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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
Number32039 a
2nd Grouping Number
1st Grouping Numbersr 2039
2nd Pre Grouping Number
1st Pre Grouping Numberlbsc 39
Works/Lot Number4353
NameHartland Point
Class CodeH1
DesignerMarsh DE
1948 Shed75A Brighton
Last Shed75A Brighton
Disposal detailsEastleigh Works (B.R.)
DisposalCut Up
Disposal Date31/03/1951
NotesNamed Le France from Jun 1913 to Jan 1926 following its use on the train for a State visit of the French President. The only Class H1 or H2 to carry a name in LBSCR days

Class Information

The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway H1 class was a class of 4-4-2 steam locomotives for express passenger work. They were designed by Douglas Earle Marsh and were built by Messrs Kitson & Co. in 1905 and 1906.

Prior to taking up office as the Locomotive Superintendent of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway in 1905, Douglas Earle Marsh had worked for the Great Northern Railway at Doncaster Works. There he had been involved in the design of the Klondyke class designed by Henry Ivatt in 1897. There was an urgent need for new large express passenger locomotives for the LB&SCR and so he obtained a set of drawings from Doncaster, and made only detailed amendments before ordering them from the manufacturer. He did however increase the boiler pressure from 175 to 200 pounds per square inch (1.21 to 1.38 MPa).

When the London Brighton and South Coast Railway needed a new Locomotive Superintendent in 1904 they turned to Douglas Earle Marsh, the then Chief Assistant to Harry Ivatt on the Great Northern Railway. Prior to this Marsh had begun his career under no less a person than William Dean of the Great Western Railway where he had risen to the position of Assistant Works Manager at Swindon in only eight years. During his time at Doncaster Marsh had been heavily involved with the design of the first of the large Great Northern Atlantics so it was hardly surprising that immediately he assumed office at Brighton and found he needed a new large express engine that he set about designing a very similar machine, the 'H1' class Atlantic. The outward similarity was very noteable with just the footplate undulations, the chimney and the cab (standard RJ Billinton fittings) differing from the GNR example. The undulations referred to were a rise over the driving wheels and then again a similar rise over the cylinders. It was therefore no surprise that his first Class H1 Atlantics were more than a little similar to Ivatt's large boilered Atlantics of the GNR. In fact, no secret was made of the fact that a set of Doncaster drawings were used during construction, with appropriate modifications marked in red ink.

The boiler, at 5' 6" inches in diameter with a 6' 6" long and 5' 11" wide firebox, was far larger than anything the Brighton company had built previously. It differed from the GNR '251' class in that the firebox was deeper but with the same grate area and with the working pressure at 200 lb sq in in place of 175. Cylinder sizes differed with 18 in x 26 in fitted to 37, 38 and 40 whilst 39 and 41 had ones of 19 in diameter. These compared with the GNR locomotives' 18 x 24 in cylinders. The coupled wheels were 6' 7" with wheelbase of 6' 10", exactly the same as on the Great Northern.

Marsh abandoned the Brighton practice of naming locomotives and as a result only one of the H1s bore a name during LBSC days, No. 39, which was named La France in 1913 prior to working the train for the visit of the French President, as seen above. The name was carried until January 1926 at which time the Southern Railway renamed the locomotive Hartland Point.

The class soon proved to be successful working the London to Brighton express trains including the heavily loaded Pullman services the "Brighton Limited", and The Southern Belle, which the LB&SCR described as "the most luxurious train in the World".

In 1911, the last year of Marsh's reign at Brighton, there was a need for further large express engines so five more Atlantics were built. These 'H2' class locomotives were very similar to the 'H1' class but were superheated and had larger cylinders with the boiler pressure reduced to 170 lb sq in. The footplates were less undulatory with the raised section covering the whole area from the cylinders to the driving wheels.

In May 1920 L. B. Billinton wished to install the Schmidt superheater to improve the efficiency of the class, but was refused permission to do so by the Brighton Locomotive Committee.

