|Introduced||1872 – 1880 Rebuilt by Marsh 1911 – 1947|
|Driving Wheels||4ft 0ins|
|Cylinders||Inside – 12in x 20in|
|Valve Gear||Stephenson (slide valve)|
Stroudley was appointed as Locomotive Superintendent for the London Brighton & South Coast Railway (LBSCR) in 1870 following the resignation of Craven at Brighton in January of that year. Stroudley had previously help a similar post at the Highland Railway. Craven had been had paid little attention during his time at Brighton in standardisation of designs or production problems so Stroudley faced some major issues at the start of his tenure at the LBSCR.
Stroudley initially concentrated his efforts on rearranging the works at Brighton so that urgent work could be organised on an efficient basis. At this time there were many engines lying idle in the works. Despite the poor state of LBSCR finances he was given the resources he requested.
Stroudley perceived the need for a small range of standard engines and in the following 15 years produced such a range, some 8 or so standard locomotive classes.
The class A, Terriers were designed in to haul commuter trains on the heavily congested lines in South and South-East London. These included routes from London Bridge to both East and West Croydon, London Victoria to Sutton and the line from Victoria to London Bridge via. Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill, as well as operating on the East London Railway under the Thames through the Thames Tunnel designed by Marc Isambard Brunel. Some of these lines had trackwork of light construction and poor foundations so required to be used by lightweight trains. The requirement was therefore for a lightweight design that was powerful enough to handle heavy commuter trains on the steep gradients on the East London Railway which ran underneath the Thames.
Six locomotives were built at Brighton for these services during 1872, and were successful due to their high acceleration between the closely spaced station stops and the use of light-weight trains. They could handle a 100 ton train on a 9¾ mile journey with ten station stops in 35 minutes. A further 44 were built at Brighton between June 1874 and September 1880 to complement the original six.
They were extremely small engines, with tall chimneys, and they were very powerful for so small a size.
The Terrier was so successful that more were built than were actually needed for the London area so their migration to the country parts of the LBSCR started. As time passed the trackwork in the London area became much improved, and the suburban traffic became much easier.
In 1911 Marsh decided to bring these small engines up to date, and some of them were rebuilt with new boilers and extended smokeboxes. These were known as the A1X class. The first of these were withdrawn in 1919.
After displacement from their original workings out of London Bridge and London Victoria by more powerful locomotives from the D class and the early stages of the LBSCR overhead electrification scheme, some representatives of the class were sold to other operators, while the majority of the remainder were put to work on branch lines in Sussex and on non-revenue earning work such as shunting.
At nationalisation in 1948, one A1 and 14 A1X locomotives entered British Railways stock. All but one of these locomotives were based on the former Southern Railway, which became the Southern Region under British Railways, with the other based on the Western Region, having been inherited by the Great Western Railway from the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway. BR gave the locomotives the power classification 0P, indicating that the locomotives were primarily passenger locomotives, but were among the least powerful on the system.
The locomotives remained employed much as they had been under Southern Railway ownership, with roles centred on working over the lightly laid and weight restricted branches. However, the class were becoming increasingly expensive to maintain through physical wear and increased age of components. The future of the class was thrown into doubt with the publication of the Modernisation Plan, which made provision to close many of the routes still operated by the class. The main two routes still retaining Terrier operations were the Kent & East Sussex Railway and the Hayling Island branch. The former closed due to being unprofitable in 1961.
The line to Hayling Island remained profitable, however, primarily due to the heavy traffic in summer. The condition of the bridge over Langstone Harbour was, however, deteriorating, and the Southern Region designated the bridge as being beyond economic repair. The final scheduled services over the line were run in 1963, and a special topped and tailed by 32636 and 32670 the following day. With the closure of this line, BR decided to withdraw the last remaining members of the class from traffic. At the time of its withdrawal following the closure of the line, 32636 (formerly 72 Fenchurch) was the oldest working steam engine in British Railways ownership and the last LBSCR engines still at work.. The final operational A1X with BR was 32678, which remained in service from Brighton shed until 10 August 1963.
The A1 class locomotives were originally numbered between 35 and 84, and most were given names of London boroughs or other areas of local importance which were served by the LB&SCR suburban trains they were built to operate, and also after areas around Brighton itself, such as Kemp Town. However, there were exceptions, such as 82 which was, in fact, named after Box Hill, a peak of the North Downs in Surrey, just outside Dorking.
From 1900, the two-digit numbers were prefixed with a 6 and their names were replaced with the inscription LBSC on their side tanks.
Further renumbering took place under Southern Railway ownership. Initially, most locomotives retained their pre-Grouping numbers with a letter prefix denoting the main works that was responsible for maintaining the class. Ex-LBSC locomotives, being maintained at Brighton, received B prefixes. The exceptions to this rule were the engines based on the Isle of Wight, which were given a W prefix.
In 1930 this system was replaced by a new numbering scheme, whereby former LB&SCR engines had their numbers increased by 2000 and the letter B no longer used.
A final renumbering in British Railways ownership saw the remaining members of the class renumbered by the addition of 30,000 to their Southern Railway numbers, in line with the national renumbering scheme drawn up by British Railways in 1948.
Eight locomotives were built by local Australian builders for the New South Wales Government Railways, Australia – to the LB&SCR’s general arrangement and drawings – and entered traffic as the N67 class at about the same time as the A1X class in England. They were essentially identical engines, except for a simpler cab, larger bunker, larger sandboxes and other various detail differences. They became redundant from about 1890 after the introduction of larger and more powerful tank locomotives and many were fitted with small cranes in place of the bunker. In this form they were put to work as shunters and as “coal grabs” – small mobile coal loaders for refuelling larger locomotives at depots. Some saw service with other groups into the 1930s. They were less successful than their English cousins due to rather different operating conditions and all were scrapped before the start of the preservation era.
Ten members of the class have been preserved including two which are still designated as being class A1 locomotives.
Preservation – A1
- 31751 (LBSCR 54 Waddon, SR 1751, SR A751, BR 680S & BR 31751)
- 82 Boxhill (LBSCR 82 Boxhill, LBSCR 682 & SR 380S)
Preservation – A1X
- 32636 (LBSCR 72 Fenchurch, SR B636, SR 2636 & BR 32636)
- 32640 (LBSCR 40 Brighton, IoW W11 Newport, SR 2640 & BR 32640)
- 32646 (LBSCR 46 Newington, LBSCR 646, Iow W2, IoW W8 Freshwater & BR 32646
- 32650 (LBSCR 50 Whitechapel, LBSCR 650, SR B650, IoW W9 Fishbourne, SR 2650, BR DS515 & BR 32650
- 32655 (LBSCR 55 Stepney, LBSCR 655, SR B655, SR 2655 & BR 32655
- 32662 (LBSCR 62 Martello, LBSCR 662, SR B662, SR 2662 & BR 32662)
- 32670 (LBSCR 70 Poplar, Rother Valley Railway 3 Bodian & BR 32670)
- 32678 (LBSCR 78 Knowle, LBSCR 678, SR B678, IoW W14 Bembridge, SR 2678 & BR 32678)