LBSCR ‘E4’ 0-6-2T

Steam Railway (UK) - - ‘GREAT WAR’ MALLETS -

Be­fore the war: Robert Billinton had al­ready de­signed an 0-6-2T for the Lon­don, Brighton & South Coast Rail­way but de­cided that a ver­sion with 5ft-di­am­e­ter driv­ing wheels rather than

4ft 6in could be a use­ful mixed traf­fic ma­chine. He was right, and 75 were built from 1897 to 1903. Ini­tially used on Lon­don sub­ur­ban ser­vices, they spread through­out the LBSCR as elec­tri­fi­ca­tion took hold.

Call-up: The LBSCR couldn’t sup­ply any ten­der lo­co­mo­tives ow­ing to the amount of war work, but it of­fered 12 ‘E4s’. Nos. 470/481/498, 504/506/ 516/518/562/563/564/565/ 580 were dis­patched in 1917.

The­atre of op­er­a­tions: The ‘E4s’ were used to shunt sup­ply and am­mu­ni­tion de­pots around Au­druicq, near Calais, but were later used to work gun spurs around Ar­ras. De­mo­bil­i­sa­tion: Af­ter the Armistice was signed in Novem­ber 1918, the ‘E4s’ were used to haul lo­cal pas­sen­ger trains around Ar­ras un­til they were shipped back to Bri­tain in the spring and sum­mer of 1919.

The first ‘E4’ was with­drawn in 1944, BR re­ceiv­ing the re­main­ing 74 in 1948. Largescale with­drawals started later that year, pro­gress­ing through the 1950s un­til No. 32479 was the last one left, be­ing with­drawn in June 1963. The fi­nal ex-ROD ma­chines, Nos. 32470 and 32580, were with­drawn in 1962.

Sur­vivors: Birch Grove is pre­served, but didn’t go to war.


‘E4’ No. 32470 at Mid­hurst in March 1962. It was em­ployed shunt­ing gun spurs in the Third Army area around Gom­bremetz.

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