Q1 0-6-0 SR Bullied Austerity 33001 – 33040

Q1

 

 

Power Classification 5F
Introduced 1942
Designer Bullied
Company SR
Weight – Loco 51t 5cwt
               Tender 38t 0cwt
Driving Wheels 5ft 1ins
Boiler Pressure 230psi superheated
Cylinders Inside – 19in x 26in
Tractive Effort 30,080lbf
Valve Gear Stephenson (piston valve)

In late 1939, the Southern Railway, until then primarily a high-density commuter railway serving London and South-East England, much of it electrified with third-rail pick-up, found itself on the British front line of the Second World War, with a severe lack of modern freight-handling capability. The newest freight design was the Q Class 0-6-0 of 1938, the last locomotive designed by Maunsell. Built to essentially Victorian era principles, these had been designed as replacements for many of the older 0-6-0s inherited by the Southern Railway in 1923, and entered service in January 1938

 Q.jpg Q class introduced in 1938

Q1

Q1 class introduced in 1942

The Southern Railway, therefore, became an essential strategic war-asset because of its proximity to continental Europe, and needed to equip itself with adequate freight-handling capability to transport the vast quantities of supplies and troops required for the conflict. The brief stipulated high route availability and high tractive effort.

The Q1 class was built in 1942 in response to this need and they were the most powerful 0-6-0 locomotives to run in Britain. They also had the dubious reputation of being just about the ugliest locomotive ever to run in the country. On seeing a photograph of one William Stanier is reputed to have asked ‘Where’s the key?’ One aspect of their shape was that, like Bulleid’s SR Merchant Navy class and SR West Country and Battle of Britain classes, they could be simply driven through a coach-washer for cleaning at a time when manpower for this time-consuming chore could not be spared.

Among other nicknames, the class were known as Coffee Pots and Charlies.

They were designed as Austerity locomotives and were shorn of all non-essentials, such as running plates, splashers and conventional boiler cladding, in order to save metal and other materials for the war effort. The lagging was made of a glass fibre insulation material known as Idaglass, which, although cheap and plentiful during the war years, could not support any weight, and therefore a separate casing was required which followed that seen in the Merchant Navy class locomotives, and the boiler rings were adapted to lend the lagging the support needed. A copper, rather than steel, firebox was utilised, unlike Bulleid’s Pacific designs. They were fitted with five-jet Lemaitre blastpipes and wide chimneys. They also had BSB Boxpok cast steel wheels with holes and recesses on their discs (as on the Merchant Navy, Battle of Britain and West Country classes).

The engine weighed less than 90 tons so could be used over more than 97% of the Southern Railway’s route mileage. The Q1 locomotives had the largest (27sq ft) fire grate of any British 0-6-0 but weighed 14 tons less than a comparable engine.

They were excellent machines, despite their unconventional appearance. Forty engines were built with the first twenty being constructed at Brighton and the remaining twenty at Ashford, and they carried Bullied’s continental system of numbering when first built, being numbered C1-C40 (Later BR 33001-33040).

The Q1 represented the final development of the British 0-6-0 main line steam locomotive. Later designs of medium-powered freight locomotives, such as the LMS Ivatt class 2 and LMS Ivatt class 4 all had a 2-6-0 wheel arrangement; the 0-6-0 wheel arrangement was not used again in the BR Standard designs of locomotive.

BR classified the Q1 class in the power classification 5F. This represented a rarity, as few other 0-6-0s exceeded the classification of 4F, with notable exceptions being the LNER class J20 (5F), LNER class J39 (4P5F) and LNER class J38 (6F).

 Q1

Q1

 j20

J20

 j39

J39

 j38

J38

The Q1’s route availability meant that although they were primarily freight locomotives, they also frequently deputised on secondary passenger services. However, the class gained a reputation for poor braking on unfitted freight trains due to the light construction of the tender braking system.

The Q1s thrived on their intended duties during the Second World War, where the class had proved that they were an indispensable addition to the Southern locomotive fleet. This was achieved to such an extent that they all remained in service until the 1960s, long after they were intended to cease operation as an austerity design. After the war the shed allocation varied in the main between Guildford, Feltham, Eastleigh and Tonbridge, and later Three Bridges; just a few being placed at Nine Elms and Hither Green sheds.

Withdrawals began in 1963, during the implementation of the BR Modernisation Plan which saw the end of steam operations on Britain’s railways, the last example of the class being withdrawn in 1966.

Number in Service.

Built Withdrawals No. in Service
BR Numbers Quantity
1942 33001-40

 40

40

1943-62

40

1963

  13

27

1964

  20

  7

1965

    4

  3

1966

    3

  0

  • 33001-16 were built at Brighton
  • 33017-40 were built at Ashford

 

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

Depot

1948 1955 1962

1966

Eastleigh

12

  3

  4

Feltham

10

12

22

Guildford

13

  8   7

  3

Hither Green

  2

St Leonards

  2

Stewarts Lane

  3

Tonbridge

  5

10

  7

40

40 40

  3

Preservation

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