|Introduced||1905 – 1909|
|Weight – Loco||52t 5cwt (superheated – 53t 10cwt)|
|Driving Wheels||6ft 6ins|
|Boiler Pressure||180psi (superheated 160psi)|
|Cylinders||Inside – 19in x 26in (superheated 20.5in x 26in)|
|Tractive Effort||18,410lbf (superheated 19,050lbf)|
|Valve Gear||Stephenson (slide valve)|
Wainwright introduced the class E locomotive in 1905 as a version of the D class with Belpaire boilers, extended smokeboxes and fluted coupling rods. They were more powerful than the D class because of a slightly higher boiler pressure and slightly smaller wheels. All of the E class locomotives were built at Ashford.
Once the original design was proven to be a success after the introduction in 1905 further orders followed until twenty-six had been completed.
From 1908 locomotives were fitted with extended smokeboxes.
In 1911 and 1912 two members of the class were fitted with boilers with superheaters which significantly improved their fuel efficiency. Unfortunately, the additional weight prevented them from working over the lines of the former London Chatham and Dover Railway and so no further engines were modified.
Eleven of the original twenty-six locomotives were later rebuilt by Maunsell into the E1 class. The rebuild was undertaken between 1919 and 1921 as the SECR was very short of money and did not have any suitable locomotives to haul the increasingly heavy boat train expresses from Victoria. Twenty-one locomotives of the D class were similarly rebuilt between 1921 and 1927 as D1 class engines.
The E class locomotives continued to be employed on the SECR after the formation of the Southern Railway in 1923 although in 1931 three of the locomotives were transferred to the Central Section to assist with expresses on the main line to Brighton. During the Second World War they were also deployed on the line between Redhill and Reading
Number in Service.
|Built||Rebuilt as E1||Withdrawals||No. in Service|
|1905||31504 , 31507 & 31511||3||3|
|1906||31273 & 31275||2||5|
|1907||31157, 31160, 31165, 31166, 31176, 31491, 31497, 31514, 31515 & 31587||10||15|
|1908||31019, 31036, 31067, 31159, 31175, 31179,31507, 31516 & 31547||9||24|
|1909||31163 & 31315||2||26|
|1919-21||Rebuilt as E1 class|
|31019, 31067, 31160, 31163, 31165, 31179, 31497, 31504, 31506, 31507 & 31511||11||11||15|
The E1 class locomotives remained in service later than E class engines with the last ones surviving until they were withdrawn from service in 1961. 31067 was the last in service – being withdrawn in November 1961.
Allocation of E class locomotives in service as at 1st of January.
Allocation of E1 class locomotives in service as at 1st of January.
Accidents and Incidents
- In March 1909 locomotive 165 was hauling a mail train that was in collision with an express passenger train hauled by locomotive 497 (31497) at Tonbridge Junction after the express overran signals. Two people were killed and eleven were injured.
In June 2019 the Brighton Atlantic Project revealed that following the completion of 32424 Beachy Head the group planned to build a Wainwright class E locomotive.
The decision to choose to build a class E was made because it was felt that one could be built on a reasonable timescale of about ten years.
In January 2020 it was reported that the estimated cost of the new locomotive would be £1.2m.
It is likely that the locomotive will carry the number 516 after the locomotive built in 1908 which was frequently used to haul royal trains. It was withdrawn from service as 31516 in October 1951.