London & South Western locomotive designs

The London & South Western Railway was the grandest and most extensive of the railways which formed the Southern Railway and nearest in character to the great northern lines. Its foundation was the London & Southampton Railway which gradually grew until its twin mainlines reached Weymouth and Exeter: from the latter lines reached north to Ilfracombe and west to Plymouth, Padstow and Bude, and there were ambitions for further westward pentration. Locomotive design was on a similar grand scale, with Adams and Drummond being two of the greatest locomotive engineers. Betjeman and Hamilton Ellis loved the LSWR with great passion. KPJ had the great good fortune to travel on most of the lines open in the mid-1950s, to encounter the T9s and O2s, and to travel on that great caravan leaving Waterloo at around 01.30 with vans (full of newspapers) and carriages for an incredible number of destinations which included Padstow and Plymouth. This was a far more exciting train than the Atlantic Coast Express. Electric traction was adopted on a commanding scale for its suburban services.

Bradley, D.L. Locomotives of the London and South Western Railway. RCTS, 1967. 2 v.
Bradley is used to provide the overall structure for this web page: the sections being pre-Beattie; Joseph Beattie; W,G. Beattie; Adams; Drummond and Urie. Outwith the first section the usual division is made based upon the Whyte notation with tender types preceding tank engines.

Burtt, F. L. & S.W.R. locomotives: 1872-1923. London, Ian Allan, [1949?]. 96 p. 79 illus., 50 tables.

Casserley, H.C. and Ellis, C.H. The locomotives of the London and South Western Railway, 1897-1923. Rly Mag., 1933, 73, 111-21; 235-44, 427-34.30 illus.

Casserley, H.C. and Ellis, C.H. The locomotives of the London & South Western Railway, 1897-1923: supplementary notes. Rly Mag., 1937, 81, 353-7. 5 iIIus.

Clausentum, pseud The locomotives of the London and South Western Railway. Rly Obsr, 1941, 13, 170-4; 194-200; 222-6; 242-6: 266-70: 1942,14,1-4; 26-8; 49-51; 95-6; 98-100; 101: 1943, 14,242; 265-6; 309-10: 1944,15,9-11; 13-15; 25-7: 1944, 15,38-40; 85-7; 99; 122-3; 134-6: 1945,15,147-9; 182-3; 195-6; 207-8; 263-4; 278-9: 1946,16,50-2; 178-80: 1947,17, 33-4; 105-6; 189-91; 1948, 18,42-3; 70-1; 94-5; 140-2; 185-6;'1277-8: 1949,19,22-3; 56-7; 84-5; 128-9; 155-6; 208-9; 235-6: 1950, 20,98-9; 105; 128-9: 1951,21,21-3; 65-6; 92-3; 120-1. + 12 plates incl. 3 folding). 49 illus. incl. 12 line drawings: s. el.), 16 tables.

Curl, Barry. The LSWR at Nine Elms - The Works and its Products 1839-1909, Southampton: Kestrel Books. c2004 (BLPC). 360pp.

Ellis, C.H. The South Western Railway: its mechanical history and background, 1838-1922. 1956.

Nock, O.S. The London & South Western Railway. [1965]. .

Early locomotives
The London & Southampton Railway was dependent upon the products of locomotive manufacturers, and Bradley draws parallels with the Grand Junction Railway which shared the same Civil Engineer, Joseph Locke.

Ballast engines, 1835-1839
0-4-0 Alpha Thomas Banks 1835 unserviceable 1839
0-4-0 St. George C. Tayleur 1835
0-4-0 Vulture Murdoch Aitken 1836
2-2-0 Tramp E. Bury 1826
0-4-2 Southampton John Jones 1837 sold to Birmingham & Gloucester Railway in 1839
0-4-2 Perseverance John Jones 1837
0-4-2 Trio John Jones 1838
Bradley (pp. 1: 24-5) noted that Thomas Brassey took over the remaining locomotives from 4 November 1839 (he laso used his own locomotives).

