0298 2-4-0WT LSWR Beattie 30585 – 30587

0298

 

Power Classification 0F reclassified 0P in 1952
Introduced 1874 – 1875
Designer Beattie
Company LSWR
Weight 37t 16cwt
Driving Wheels 5ft 7ins
Boiler Pressure 160psi
Cylinders Outside – 16.5in x 20in
Tractive Effort 11,050lbf
Valve Gear Stephenson (slide valve)

 

In 1850, the LSWR decided that the London suburban passenger services should be operated using small tank locomotives. To determine the most suitable type, Joseph Beattie, the LSWR Mechanical Engineer, prepared a series of designs for six-wheeled well tank locomotives, each of which incorporated one or more differences from the previous class. A small quantity of each was produced: between 1852 and 1859, 26 were built, to six different designs. These were the Tartar and Sussex classes of 1852, the Chaplin and Minerva classes of 1856, the Nelson class of 1858 and the Nile class of 1859. The wheel arrangement was either 2-2-2WT or 2-4-0WT; the driving wheels varied between 5 feet and 6 feet in diameter; the cylinder bore varied between 14 in and 15 1⁄2 in; the stroke was either 20 in or 21 in; and there were other changes.

Having chosen the most suitable characteristics, Beattie prepared a standard design of 2-4-0 well tank with 5-foot-6-inch driving wheels and cylinders 15 in bore by 20 in stroke; and the LSWR began to take delivery of these in 1863. The new design eventually totalled 85 locomotives; most came from the Manchester firm of Beyer, Peacock and Company between 1863 and 1875, but three were built in the LSWR workshops at Nine Elms during 1872.

The locomotives were built as follows:

Dates Built

Builder Quantity

LSWR Number

February–March 1863 Beyer, Peacock

  6

177–182

October–December 1863  Beyer, Peacock

  6

183–188

December 1863  Beyer, Peacock

  6

189–194

June 1864  Beyer, Peacock

   6

195–200

June 1865  Beyer, Peacock

  6

203–208

April–June 1866  Beyer, Peacock

  6

209–214

June 1866 Beyer, Peacock

  6

215–220

July–December 1867 Beyer, Peacock

12

243–254

July 1868 Beyer, Peacock

  8

255–262

September–November 1871 Beyer, Peacock

  8

263–270

February 1872 Nine Elms

  3

33, 36, 76

May–June 1874 Beyer, Peacock

  6

201–202, 34, 298–299, 314
October–November 1875 Beyer, Peacock

  6

44, 325–329

The 0298 class was the final class of twelve locomotives of this type to be built in 1874-1875.

In a well tank locomotive, the water tanks are not mounted above the footplate, but are set low down. On these locomotives, there were two tanks, both between the frames: one was above the leading axle, the other beneath the cab footplate.

Until the North Cornwall Railway, an independent concern operated by the LSWR, reached Wadebridge in 1895, the LSWR’s Bodmin and Wadebridge line, with its Wenford Bridge branch remained isolated.

Two years prior to this, one of the well tanks, 248 was sent by sea to Wadebridge to replace the ancient and worn-out Fletcher Jennings 0-4-0 saddle tank, Bodmin. By 1895, 44, 266 and (30587) were working the Bodmin and Wadebridge lines. By the end of 1899 only the last three well tanks of the class remained, all the others having been withdrawn as they become worn out and redundant.

They handled heavy loads with ease, and were fast runners. From 1890, when newer locomotives became available for the London suburban services, the Beattie 2-4-0WTs were sent to depots outside the London area. Some of their new duties required a greater water capacity than the tanks could contain, and so 31 were converted to tender engines between 1883 and 1887; these were withdrawn between 1888 and 1898.

Of the remainder, most were withdrawn between 1888 and 1899, but six (44, 257, 266, 298, 314, 329) were modernised between 1889 and 1894 for use on branch lines such as those to Exmouth and Sidmouth. Three of these, 44, 257 and 266 (the latter two having by then been renumbered 0257 and 0266), were also withdrawn between 1896 and 1898.

