B1 0-4-2 LBSCR Stroudley Gladstone



Power Classification
Introduced 1882 – 1891
Designer Stroudley
Company LBSCR
     Weight – Loco 38t 14cwt
                    Tender 29t  7cwt
Driving Wheels 6ft 6ins
Boiler Pressure 140psi  (Post 1889 engines 150psi)
Cylinders Inside – 18.25in x 26in
Tractive Effort 14,155lbf
Valve Gear Stephenson (slide valve)

The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway B1 class is a class of 0-4-2 express passenger steam locomotives, known from the name of the first, 214, as the Gladstones.

They were the last express passenger design of Stroudley, and were a larger and improved version of his Richmond class of 1878. Thirty-six locomotives were turned out from Brighton railway works between 1882 and 1891, and were used for the heaviest London to Brighton express trains. The first member of the class 214 Gladstone entered traffic in January 1883 and the was not followed by any more until December when three more were put into traffic.

Dates built

















The outstanding feature of the locomotives was the placement of the large leading wheels which Stroudley explained in a paper he presented to the Institute of Civil Engineers in 1885.

Stroudley wrote –

“By placing the coupled wheels forward, where the greatest weight is, the hinder part of the engine may have smaller wheels, the base be shortened, and the use of heavy cast-iron weights at the back of the engine be dispensed with. It is found that an engine runs much more smoothly when the centre of gravity is kept well forward. The large leading wheels pass over the points, crossings, etc very easily; causing less disturbance than small ones. They pass round curves without shock or oscillation, which is no doubt owing to the small weight upon the trailing wheels, as it is the trailing wheels that have the most influence in forcing the leading flanges up to the outside of a curve”

It is interesting to put this into the context of how Stroudley viewed the LBSCR which he expressed to the Institute of Civil Engineers in the same year.

“This railway system offers, some peculiarities, when compared with its neighbours, in having no less than ninety miles within the metropolitan area, fifteen of these having three or four lines of rails. Some of the lines have very heavy gradients, and curves as small as 6  chains radius, there are 94 junctions, and twenty terminus stations, and from some of the latter, the line rises with gradients of from 1 in 64 to 1 in 80. These features, together with a crowded passenger traffic moving at irregular intervals, over about twenty hours out of the 24, cause the working to be very difficult. Some of the engines are attached to as many as sixteen trains in one day; the loss of time in running on and off, and in standing waiting, tending to increase the cost of working, as compared with those railways having more continuous lines”.

All of the locomotives were named after politicians, men associated with the railway, or places served by the railway. In 1889 189 Edward Blount was exhibited at the 1889 Paris Exhibition and received a gold medal. It was whilst attending trials with this engine in France in 1889 that Stroudley died at an age of 56.

The locomotives were originally designated class B together with the Richmond class but were later designated B1 class by Marsh.

During the first decade of the twentieth century the class were gradually replaced by the Billinton B4 class locomotives and were transferred to secondary duties. Withdrawal began in 1910 and by the outbreak of the First World War ten had been scrapped.

 Gladstone Gladstone class introduced by Stroudley in 1882
 b4 B4 class introduced by Billington in 1899

Whilst the press was talking about the Race to the North in 1888 and the Race to Aberdeen in 1895. In 1895 The Times ran a lengthy correspondence under the heading “The Crawl to the South”.

The remaining twenty-six locomotives passed to the Southern Railway in 1923, but withdrawals recommenced in 1926 and the last survivor was withdrawn in 1933.

Accidents and Incidents

On 1 May 1891, locomotive 175 Hayling was hauling a passenger train which was derailed at Norwood Junction, Surrey when a cast-iron bridge collapsed as the train was passing over it.


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