1948: BR’S FIRST YEAR

Steam Railway (UK) - - Contents -

Of all the ‘Big Four’ rail­way com­pa­nies, the South­ern Rail­way was ar­guably the most adept at re­cy­cling its lo­co­mo­tives. Even in pre-Group­ing days, the SR’s con­stituent com­pa­nies rou­tinely adapted, mod­i­fied or to­tally re­built ex­ist­ing and ob­so­lete designs to bring them up to par for con­tem­po­rary traf­fic de­mands. Nowhere was this at­ti­tude more ev­i­dent than in the Maun­sell ‘D1/E1’ 4-4-0s. The ex-South Eastern & Chatham Rail­way lines through Kent proved most troublesome for the SECR’s last CME, as the lightly laid per­ma­nent way pre­vented the use of heav­ier, more pow­er­ful lo­co­mo­tives, which were just what the rail­way needed to han­dle in­creas­ing train loads dur­ing the in­ter-war years. In the pur­suit of cre­at­ing an ad­e­quately pow­er­ful lo­co­mo­tive with a light enough axle load, Maun­sell took an ‘E’ 4-4-0 (No. 179), de­signed by his pre­de­ces­sor Harry Wain­wright, and com­pletely re­built it. The re­sult was a lo­co­mo­tive far re­moved from the el­e­gant lines of the Wain­wright orig­i­nal, and which owed much to the Mid­land Rail­way ‘2P’ – thanks, in part, to Ash­ford’s chief draughts­man James Clay­ton, who had pre­vi­ously been em­ployed in the works at Derby. So suc­cess­ful were th­ese changes that Maun­sell re­built a fur­ther ten ‘Es’ into his new ‘E1’ class. Maun­sell also in­cor­po­rated his mod­i­fi­ca­tions into 21 re­builds of the Wain­wright ‘D’ 4-4-0s, cre­at­ing the ‘D1s’, which were all but iden­ti­cal to the ‘E1s’. The only dif­fer­ence be­tween the two was that the cou­pling rods on the ‘E1s’ were fluted, whereas the ‘D1s’ were plain. An ex­am­ple of the lat­ter, No. 31470, which was re­built from Wain­wright ‘D’ No. 470 by Beyer Pea­cock in 1921, stands in ex-works con­di­tion at Ash­ford in April

1948, re­splen­dent in BR un­lined black liv­ery. As was com­mon dur­ing the early years of na­tion­al­i­sa­tion, for­mer South­ern Rail­way lo­co­mo­tives car­ried ‘Bri­tish Rail­ways’ on their ten­ders, with the let­ter­ing, cab­side and buffer­beam num­bers de­picted in the same ‘Sun­shine’ font, in­tro­duced by Bulleid af­ter his ap­point­ment as SR CME in 1937. This early style can also be seen on Wain­wright ‘H’ 0‑4‑4T No. S1322. The tank en­gine is yet to re­ceive its BR num­ber with its ‘3’ pre­fix, and in­stead bears its Group­ing‑era num­ber with the ‘S’ pre­fix, de­not­ing its South­ern Rail­way ori­gin. Show­ing how the process of renum­ber­ing on the South­ern was a grad­ual one, be­hind the bunker of the ‘H’ is ex‑LSWR Adams ‘0395’ class 0‑6‑0 No. 30576, al­ready dis­play­ing its BR cab­side num­ber.

A.W. CROUGHTON/RAIL ARCHIVE STEPHEN­SON

Show­ing off its Mid­land Rail­wayin­spired lines, ‘D1’ No. 31470 stands on dis­play at Ash­ford dur­ing a Stephen­son Lo­co­mo­tive Society visit to the works in April 1948.

A.W. CROUGHTON/RAIL ARCHIVE STEPHEN­SON

Re­splen­dent in BR un­lined black, ‘H’ No. S1322 is also dis­played dur­ing the April 1948 SLS visit to Ash­ford, in front of ex-LSWR ‘0395’ No. 30576, and an uniden­ti­fied Maun­sell SECR 4-4-0.

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