestone Junction. Trains were rostered to have three or sometimes four locomotives, usually two at the front and two at the back, but sometimes triple heading occurred. Here No.31174, built in 1892 and withdrawn in 1959, is leading a train through Folkestone’s gas-lit streets, devoid of motor cars.

3 locos

South Eastern Railway R1 0-6-0Ts lined up at Folkestone Junction ready for action on a continental boat train. Notice the unusual parallel track layout, left of the locomotives, for a weighbridge. The locomotive shed is on the right-hand side and is now defunct. The locomotives are Nos.31407, 31174 and 31337, all built at Ashford as R class 0-6-0s and rebuilt as R1s under the South Eastern and Chatham Railway. The front and rear locomotives were the last of this famous class to be scrapped at Ashford in 1960. !959 saw the replacement of these engines by GWR pannier-tank locomotives.

Before elec
The Folkestone Harbour Branch before electrification, with R1 class 0-6-0Ts giving the all-pullman Golden Arrow a shove from the rear en route for Folkestone Junction (now Folkestone East). No.31047 was built at Ashford in 1895, rebuilt to R1 class in 1913, and withdrawn in March 1960, being replaced by pannier-tank locomotives in 1959.

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era – 1917 – Maunsell 2-6-0 South East & Chatham Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1917 – Maunsell 2-6-0

South East & Chatham RailwayNo.816 as first built (they later had smoke deflectors)

No.816 as first built (they later had smoke deflectors)

R.E.L.Maunsell had come to the SECR from the Great Southern of Ireland, where he had built his earliest locomotives.

His first designs for the SECR were two engines of considerable importance, the first being a 2-6-0 mixed traffic engine and the second a 2-6-4T for passenger work.

The outstanding feature of these designs, which did not attract much attention at the time, was the use of long valve travel.  Churchward alone, on the GWR many years before, had realised the value of this, but no other engineer appreciated its significance until Maunsell came along.  It was not until the locomotive exchanges of 1924-5 between the GWR, LNER and LMS that its superiority became generally recognised, and since then it has become normal practice in locomotive design.31414 last

The new SECR engine, No. 810, embodied much of the Great Western practice, including the coned boiler, but there was a good deal of the Midland there also, as exemplified in the design of the cab, tender and other details.

After extensive trials fifteen more were built, Nos. 811-25, No. 822 was fitted with three cylinders.

Largely to avoid unemployment at Woolwich Arsenal, the Government ordered a hundred of the design to be built there after the termination of the First World War.  Fifty of them were eventually acquired by the Southern Railway as 826-75 (later 1826-75).

Of the remainder it may be mentioned that six sets of parts were sold to the Metropolitan Railway and emerged as 2-6-4Ts, whilst another 26 went to the Great southern of Ireland, who thus acquired a number of Maunsell’s design after he had left that railway.31879 1930s

Six more of the three cylinder variety similar to No. 822 were constructed in 1930 at Ashford, Nos. A876-80, and another fifteen of the 2-cylinder engines between 1932 and 1934, numbered 1400-14.  In 1930 No. 816 was taken into Eastleigh works and underwent extensive experiments as a condensing engine, but it never ran in traffic and was eventually reconverted to standard.

These engines have always been most useful additions to the SR stock.  Many of them spent much of their existence in the West of England.  All were still in service in 1959 as BR 31810-75 and 31400-14.

2-Cylinder engines – Driving wheels – 5’ 6”,  Cylinders 19”x 28”,  Pressure – 200 lbs.,  Tractive effort – 26035 lb.,  Weight – 61 tons 4 cwt,  SECR & SR classification – N,  BR classification – 4P5F

3-Cylinder engines – Driving wheels – 5’ 6”,  Cylinders 16”x 28”,  Pressure – 200 lbs.,  Tractive effort – 27695 lb.,  Weight – 64 tons 5 cwt,  SECR & SR classification – N1,  BR classification – 4P5F31869


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1901 – Wainwright 4-4-0 South Eastern & Chatham Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1901 – Wainwright 4-4-0

South Eastern & Chatham Railway

1493No.1493 of Class D 

H.S.Wainwright’s first express engines for the newly formed SECR.  The first forty came out in 1901-3, numbered 726-50 and with scattered numbers earlier in the South Eastern list replacing older engines which had been scrapped.  Another eleven of the class were built in 1906-7, bringing the total to 51.  These engines were known as Class D.  Class E, consisting of twenty engines, was built between 1906 and 1908, and they were generally similar but had Belpaire fireboxes and less ornamental splashers.  Later the E class received extended smokeboxes and two of them were superheated.