The other three locomotives (298 (30587), 314 (30585) and 329 (30586)) were transferred to the Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway in 1895, which was one of the earliest railways in Cornwall and isolated from the main LSWR network until that year.

These three remained in service because of the sharp curves of that railway’s freight branch to Wenford Bridge, which carried china clay traffic to the main line, where they were found to be the only suitable engines and worked there for 64 years. They were finally withdrawn in 1962 and replaced by GWR 1366 class 0-6-0PT dock tanks when the line came under the control of BR Western Region. In 1958, they were noted as “the oldest design still in use on British Railways (although not quite the oldest engines …)”, the latter distinction being given to 32636 and 32670 of the former LB&SCR A1x class, which had been built in 1872.

In 1929 a trial of the SECR P class 0-6-0 tank, 558, was carried out on the line, but the track was damaged by its longer wheelbase. So the previously condemned 329 (30586) was reprieved. The next crisis came in 1931, with frame fractures to 314 (30585), but it was rebuilt with modified frames, as were 298 (30587) and 329 (30586) later.

By chance, three unique, but more modern, ex-GWR 0-6-0 small pannier tanks, 1367/8/9, became redundant around the docks of Weymouth in 1962. Under the regional reorganisation of 1958, the Southern Region had regained control of the lines around Wadebridge as well as taking over the ex-GWR lines around Weymouth. As a consequence the opportunity was taken to send the three Western Region tank engines down to Cornwall, and bring to an end 70 years of historical working but not until 1962. In 1962 a GWR 1366 class engine was found to be capable of working on the line with its tight curves and light track without damaging the track which had been the problem when other locomotives had been trialed on the line.

When locomotives became old, their numbers were altered in order to release numbers for newer locomotives being built as replacements. The process was known as a transfer to the “duplicate list”, and the existing number could be altered in any of four ways: addition of zero prefix; being crossed out; being underlined; being given a 5-inch line or dot beneath the number. These methods were equivalent, and some locomotives had the numbers altered in one way on the cab side, and in a different way in the record books. Thus, 298 became 0298.

Not every locomotive was transferred to the duplicate list – several were withdrawn whilst carrying their original numbers. Most were transferred between 1888 and 1894, but the three retained for the Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway were not given duplicate numbers until later on. The renumberings of these final three were as follows:

Original Number    (date built) Duplicate list Southern Railway    2nd Number British Railways
298 (June 1874) 0298 (June 1898) 3298 (May 1933) 30587 (July 1948)
314 (June 1874) 0314 (May 1901) 3314 (November 1936) 30585 (December 1948)
329 (November 1875) 0329 (October 1901) 3329 (September 1935) 30586 (April 1948)

The first Southern Railway number was simply the final LSWR number prefixed with “E”, to denote Eastleigh Works.

Previous to 1921 they had carried boilers and chimneys of Adams pattern, but in that year they received new Drummond type boilers with ‘pop’ safety valves on the dome, although retaining the stove-pipe chimneys for the time being.  Later these were discarded for Drummond chimneys, and amongst other minor alterations steel buffer beams have replaced the original wooden ones.  Otherwise the design has undergone little change.

After withdrawal they were all scheduled for preservation but in fact only two of them survived.

30586 differed from the other two locomotives by having rectangular splashers instead of curved splashers.

Preservation

As noted above three of the Beattie 0298 class locomotives (30585-30587) survived until 1962 whilst the rest of the class were withdrawn between 1888 and 1898. The last three in service were rebuilt by Adams in 1884-1892. Urie in 1922-1922 and Maunsell in 1931-1935.

Two of the locomotives have survived and are preserved. Number 298 (30587) is owned by the National Railway Museum and is loaned to, and normally based at, the Bodmin and Wenford Railway. Number 314 (30585) is owned by the Quainton Railway Society and normally based at their Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.

In October 2010, 30585 was on short term loan to the Bodmin and Wenford Railway. Both preserved engines were in steam and operating trains together on parts of the routes they would have served between 1895 and 1962.

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