The superheating of the subsequent 'H2' class was so successful that in later years the Southern Railway superheated the 'H1's, though it has been said that even when saturated these earlier engines performed better than the 'H2's. The superheated modification was carried out by Richard Maunsell of the Southern Railway during 19251926 after the "Grouping" of 1923.The Southern Railway also reduced the contours of the chimney, dome and cab, in a sympathetic manner, and gave all the locos in the two classes names, re-naming La France as Hartland Point in the process.

During 1925 and 1926 the H1 class were gradually replaced on the London-Brighton express trains by the "King Arthur" and "River" classes, but there was still plenty of work for them on other express services, including the boat trains connecting with the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry service. At the same time they were all named after geographical features of the south coast.

Following the cessation of the cross-channel ferries after 1940, as a result of the Second World War the class were left with little work to do and several were put into store or else moved to miscellaneous duties in southern England, and the first members of the class were withdrawn in 1944. Electrification took away much of the work of these engines but they still managed to make themselves useful. After WWII No. 2038 found a new lease of life working the Newhaven boat trains, a duty it performed particularly well. From 15 May 1949 the principal boat train duties were handed over to the Bulleid-Raworth electric locos, but the Atlantics continued to haul the majority of relief boat trains.

Other workings synonymous with the H2s were the heavy rush hour trains from Victoria to East Grinstead, the Brighton to Plymouth service which they hauled as far as Portsmouth and the inter-regional, summer Saturday services which they collected at either Kensington Olympia or Mitre Bridge. That was always an odd sight because the stock was of the Stanier variety in blood & custard livery. They were heavy trains, too, like the Newhaven ones.

They were known to stray further afield on rare occasions, indeed there is a report of one seen on the Brighton-Plymouth train at Yeovil Junction, possibly the furthest west they worked.

In July 1947 No. 2039 was experimentally rebuilt with sleeve valves by Oliver Bulleid as a mobile test bed in preparation for his Leader class locomotives. It was never returned to its original state and in common with the remainder of the class had been withdrawn by 1951.

The first withdrawal was SR 2040 in January 1944.
The first BR withdrawal was 32039 in February 1951 from Brighton shed.
The last two locos 32037 and 32038 were withdrawn in July 1951 also from Brighton shed, having done more than 1 million miles.
None are preserved.

Technical Details

Designer : Douglas Earle Marsh
Introduced : December 1905
Builder : Kitson & Co.
Build date : 19051906
Total produced : 5 - Total to BR 3
Configuration : 4-4-2
Gauge : 4 ft 8 in (1,435 mm)
Leading wheel diameter : 3 ft 6 in (1.067 m)
Driver wheel diameter : 6 ft 7 in (2.019 m)
Locomotive weight : 68 tons 5 cwt
Tender weight : 39 tons 5 cwt
Locomotive & tender combined weight : 106 long tons 5 cwt (238,000 lb/108.0 t)
Fuel type : Coal
Boiler pressure : 200 lb/sq in Su (1.38 MPa)
Cylinders : Two (outside)
Cylinder size : 18 in 26 in (470 mm 660 mm); Nos. 39 and 41 19 in x 26 in
Valve Gear : Stephenson (slide valves); Bulleid (sleeve valves)(a)
Tractive effort : 19,028 lbf (84.6 kN); Nos. 39 and 41 20,070 lb
Withdrawn : 19441951
Disposition : All scrapped

Introduced 1905. Marsh LBSCR design, later superheated & recylindered.

(a) 2039 Hartland Point emerged from Brighton Works in 1947 experimentally modified by Bullied prior to the construction of his Leader class. It was fitted with sleeve valve rear, new cylinders, outside steampipes and a multiple-jet blastpipe. It only appeared on public passenger trains for a short period in 1949, before finally being scrapped at Eastleigh in 1951.

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