Wed 24 Jan 2018 01:54:11


British Railway Steam Locomotive

Please read this statement on the accuracy of the data shown below

Note: To Obtain Consistency in the Steam System, Shed Codes used are those Registered at Nationalisation on 1st January 1948
2nd Grouping Number
1st Grouping Numbersr 427
2nd Pre Grouping Number
1st Pre Grouping Numberlsw 427
Works/Lot Number
Class CodeL12
DesignerDrummond D
BuilderNine Elms (LSWR)
1948 Shed70A Nine Elms
Last Shed71A Eastleigh
Disposal detailsEastleigh Works (B.R.)
DisposalCut Up
Disposal Date30/11/1951
NotesEastleigh Super Heater Fitted Jan 1922. Maunsell Super Heater Fitted Dec 1925

Class Information

The London and South Western Railway L12 class was a class of 20 4-4-0 steam locomotivesbuilt in 1904 designed for express passenger work by Dugald Drummond. Five of the class were an adaptation of his S11 mixed traffic class for express work, principally on the Bouremouth line - the main differences being 6' 7" driving wheels and a higher-pitched boiler. They were introduced to the London and South Western Railway network in 1904. As with the S11, the frames are those from the earlier T9 class of 1899. They were not, however, an improvement on these earlier locos. Initially rostered to Nine Elms, Bournemouth and Salisbury, the class was later also shedded at Exmouth Junction where they shared the Plymouth Ocean Liner special traffic with the S11 class. The class achieved some notoriety when one of their number, Nş421, was the locomotive involved in the Salisbury accident of 10 June 1906 that effectively put paid to the competition between the GWR and the LSWR for the Ocean Liner traffic.

In 1904, the LSWR Locomotive Superintendent, Dugald Drummond, was tasked by his superiors to analyse the possibility of an updated version of his successful T9 class 4-4-0. With open competition against the Great Western Railway in earning revenue from ocean-going traffic in the south-west of England at Plymouth, there was a need for a new design of powerful locomotive capable of hauling heavy loads at high speeds. This furthermore provided Drummond with the chance to take advantage of various advances in locomotive technology that had accumulated in the five years since the release of the T9.

The last in an unbroken lineage of Drummond 4-4-0s stretching back to his unsuccessful C8 Class of 1898, the L12 continued the tradition of solid construction and robust operation.

Drummond took the decision to construct a further new class of 20 4-4-0s as part of the competition between the LSWR and GWR regarding boat trains to Plymouth harbour. Once again, the L12 followed the example of the Class S11 in incorporating the same frames as the T9. The major design difference between this and the Class S11 was the fact that the 6 feet 7 inches (2.007 m) driving wheels seen on the T9 were reinstated for fast running on the LSWR main line.

Built as saturated locomotives, they were subsequently superheated with "Eastleigh" superheaters and the accompanying larger smokebox that served to improve their somewhat "stubby" appearance. The first, Nş421, was so fitted in 1915 but the remainder of the class had to wait until after the end of the First World War. Some of the locomotives retained their tubular feed water heaters for several years after superheating with the boiler feed being by hot water injectors. These original superheaters were later replaced by ones of the Maunsell pattern. In 1926 three locos, numbers 421, 423 and 424, were used in an oil-burning experiment.

The boiler was also similar to that of the T9s, capped off with a dome and stovepipe chimney, though the smokebox was of a smaller design in comparison due to the initial lack of superheating. The locomotive was fitted with cross-water tubes fitted into the firebox, as featured on the T9 Class. This was an attempt to increase the heat surface area of the water, which was achieved, though at a cost in boiler complexity. The new locomotive had a higher centre of gravity than the earlier T9 class, which would cause the locomotive to become unbalanced on curves at speed, and this would have fatal consequences later on.

One major modification was made by Robert Urie, who exchanged the saturated steam boilers for the superheated variety, resulting in an enlarged smokebox when compared to that fitted on the S11 Class. At the same time, the addition of the superheater header and associated tubes meant that the overall weight was increased by a ton from 86 tons to 87 tons.

Production of the class began at Nine Elms in 1904, with all members of the class were fitted with the Drummond "watercart" eight-wheel tender for longer running on the LSWR network.

