H 0-4-4T SECR Wainwright Various between 31005 – 31554

h 

Power Classification 1P
Introduced 1904 – 1915
Designer Wainwright
Company SECR
Weight 54t 8cwt
Driving Wheels 5ft 6ins
Boiler Pressure 160psi
Cylinders Inside – 18in x 26in
Tractive Effort 17,360lbf
Valve Gear Stephenson (slide valve)

The H class was one of wainwright’s three standard classes (the other two being the C and D classes).

The two constituent railways of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) had both relied on 0-4-4T locomotives for London suburban, and semi-fast train services. The South Eastern Railway (SER) Q class was introduced in 1887, and the London Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR) R class in 1891. Of these, the R was the most successful design, and was continued in production by Wainwright after the amalgamation of the railways in 1899.

55 of the SER Q class were rebuilt by Wainwright between 1903 and 1919 to form the Q1 class whilst 32 remained as Q class locomotives and passed into Southern Railway ownership in 1923. Both the Q and Q1 class engines were all withdrawn by 1930. The H class locomotives were very similar to the earlier R class locomotives in appearance.

 h H class as introduced in 1904 byWainwright.
 r R class introduced in 1891 by Stirling and later rebuilt by Wainwright.

With the continual growth in traffic around the beginning of the 20th century, particularly in the London suburban area, the newly amalgamated South Eastern and London, Chatham & Dover Railways had an urgent need for medium sized passenger tank locomotives. Although the drawing office at Ashford prepared drawings for both large sized and medium sized tank locomotives, Wainwright decided to build only the smaller machines which was based on the LCDR A class.

The last two engines were not built until 1915 when Maunsell discovered only sixty-four of the sixty-six ordered had actually been built (presumably keeping the components as spares). Any kind of irregularity was abhorrent to Maunsell and it was rumoured that he had Ashford works thoroughly searched until the missing parts were accounted for.

The first seven locomotives were built by Ashford Works in November and December 1904. The design was soon found to be successful so that sixty-four were built at Ashford between 1904 and 1909.

All 66 locomotives were equipped with vacuum brakes as used on the former SER, but thirteen also had Westinghouse air brakes and were used on the former LCDR lines.

The H class boiler design was found to be so successful that it was later used as a standard replacement boiler on the SECR R1 class, LCDR B1 class, LCDR B2 class, LCDR R class, SER O1 class, SER Q1 class, and SER R1 class.

The locomotives carried a distinctive “pagoda” type cab, where the cab roof overhung both sides of the cab.

The initial 64 appeared in Wainwright’s elaborate, but very attractive, lined dark green livery. In due course they all appeared in Maunsell’s initial plain dark green livery, to be followed by the wartime dull grey livery up until 1923.

The majority of the class replaced Q class locomotives on the London suburban services of the SER and remained on these duties until after they entered Southern Railway stock in 1923. They began to be displaced by the electrification of these lines in 1925/6, when they began to be used on stopping trains further afield in the Eastern Section of Southern Railway in Kent. After 1929, they also began to be used on the Central Section (the former lines of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway) in East Sussex), where they replaced withdrawn D3 class locomotives. Between 1941 and 1952, two (and later three) examples were loaned to the Western Section and worked from Nine Elms on local shunting and empty stock. During 1943 and 1944 three examples were also loaned to the London Midland and Scottish Railway at Forfar.

Two members of the class (1264 and 1312 in 1944) were withdrawn during the Second World War as a result of badly cracked frames, when it was more useful to use the components as spares for the rest of the class, rather than repair them. The remaining 64 entered British Railways stock in 1948. Forty five of the survivors were equipped for push-pull train working between 1949 and 1960, and the class was increasingly used on motor-trains on rural branches.

With the electrification of Kent Coast lines in the 1959 and 1962, together with the loss of most of the branch lines both on the South Eastern and Central sections of British Railways in the 1950s and 1960s, the need for these tank locomotives disappeared, especially as the area was well served by now with numbers of LMS designed and BR standard tank locomotives. A few withdrawals had taken place in 1951 and 1953 but mass withdrawals started in 1959 and within a few years all had gone including the few examples working the non-electrified lines between Tunbridge Wells and Three Bridges.

Number in Service.

Built Withdrawals No. in Service
BR Numbers Quantity
1904 31540-44,31546,31548,31550-2

10

10

1905 31259,31261,31263,31265-6,
31269,31274,31276,31278
31500,31503,31530-33,31553

16

26

1906 31305-10,31321,31326,31328-9

10

36

1907 31005,31311,31320,31324,31327

  5

41

1909 31161-2,31164,31177,31182,
31239,31279,31295,31319,31322,
31512,31517-23,31554

19

60

1910 31158,31193

  2

62

1915 31016,31193

  2

64

1916-50

64

1951 31016,31182,31532,31541,31546

   5

59

1952-3

59

1954 31311

   1

58

1955

   4

54

1956

54

1957

   2

52

1958

   1

51

1959

 11

40

1960

   7

33

1961

 18

15

1962

   8

  7

1963 31005,31522,31543,31544

   4

  3

1964 31263,31518, 31551

   3

  0

 

  • The last three in service were withdrawn in January 1964 from service at Nine Elms (31551), Stewarts Lane (31263) and Tonbridge (31518).

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

Depot

1948 1955

1960

Ashford

  8

  6

  3

Bricklayers Arms

10   7

  2

Brighton

  3

  4

Dover Marine

  9

  4

  3

Faversham

  3

  2

Gillingham

  2

  5

Nine Elms

  4

  3

Ramsgate

  7

  2

Redhill

  1

St Leonards

  6

Stewarts Lane

13

10

  4

Three Bridges

  3

Tonbridge

  8

11

11

Tunbridge Wells

  5

  7

64

62

40

Accidents and Incidents

On 11 March 1913, locomotive 324 was hauling a passenger train that failed to stop at Ramsgate Town station, Kent. It collided with a van and pushed it through the buffers. Ten people were injured. The accident was caused by the failure to connect the brake pipe between the locomotive and its train.

Preservation

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