C 0-6-0 SECR Wainwright Various between 31004 – 31725 & DS239 – DS240

C.jpg

Power Classification 3F reclassified 2F in 1953
Introduced 1900 – 1908
Designer Wainwright
Company SECR
Weight – Loco 43t 16cwt
                Tender 38t 5cwt
Driving Wheels 5ft 2ins
Boiler Pressure 160psi
Cylinders Inside – 18.5in x 26in
Tractive Effort 19,520lbf
Valve Gear Stephenson (slide valve)

At the end of the 19th century, the two impecunious railways of the south-east decided to pool their resources and operate as one. Thus the South Eastern & Chatham Railway was created. Upon the appointment of Wainwright as Locomotive and Carriage Superintendent steps were taken to replace the small and ageing locomotives of the two constituent lines with more powerful ones.

From the team of draughtsmen drawn from primarily the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR) works at Longhedge came plans for 3 designs of locomotives: the D class 4-4-0s for express passenger work, the R1 class 0-4-4Ts for local passenger, and the C class 0-6-0s for goods work. Such was the success of the last design that all but 2 of the eventual 109 C class locomotives passed into British Railways ownership in 1948, and many lasted until the Kent Coast electrification took place in 1959 and 1960.

 d D class introduced in 1901 by Wainwright.
 R1 R1 class introduced in 1900 to a Kirtley design which was modified by Wainwright.
 C.jpg C class introduced in 1900 by Wainwright.

In 1898 two existing 0-6-0 locomotives were tested: former London, Chatham and Dover Railway B2 class 194 designed by William Kirtley; and former South Eastern Railway O class 436 designed by James Stirling. The Kirtley design proved superior and a new order for 40 locomotives based on it was placed which formed the first of the C class.

The first two appeared simultaneously, both 255 from Ashford Works and 681 from Neilson Reid in June 1900. This was followed by a further fourteen locomotives from Neilson, Reid and Company and fifteen from Sharp, Stewart and Company. The remainder of the 109 class c locomotives were built by the SECR workshops at Ashford (69 between 1900 and 1908) and Longhedge Works (9 during 1903-4).

In most ways, the C class 0-6-0s owed their design heritage to London, Chatham and Dover Railway practice. They were robust, but of simple construction. They gave little trouble in traffic, had a good turn of speed, and had good riding qualities for a 0-6-0.

The locomotives were used on freight services and occasional passenger excursion trains (such as hop-picking specials), throughout the South Eastern Railway between Reading and the Kent Coast. They were also able to haul main line passenger trains at speeds up to 70mph.

The last twelve locomotives were fitted with steam carriage heating equipment to enable them to be used to haul and prepare empty stock for express trains. The remainder of the class were also so equipped by the Southern Railway after 1923.

Through the years, representatives of the class were stationed at every depot on the South Eastern & Chatham Railway and Eastern Section of the Southern Region.

In 1917 one example, 685 (31685) was converted at Ashford into the solitary S class 0-6-0ST for use as a heavy-duty shunter at Richborough port which was then being used to ship locomotives and armoured equipment to the Western Front. After the War it was used as a shunter at Bricklayers’ Arms until withdrawn from service in 1951.

In common with other freight locomotives in Southern England, the class was very heavily used during the Second World War and repairs and maintenance deferred. As a result one locomotive had to be withdrawn in December 1947, but the remaining 107 examples entered service with British Railways in 1948. Withdrawals of the remainder of the class began in 1953, but accelerated after the Kent Coast electrification in 1959-1960.

However, three examples (31271, 31280 and 31592) remained in Departmental stock as shunters at Ashford Works until 1966.

31272 became DS240 in 1965 and was used as a stationary boiler at Ashford and 31592 became DS239 in 1966, and was subsequently sold for preservation.

When new, they were painted in the Wainwright goods livery, not quite as ornate as his famous passenger locomotive livery, but a dark green with full and complex lining. They finished their days in plain BR black. No renumbering took place in the 60 years, other than the usual addition of 1000 to the numbers in Southern Railway days and the addition of 30000 in British Railways days.

Number in Service.

 

Built Withdrawals No. in Service
BR Numbers Quantity
1900 31018,31033,31063,31086,31102, 31112,31191,31218-19,31225, 31227, 31229,31255-57,31681-84, 31686-95,31711-23

42

  42

1901 31004,31037-8,31054,31061,31071, 31221,31223,31234,31724-25

11

  53

1902 31059,31113,31150,31242-45,

31252-53,31460-61,31486,31592-93

14

  67

1903 31068,31090,31480,31572-3, 31575-76,31578-85

15

  82

1904 31260,31267-68,31270-72,31277,

31481,31495,31498,31508,31510

12

  94

1908 31280,31287,31291,31293-4, 31297-8,31317,31513,31588-90

12

106

1909-48

106

1949 31257 & 31480

  2

104

1950-52

104

1953

  6

  98

1954

  2

  96

1955

  7

  89

1956

  1

  88

1957

  3

  85

1958

  4

  81

1959

17

  64

1960

11

  53

1061

32

  21

1962

18

    3

1963

  1

    2

1964-65

    2

1966 DS239 (31592) & DS240 (31271)

  2

    0

  • 31460, 31461, 31480, 31481, 31486, 31580, 31583, 31592, 31593 were built by Longhedge.
  • 31681 – 84, 31686 – 95 were built by Neilson Reid & Co Ltd. 31685 was built by Neilson Reid & Co Ltd but was rebuilt as a class S 0-6-0ST in 1917.
  • 31711 – 25 were built by Sharp Stewart & Co.
  • All other locomotives built at Ashford.

Allocation of locomotives in service as at 1st of January 1948.

 

Depot

Quantity

Ashford

    6

Bricklayers Arms

  17

Dover Marine

    3

Faversham

    8

Gillingham

  15

Hither Green

  21

Ramsgate

    2

St Leonards

    2

Stewarts Lane

  18

Tonbridge

  14

106

Accidents and Incidents

  • In March 1904, a passenger train hauled by No. 294 was derailed at Gomshall, Surrey.
  • At 03:40 hrs on 5 May 1919, a goods train from Bricklayers Arms to Margate Sands, Kent overran signals and ran into the back of another goods train just to the west of Paddock Wood station, Kent. The Margate train was hauled by C class 721. It had 50 goods vehicles including three brake vans. The other train was hauled by C class 61. The fireman of this train was killed in the accident. Although the main cause of the accident was the driver of the Margate train failing to obey signals, the signalman at Tonbridge East signal box was also censured for failure to give the driver adequate warning that although the train had been accepted by the signalman at Paddock Wood, the line was not clear. The signalman at Paddock Wood had accepted the train under Regulation No 5 – “Section clear but station or junction blocked”.
  • On 18 February 1948, locomotive 1225 was wrongly despatched into the north sidings at Goudhurst, Kent and derailed.
  • On 4 July 1958, locomotive 31461 was hauling an empty stock train that was in collision with an electric multiple unit at Maze Hill, London after the latter overran signals. Forty-five people were injured.

Preservation

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