Model Rail (UK)

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If there’s a prototype that you think needs to be offered ready-to-run, here’s the place to voice your opinion…


Locomotive: LSWR Adams ‘T3’ 4-4-0 Tender Gauge: ‘OO’ Proposed by: Christophe­r Cawte, Sudbury, Canada

What is it?

The lure of the seaside and fresh sea air of the South Coast was becoming very attractive and accessible to the Victorians of the late 1880s. The London and South Western Railway was becoming hard pressed at this time to provide the required capacity to move ever-increasing numbers of passengers to seaside destinatio­ns like Bournemout­h, Swanage, Portsmouth and Southsea, to name a few. A more powerful express locomotive was needed. At this time, William Adams was the locomotive superinten­dent of the LSWR and designed a more powerful version of his successful 4-4-0 locomotive­s.

The ‘T3’ class was a 4-4-0 tender locomotive of elegant proportion­s, powerful and fast for its time. The class numbered ten locomotive­s in total. Constructi­on started in 1892 and all ten were completed by November 1893. They were numbered 557 to 576.

They had 6ft 7in coupled driving wheels and were employed on heavy main line express passenger trains to Portsmouth, Bournemout­h and West of Salisbury. During the First World War they were frequently used on the Oxford to Southampto­n Docks troop specials, sometimes in pairs, and on munition van trains.

The entire class entered Southern Railway ownership at the Grouping in 1923. Most were withdrawn in the early 1930s but No. 571 lasted until 1943 and No. 563 lasted until 1945 when it worked local passenger and goods trains from Eastleigh.

What would make it viable?

With recent increasing interest in pre-grouping railways, this locomotive fits in well with the Adams Radial by Hornby and Oxford Rail, the Adams ‘02’ from Kernow, the Beattie well tanks also from Kernow, and also the ‘M7’ and ‘T9’ from Hornby. There was not much in the way of visible changes over the years, apart from Drummond adding his own design of chimney and removing the bogie wheel splashers. A choice of liveries might include Adams’ pea green, Drummond’s ornate green livery and then the Southern Railway Maunsell green of the 1930s.

Can I see a real one?

Yes. The sole survivor of the ‘T3’ class No. 563 was selected for the Waterloo centenary display in 1948 and after spending many years in the National Railway Museum is currently undergoing restoratio­n to steam again by the Swanage Railway Trust 563 Locomotive Group. Providing the Swanage Railway itself survives the current pandemic we hopefully will see this iconic locomotive steam again in two or three years’ time.

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