E 4-4-0 SECR Wainwright Various between 31036 & 31587

Power Classification 1P
Introduced 1905 – 1909
Designer Wainwright
Company SECR
Weight – Loco 52t 5cwt (superheated – 53t 10cwt)
                Tender 39t 2cwt
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
  BR Numbers Quantity      
           
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
1922-1950         15
1951       12   3
1952           3
1953 31491       1   2
1954 31315       1   1
1955 31166       1   0

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.

Depot 1948 1950 1951 1952 1954 1955
             
Ashford     2   2      
Bricklayers Arms   9 10   8   2    
Faversham     1   1      
Gillingham       1      
Hither Green     1   1      
Horsham   2          
Reading South       1      
Redhill   1       1    
St Leonards       1      
Stewarts Lane   3   1       1  
Tonbridge           1   1
             
  15 15 15   3   2   1

Allocation of E1 class locomotives in service as at 1st of January.

Depot 1948 1951 1955 1959 1960 1961
             
Bricklayers Arms   2 3 3   1
Salisbury         4  
Stewarts Lane 11 6 4 2   2
             
  11 8 7 5 4 3

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.

New Build

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. The project has yet to be fully costed but it was considered that the cost of the new build would be around £2.5m.

Back to New Build

Back to SR