743No. A 743 (later 1743) of Class D1 in the early 1930s

In 1919 No. 179 was completely rebuilt by Maunsell with superheater, increased grate area and larger diameter piston valves.  The frames were also cut away to clear the coupling rods in Midland fashion, and this in fact was not the only Derby characteristic in the rebuilt engine.  The reconstruction was achieved with practically no increase in weight, a necessary provision in view of the severe restrictions then in force over the Chatham main line.  Between 1920 and 1927 ten more engines of Class E and twenty of the Ds were similarly rebuilt and, although distinguished by the classifications D1 and E1, they became virtually the same class and were almost indistinguishable in appearance.  They did an immense amount of tremendously hard work over the difficult Chatham road with its heavy holiday traffic, for many years being the heaviest engines allowed on that line.31160All the rebuilds passed into BR hands in 1948.  Under SR ownership their numbers had been increased by 1000 and now were similarly renumbered into the 31000s.  Withdrawal began in 1950, but in 1959 there were still over a dozen in service.


Restored 31737Class D 4-4-0 locomotive 737

Ex South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) Class D 4-4-0 locomotive 737 (SR A737-1737, BR 31737 numbers) built at Ashford locomotive works in 1901 to a design by Wainright SECR design  © Copyright Ashley Dace and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 The remaining engines of Class D and E were never rebuilt, and all had been taken out of service by 1956.  No. 31737, however, has been preserved for restoration to its original SECR colours.  With their elaborate livery and abundance of brasswork coupled with their well-proportioned outline these were amongst the most handsome engines ever designed.


Class D – Driving wheels – 6’ 8”,  Cylinders – 19”x 26”,  Pressure – 175 lb.,  Tractive effort – 17453 lb.,  Weight – 50 tons,  BR classification – 2P

Class E – Driving wheels – 6’ 6”,  Cylinders – 19”x 26”*,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 18411 lb.,  Weight – 52 tons 5 cwt, – BR classification – 2P

Class D1 – Driving wheels – 6’ 8”,  Cylinders – 19”x 26”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 17950 lb.,  Weight – 52 tons 4 cwt,  BR classification – 3P

Class E1 – Driving wheels – 6’ 6”,  Cylinders – 19”x 26”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 18411 lb.,  Weight – 53 tons 9 cwt,  BR classification – 3P

Class E1 –The two superheated engines, Nos. 36 and 275, had 20½”x 26” cylinders and increased tractive effort.


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1900 – Wainwright 0-6-0 South Eastern & Chatham Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1900 – Wainwright 0-6-0

South Eastern & Chatham Railway

486No. 486 in 1926 in the later plain grey SECR livery.

H.S.Wainwright’s first design for the newly formed SECR.  A plain straightforward type of 0-6-0 mainly intended for freight duties but which has nevertheless been used extensively on passenger work also, and given many years of useful service.

109 engines in all were constructed between 1900 and 1908, mostly with scattered numbers throughout the range 4-725, renumbered by the addition of 1000 by the SR and again increased by 30000 since Nationalisation.

31685 ST

No.685 was in 1917 converted to a saddle tank, but otherwise the class has changed little except for the substitution of shorter chimneys.  No. 1499 was withdrawn in 1947 and one or two others followed in the next few years, but scrapping on a general scale did not commence until the late 1950s, and in 1959 well over half of them were still in service.

Driving wheels – 5’ 2”,  Cylinders – 18½”x 26”,  Pressure – 160 lb.,  Tractive effort – 19520 lb.,  Weight – 43¾ tons,  SECR and SR classification – C,  BR classification – 2F.



Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1879 W.Kirtley 0-6-0T LondonChatham & Dover Railway

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1879 W.Kirtley 0-6-0T

LondonChatham & Dover Railway

Illustration: a group of three of them in 1935.

Ten shunting engines constructed by W.Kirtley between 1879 and 1893 at Longhedge Works.  They spent most of their working life in the London area at Longhedge shed, but during the First World War they all went over to Boulogne for shunting there at one period or another, although not all at the same time.

Originally LCDR Nos. 141-50, they became SECR 600-9 at the 1899 amalgamation, and in due course SR A600-9 at the grouping.  Nos. 601/5/6/9 were scrapped between 1932 and 1936 and the others, except A607, became 1600, 1602-4 and 1608, No. A607 was transferred to the service list as No. 500S, and sent to work in Meldon Quarries, near Oakhampton, and lasted until1950.  Nos. 1600 and 1608 were sold to collieries in the north of England in 1936, and No. 1603 was scrapped in the same year.  The remaining two survived Nationalisation, No.1602 being cut up in 1951 and No. 31604, renumbered as such, in 1950.

The last survivor of all, however, was No. 1600, which had gone to the Haydock Collieries, Lancashire, where it was in service until 1958.

Driving wheels – 4’ 6”, Cylinders – 17½”x 24”,  Pressure – 160 lb.,  Tractive effort – 18510 lb.,  Weight – 40 tons 15 cwt.

NºA607 (LC&DR Nº148) in unlined SR Black and retaining the brass bunker side plate bearing the legend “SE&CR” fitted by that company when these engines were in ‘austerity’ grey. This loco would become Meldon Quarry shunter Nº500S in 1938. Photograph: Steve Roffey collection semgonline.com