|Introduced||1874 – 1891|
|Driving Wheels||4ft 6ins|
|Cylinders||Inside – 17in x 24in|
|Valve Gear||Stephenson (slide valve)|
By the mid 1870’s, there was a shortage of short-distance goods and pilot locomotives on the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway. As a result, a series of 0-6-0 tank locomotives were built at Brighton Works to the design of Stroudley. They were given names after places from all across Europe as far as Hungary.
The first six locomotives of this useful and long-lived class were built at Brighton and appeared in traffic 1874 and 1875. They performed well and further orders were placed at regular intervals until the end of 1891 when the class consisted of eighty locomotives and were used throughout the LBSCR system, principally for goods and shunting, but occasionally for secondary passenger duties.
In 1884 Stroudley also built one example of the class (157 Barcelona) with a larger boiler and Gladstone-type cylinders with valves underneath to work on the steeply-graded lines between Eastbourne and Tunbridge Wells. This Special E-tank was withdrawn in 1922.
After 1894/95 the class gradually began to be replaced by Billinton’s radial tanks of the E3 and E4 classes. Withdrawals commenced in 1908 when one locomotive was broken up for spares, and others were withdrawn at intervals until 1914, when the increased need for locomotives during the First World War meant that there were no further withdrawals.
One locomotive (89) was rebuilt with a larger boiler similar to the D1X by Marsh between in 1911 and reclassified E1X. It was also fitted with new side tanks, boiler and cab. It was renumbered 89A and subsequently 689 in 1912. The frames were utilised, with a second hand boiler with various parts from the previously withdrawn locomotives to rebuild it as an E` engine again.
Under Southern Railway (Great Britain) ownership, withdrawals continued during the 1920s, with some examples sold to industrial railways rather than scrapped. Some examples were also rebuilt as 0-6-2 radial tank engines for use in the west of England by Maunsell in 1927-1929. These were classified as E1/R.
Four E1s were also transferred for duties on the Isle of Wight: three were shipped from Southampton in 1932 and a fourth in the following year. Before transfer, they were overhauled at Eastleigh Works, painted green, renumbered W1-W4 and given names related to the Island. They were fitted with LSWR Drummond type chimneys and Westinghouse brakes.
- 136 (originally Brindisi) became W1 Medina.
- 152 (originally Hungary) became W2 Yarmouth.
- 154 (originally Madrid) became W3 Ryde.
- 131 (originally Gournay) became W4 Wroxall.
W1–W3 were allocated to Newport, and W4 was at Ryde. They were primarily intended for goods traffic, but were used on passenger trains where necessary. At speed they were unsteady, but after W4 was successfully rebalanced at Ryde Works in 1933, the others were modified similarly during 1935–36.
Thirty examples survived the transfer of ownership to the Southern Region of British Railways in 1948 but during the 1950s they were gradually replaced by diesel shunters. The last survivor, BR 32694, was allocated to Southampton Docks. It was withdrawn in 1961 and scrapped at Eastleigh Works later that year.
The four on the Isle of Wight worked goods trains until route closures in the 1950s brought a reduction in their duties. When repairs became due, they were withdrawn from service instead of being overhauled: W2 was withdrawn in 1956, W1 in 1957, W3 in 1959 and W4 in 1960.