Year Batch Qty LSWR numbers
1904 L12 5 415–419
1904 O12 5 420–424
1904 R12 5 425–429
1905 T12 5 430–434

The class gained the nickname "Bulldogs" from their crews due to their 'butch' appearance. The L12s were initially rostered to Nine Elms, Bournemouth and Salisbury, where they worked the LSWR system on express passenger trains. It was at Salisbury that the class gained an infamous reputation, as number 421 was involved in the Salisbury high speed derailment of 10 June 1906, resulting in 28 fatalities. The express was heading to London Waterloo from Plymouth, and failed to round a curve at the eastern end of Salisbury station, and subsequently derailed. The resultant inquiry into the incident ended the ruthless competition between the LSWR and GWR for Plymouth boat traffic.

The class was later also shedded at Exmouth Junction where they shared the Ocean Liner special expresses to and from Plymouth with the S11 class. Although the class was relatively well received by locomotive crews, there was no discernible improvement over the T9s it was supposed to develop from, and as such, led uneventful careers after the accident of 1906. They began to be withdrawn soon after Nationalisation in 1948, by which time the class were used for local freight working on rural lines. The last of the class was struck off in 1951, ending its life on pick-up/set down goods trains on the Meon Valley Railway. None survived for preservation.

Under the LSWR, the locomotives were outshopped in the LSWR Passenger Sage Green livery with purple-brown edging, creating panels of green. This was further lined in white and black with 'LSWR' in gilt on the tender tank sides.

When transferred to Southern Railway ownership after 1923, the locomotives were outshopped in Richard Maunsell's darker version of the LSWR livery. The LSWR standard gilt lettering was changed to yellow with 'Southern' on the water tank sides. The locomotives also featured black and white lining.

However, despite Bulleid's experimentation with Malachite Green livery on express passenger locomotive, the Maunsell livery was continued with the S11s, though the 'Southern' lettering on the tender was changed to the 'Sunshine Yellow' style. During the Second World War, members of the class outshopped form overhaul were turned out in wartime black, and some of the class retained this livery to Nationalisation.[2]

Livery after Nationalisation was initially Southern Wartime Black livery with 'British Railways' on the tender, and an 'S' prefix on the number, until superseded by the Standard BR 30xxx series. Latterly, the class was outshopped in BR Mixed Traffic Black livery, with red and white lining. The BR crest was placed on the tender tank sides.

The whole class survived to be taken into British Railways stock, but withdrawal began in April 1951, with only two still in service beyond the end of that year.

The first two withdrawals were 30428 and 30430 in April 1951 from Eastleigh and Guildford sheds respectively.
The last loco withdrawn was 30434 in February 1955 from Guildford shed.

Technical Details

Designer : Dugald Drummond
Builder : LSWR Nine Elms Works
Build date : 1904–1905
Total produced : 20 - Total to BR 20.
Configuration : 4-4-0
Gauge 4 ft 8½ in (1,435 mm)
Leading wheel diameter : 3 ft 7 in (1.092 m)
Driver diameter : 6 ft 7 in (2.007 m)
Length 63 ft 9 in (19.43 m)
Total weight : 98 tons 1 cwt (orog); 100 tons 2 cwt (after superheating)
Locomotive weight : 54 tons, 4cwt (55.7 tonnes) (orig); 55 tons 5cwt (56 tonnes) (superheated)
Tender weight : 44 tons 17 cwt (a), 39 tons 12 cwt (b)
Fuel type : Coal
Coal Capacity : 5 tons
Water Capacity : 4,000 gals
Boiler pressure : 175 psi (1.21 MPa)
Cylinders : Two (inside)
Cylinder size : 19 × 26 in (483 × 660 mm)
Valve Gear : Stephenson (slide valves)
Tractive effort : 17,673 lbf (78.61 kN)
Career : London and South Western Railway, Southern Railway, Southern Region of British Railways
Class : LSWR and SR: L12, BR: 2P, later 3P
Retired : 1951–1955
Disposition : All scrapped

Introduced 1904. Drummond LSWR design. Development of Class T9 with large boiler, superheated by Urie from 1925.

(a) 30416/17/19/21/22/24/25/30/31/33.

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