Mainline locomotives 1838-53

2-2-0 Bury-type
Bradley (1: 26-7) noted that there was a pro-Bury lobby amongst the directors, pobably because of their relative cheapness.
Lark E. Bury 1839 sold 1844
Hawk Nasmyth Gaskell 1839 sold 1844
Raven Nasmyth Gaskell 1839 sold 1851 (received running No. 47)
Falcon Nasmyth Gaskell 1839 sold 1844

Sharp Roberts
Bradley (1: 27-8) stated that similar to Grand Junction Railway Eagle of 1838: nine locomotives named Venus, Vesta, Chaplin, Aurora, Minerva, Jupiter, Orion, Mercury and Mars and eventually numbered 7-15. Fig. 4 shows Orion. Nos. 7 Venus and 8 Vesta were fitted with outside cylinders and new boilers in 1855 and in this form lasted until 1870 and 1872. No. 11 Minerva was rebuilt as a 2-2-2WT, but was withdrawn in 1856. The remainder were withdrawn bewteen 1852 and 1856.

Two batches of six were ordered according to Bradley (1: 29-30).

Name No. WN Date Disposal
Sussex 1 55 1838 1852: see Fig. 5
Thetis 56 1838 rebuilt Fairbairn 1842
Tartar 2 57 1838 1852
Tiger 58 1838 rebuilt Fairbairn 1842
Transit 3 59 1838 rebuilt as 2-2-2WT in 1854 not withdrawn until 1871
Locke 4 60 1838 1852
Eagle 1843
Pegasus 78 1839 rebuilt Fairbairn 1842
Sam Slick 79 1839 rebuilt Fairbairn 1842
Renown 80 1839 rebuilt Fairbairn 1842
Cossack 6 81 1839 1852
Ganymede 5 82 1839 1855

Fenton, Murray & Jackson
Two lots of two delivered in 1839  (Leeds and Eclipse) and 1840 (Phoenix and Crescent) in 1840. These subsequently received running numbers 31-4. Crescent was rebuilt as a 2-2-2WT in 1851 and was not withdrawn until 1856: the remainder were withdrawn between 1851 and 1854. Their frames were too light and the driving wheels moved in their axles. Bradley 1: 34-5.

Summers, Groves & Day
Two locomotives: Fly (probably originally a 2-2-0, but later a 2-2-2) and Southampton which was more powerful and was rebuilt by Fairbairn in 1841. Fly was noted as a "luggage engine" and was withdrawn in 1849 as No. 40.

Eagle class: 1843-4: Nine Elms
Outside cylinder 2-2-2: assembled, rather than built at Nine Elms. Boilers, axles and wheels supplied by Fairbairn. Nos. 27-30: Eagle, Hawk, Falcon and Vulture. Used at first for express work and later on secondary passenger. Vulture broke its leading axle at Basingstoke on 19 June 1847; Eagle suffered a fractured driving axle in 1849 and Falcon had a buckled leading axle on 26 December 1852. Bradley 1: 42.

Christie Adams & Hill: 1848-9
Bradley 1: 43: first three cost £1800; later three £1900 each. A lot of trouble was experienced with the fisrt No. 109 Rocklia, but Nos 110 Avon and 111 Test were less troublesome. Nos. 112 Trent, 113 Stour and 114 Frome were slightly larger. Bradley include a photograph of Frome (Fig. 13). They were withdrawn 1868-70.

Goods locomotives
Bradley (1: 30-1) described three locomotives from Jones, Turner & Evans together with four Sharp Roberts locomotives, along with assorted locomotives acquired with and supplied to the Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway. Herein this remarkable appendage to the LSWR is considered separately. The remainder are tabulated below: Pluto was sent to Wadebridge after being rebuilt.

No. Name Maker Date Rebuilt Withdrawn
48 Hercules Jones 1840 1849
41 Ajax Jones 1841 1847 sold 1855
42 Atlas Jones 1841 1852 1864
43 Milo Sharp 1841 1850
44 Pluto Sharp 1841 1854 1864
45 Titan Sharp 1842 1848 sold 1855
46 Minos Sharp 1842 1850

George & John Rennie


Doncaster, C.M. An old Rennie single, London & Southampton Railway. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1944, 50, 76.
One of these not very satisfactory five locomotives is illustrated in Bradley (Figure 8) Garnet

Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway
This line had opened prior to the London & Southampton with two locomotives supplied by Neath Abbey: Camel of 1834 and Elephant of 1836. In 1854 the rebuilt Pluto (Sharp 0-4-2) was sent to join them (Bradley 1: 31 and Fig.5). See also Lowe. According to Bradley a Fletcher Jennings 0-4-0ST Bodmin was acquired in 1864.




