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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 469
2nd Pre Grouping Number
1st Pre Grouping Numberlsw 469
Works/Lot Number
Class CodeD-15
DesignerDrummond D
BuilderEastleigh Works (LSWR/SR/British Railways)
1948 Shed71A Eastleigh
Last Shed71A Eastleigh
Disposal detailsEastleigh Works (B.R.)
DisposalCut Up
Disposal Datec1952
NotesSuperheated by Eastleigh 1916 then by Maunsell 1925

Class Information

The LSWR D15 class 4-4-0 was the last steam locomotive design by Dugald Drummond for the London and South Western Railway in 1912. By 1912, Dugald Drummond had built several classes of unsuccessful 4-6-0 express passenger locomotives. The result of these failures was that when he designed what was to be his last class in 1911, a new 4-4-0 design emerged from Eastleigh Works in February 1912, with what was to be the first of his D15 class. With the typical Drummond "look" it was a rather clumsy design with a short, stubby smokebox sitting on a wide saddle, though not as clumsy-looking as his T14 4-6-0s.

Contrary to Drummond's previous 4-6-0 designs, the D15s performed exceptionally well and were put to work on trains to Bournemouth, where many drivers noted their superior operational characteristics when compared to the T14 class 4-6-0s. This was due to a marked reduction in coal, water and oil consumption, and easier maintenance. However, with the succession of Urie, no further D15s were constructed, as he preferred to concentrate on 4-6-0 designs.

In line with the typical Drummond layout, the D15s had a short smokebox with wing plates. The boiler was based on that fitted to the 1905 rebuild of his first double-single, T7 class number 720 of 1897; and had a long firebox with a sloping grate. This resulted in the boiler being pitched higher than usual in order to allow clearance over the trailing axle. An exhaust steam feedwater heater was provided and the boiler fed by duplex pumps located on the frames, between the coupled wheels.

The class was initially given the "intermediate" type of eight-wheel, double bogie tender with inside bogie frames carrying 4 tons (4.06 tonnes) of coal and 4,500 gallons (20.5m3), due to the lack of water troughs on the line. First married with an eight wheel, double bogie, tender, by 1923, they were had been fitted with Eastleigh superheaters by Urie which improved their looks quite a lot, then later still by Maunsell ones, at which time the tenders were changed for six wheeled 3,500 gallon (15.9m3) versions transferred from K10 and L11 locomotives.

The wheelbase was 6' 6" + 8' 3" + 10', some 18" longer than on the T9s. The boiler was based on that fitted to his double single Nş720 of 1905 and the long firebox, too big to fit between the coupled axles, was pitched higher with a sloping grate to clear the trailing axle. Feed water heaters were provided and the boiler feed was by two duplex pumps on the frames between the coupled wheels. Contrary to his 4-6-0 designs, the D15s performed exceptionally well and were put to work on the Bournemouth run where, apparently, many drivers preferred them to the T14 4-6-0s as they used less coal, water and oil and were quicker and easier to prepare and dispose. Drummond did not have long to enjoy the class' success as he was involved in an accident in 1912 and died whilst the class was still being built. His successor, Robert Urie, built no more D15s as he preferred to concentrate on 4-6-0 designs. He was man enough, however, to admit in 1914 that the Drummond 4-4-0s on similar duties burnt far less coal than his H15 4-6-0s, though the H15 was, in turn, more economic than the Drummond T14 4-6-0s.

Under the LSWR, the D15s 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. They were numbered 463–472 in a continuous block.

When transferred to Southern Railway ownership after 1923, the locomotives carried 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.

After Drummond's death, Robert Urie, his successor, fitted the class with Eastleigh superheaters. These had a very small superheating surface so they were replaced by Maunsell superheaters, when Richard Maunsell was appointed Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Southern Railway after the grouping of 1923.

Livery after Nationalisation was initially Southern freight livery with 'British Railways' on the tender, and an 'S' prefix on the number. The class was subsequently outshopped in BR Mixed Traffic Black with red and white lining, with the BR crest on the tender. Locomotive numbering was per BR standard practice, with all 10 locomotives passing into British Railways ownership in 1948. BR numbers were 30463-30472.

These successful locomotives worked, in the main, out of Waterloo and prior to electrification had a virtual monopoly of the Portsmouth expresses. Until the advent of the Bulleid Light Pacifics, a D15 was usually to be found working the Brighton to Plymouth service. Number 468 differed from the rest of the class in that it had the safety valves mounted on the firebox, with Urie N15 style dome and safety valve casings, whilst the others had Drummond direct-loaded safety valves on their domes. As built, No. 463 was fitted with a hooter rather than a whistle, which it kept until the Second World War when it was removed to avoid confusion with the A.R.P. sirens. No. 463 was temporarily converted for oil burning in 1947 and withdrawn in 1951 without being reconverted or renumbered into the BR 30000 series.

The class continued into British Railways service in 1948 but were gradually withdrawn in the early 1950s. This meant that none survived to be preserved.

The last two survivors 30467 and 30465 were based at Nine Elms shed. These were withdrawn in September 1955 and January 1956 and cut up at Ashford and Brighton Works respectively.

Technical details

Designer : Dugald Drummond
Builder : LSWR Eastleigh Works
Build date : 1912
Total produced : 10
Configuration : 4-4-0
UIC classification : 2'Bh
Gauge : 4 ft 8½ in (1,435 mm)
Leading wheel diameter : 3 ft 7 in (1.092 m)
Driver wheel diameter : 6 ft 7 in (2.007 m)
Length : 63 ft 9 in (19.43 m)
Locomotive weight : 59 tons, 15cwt (60.7 tonnes) (orig); 61 tons 11cwt (62.5 tonnes) (superheated version)
Tender weight : 49 tons 0 cwt (49.8 tonnes) (8-wheel), 36 tons 14 cwt (37.3 tonnes) (6-wheel)
Fuel type : Coal
Fuel capacity : 4 tons (4.1 tonnes)
Water capacity : 4,500 imp gal (20,500 l) (8-wheel tender), 3,500 imp gal (15,900 l) (6-wheel tender)
Boiler pressure : 200 lb sq in (1.38 MPa) (original version); 180 lb sq in (1.24 MPa) (smoketube superheater versions.)
Superheater type : Drummond smokebox type, later Eastleigh, later Maunsell
Cylinders : Two, inside
Cylinder size : 19½ in × 26 in (495 mm × 660 mm), 20 in × 26 in (after rebuilding)
Valve gear : Walschaerts
Tractive effort : 21,275 lbf (99.34 kN) (as built), 19,150 lbf (89.41 kN) (after rebuilding)
Career: London and South Western Railway, Southern Railway, British Railways
Class : LSWR, SR & BR: D15
BR power group : 3P
Number : SR & LSWR: 463–472, BR: 30463–30472
Retired : 1951–1956
Disposition : All scrapped

(a) Temporarily converted for oil burning in 1947, later reconverted back.

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