"395" Class 0-6-0 Proposed Eight-foot singles Summary of Adams Locomotives


380 Class: 1879-
Beyer Peacock tender version of the 46 class 4-4-0T, Intended for mixed traffic duties.

135 Class

445 Class

460 Class

X2 Class

T3 Class

T6 Class

X6 Class


AI2 Class

A Webb compound No. 300 was tested on the LSWR against Adams 4-4-0s Nos. 449 and 454 on the main down and up expresses between Waterloo and Exeter. The trials of the LNWR locomotive took place on 9/10 May and 12/13 May 1884 and difficulties with starting were experienced on the down journeys and led to loss of time (16 minutes on the first journey). On both up journeys time could be credited to the locomotive (5½ minutes on the 13th). Driver Hitchen and Inspector John Dyer of the LNWR worked the LNWT locomotive. Coal consumption was 36.3 lb/mile. In 1888 Adams built a solitary 2-cylinder compound of the Worsdell-Von Bories type, but it was unsuccessful. Rly Mag., 1899, 5, 43

Also describes earlier trial of Beattie 2-4-0 on SER Dover expresses from 23 May to 24 June 1870. The locomotives were St George and Vesuvius. They handled the trains with great success and burned 23lb/mile of fuel.. Rly Mag., 1899, 5, 43

Tank engines


G6 Class


415 Class


46 Class


T1 class

02 class


B4 Class


Madeley, E.B. Dugald Drummond's locomotives. Rly Obsr, 1940, 12,253-5; 283-7: 1941, 13,7-9; 26-9; 56-60; 139-43. iI/us.

Addenda by W. Hennigan: 1941, 13, 185-6.


Drummond types: F13; E14; G14 and P14, and T14

Swift, Peter W. The Drummond 4-6-0s of the London & South Western Railway. Rly Arch., 2004 (6) 3-24.
A very detailed account of the Drummond four-cylinder 4-6-0s from the highly unsuccessful F13 and E14 designs which had been intended to operate expresses between Salisbury and Exeter, but which ended up hauling coal trains between Salisbury and Southampton, through the less unsuccessful G14 and P14 designs to the T14 class which was moderately successful. Some of the less successful types formed the basis for Urie rebuilds as 2-cylinder locomotives. The F13 class was unusual in combining Stephenson valve gear for the inside cylinders and Walschaerts for the outside. The illustrative material includes five broadside views of the varieties taken outside Exmouth Junction mpd. General arrangement drawings of the F13, T14 and G14 are also included with a warning on their dimensional accuracy (although it would seem improbable that Lottery funding could be achieved to build an F13). There are also views of the class in service. See also letter from Roger Brasier (RA 7 page 87) who comments on Eric Langridge's involvement in the design and his observations on scragging on the earlier types with widely separated pairs of cylinders. Ted Lloyd (RA 7 page 75 disputes claim that F13 was first 4-cylinder design for a British railway: Webb 1400 class for LNWR introduced in 1903

Forge, Eric E. Eastleigh and locomotive design – 1. 342-7.
Assessment of the late Drummond designs, especially the brilliant D15 4-4-0s and sluggish 4-6-0s, and the Urie designs.The earlier 4-6-0 designs suffered from weak frames which could not cope with the demands of four cylinders and this led to racking and cracking. The bearings were inadequate. The grate was both too long and flat which made it difficult to fire. The smokebox was poorly designed and the exhaust passages from the four cylinders, especially those on the F13 class were convoluted. The T14 class incorporated many improvements, but lacked boilers of adequate size.

"T7" Class 4-2-2-0 "C8" Class 4-4-0 "EIO" Class 4-2-2-0 "F9" Class Inspection Saloon "T9" Class 4-4-0 "700" Class 0-6-0 "M7" Class 0-4-4T "Terriers" 0-6-0T Steam Rail Motors Motor Tanks, "CI4", "DI4", "SI4" ...

"KIO" Class 4-4-0 "LlI" Class 4-4-0 "s II" Class 4-4-0 "Ll2" Class 4-4-0 "DI5" Class 4-4-0 "FI3" Class 4-6-0 "EI4" Class 4-6-0 "GI4/PI4" Class 4-6-0 ...

"TI4" Class 4-6-0 ... ... ..

4-4-0 types


Blakey, George. Footplate fraternity at Fratton. Steam Wld, 2004, (207) 17-20.
Problems with oil burning on Southern Railway from 1946. Tells how fuel on a T9 failed to ignite leading to a pool forming in the pit below the engine. When a torch was thrown into the firebox, an unofficial method of applying a light, the fuel exploded and the fire in the pit damaged the motion on the T9. The totally sealed firehole door made the cabs bitterly cold in winter, with the exception of the West Country where the swirling action burner made the firedoor red hot (and the cab very hot).


Swift, Peter H. The Drummond 'S11' Class 4-4-0s of the London & South Western Railway. Rly Arch., 2006 (13) 40-53.
Mixed traffic design with 6ft coupled wheels and 5ft diameter boiler: fireboxes orginally fitted with cross water tubes, but feedwater heaters were not fitted. They had balanced crank axles. All ten were superheated between 1920 and 1922. Their Scottish parallels are considered: the Caledonian 80 class of 1888, and Peter Drummond's Ben and Big Ben types of 1898 and 1908 for the Highland Railway.


Forge, Eric E. Eastleigh and locomotive design – 1. 342-7.
Author describes it as Drummond's "masterpiece".. "Here was a large enough boiler, allied to large cylinders, inside the frames with piston valves and Walschaerts gaer, and what was more important, outside admission valves. Italics in original text.

Drummond 4-2-2-0

No. 720 (1897)

Painted in dark yellow ochre and lettered "LSW" this locomotive was illustrated in the Engineer (1898 26 August) and was rebuilt with a larger boiler following the arrival of five further locomotives of this type (but with larger boilers) in 1901 (these were painted in the original livery)

Fryer, Charles. Single wheeler locomotives. 1993. Chapter 9.
It is doubtful whether a double-single counted as a single: in Drummond's instance the locomotive looked like a 4-4-0.



Swift, Peter. Gunboats and pagodas. Backtrack, 2004, 18, 636.
Relates back to general feature in Vol 18 page 454: due to a shortage of push & pull fitted locomotives withdrawn M7 30106 was renumbered 30667 (which had not yet been withdrawn): thus a long frame locomotive was given a short frame number.


B4 class

Designed for Southampton Docks

Cooper, Peter
The B4 dock tanks. Kingfisher Railway Productions, 1988. 40pp.
Essentially a picture book

Urie H15/N15/S15

All of the Urie 4-6-0 designs are covered in Nock's Southern King Arthur family. The first designs were based on a radical re-examination of Drummond's four-cylinder designs and their conversion into the simple, rugged two-cylinder designs with outside Walschaerts valve gear (this was Urie's outstanding contribution to British locomotive design (and is a serious omission from Rudgard's chronology)). Both Schmidt and Robinson superheaters were evaluated. The boilers were fitted with a sloping firegrate. The H15 class had an exceptionally high hammer blow.

Forge, Eric E. Eastleigh and locomotive design – 1. 342-7.
"For years he [Urie] had been Drummond's Works Manager, and it had fallen to him to grapple with the four-cylinder monstrosities in an endeavour to keep them on the road, so that he had no illusions whatever about them and their design.
Urie also had to bear in mind the handicap presented to LSWR locomotives by the very indifferent standard of the permanent way over which they had to run. When the original London and Southampton Railway was launched there was only enough money to take it from London to Basingstoke. The second attempt, this time starting from the Southampton end, ran out of cash when it reached Winchester, and for a year passengers completed the link by coach. The flimsy financial foundation was reflected in the standard of the road bed, and the South Western track was always 'spongy', a feature which tended to throw all the more strain on the structure of the locomotive and called for the maximum possible strength.
Accordingly, Urie decided to design for strength and simplicity, and these two elements formed the basis of all his locomotive types. The main frames, with 1¼in plate, were the heaviest yet used on a British locomotive. The axle journals were much bigger than those used by Drummond and, in place of the inadequate steel axlebox, Urie used a large manganese brass bearing with white metal lining. They were heavy and expensive - but they lasted! Even after the normal spell of 75,000 miles between general overhauls, the boxes were often found to require only minimal attention. The marine-type bigends gave way to a very solid strap and cotter design with the bolts in double shear instead of tension."