The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) E2 Class was a class of 0-6-0T steam locomotives designed by Lawson Billinton, intended for shunting and short distance freight trains. Ten examples were built between 1913 and 1916, and were withdrawn from service between 1961 and 1963. This, the first of Lawson Billinton's own designs for the LB&SCR was a relatively modest 0-6-0T to replace some of the early Stroudley E1 goods locos
By 1910 many of the Stroudley E1 class locomotives were worn out or inadequate for the heavier duties required of them. D. E. Marsh intended to rebuild some examples with a larger boiler, but only one E1X rebuild had been completed by the time of his unexpected retirement. Marsh's successor Billinton reversed this policy and instead ordered five new, more powerful locomotives from Brighton works. The new class included several features found on other LB&SCR classes including an I2 class boiler. They were delivered between June 1913 and January 1914.
This engine had the now customary curved drop at each end of the platform, slotted frames, a similar boiler of 170 lb sq in and the same cylinders as the I2 class. With 4' 6" drivers and 1,090 gallon water capacity, five were built between May and December 1913. Five more were built to a modified design between May 1915 and September 1916 with longer tanks incorporating a cut out to give access to the motion and therefore increased water capacity of 1,256 gallons. Normally used as goods or shunting engines, two from the first batch were to be found in 1914 working six coach pull and push trains between London Bridge and Crystal Palace, wearing the passenger livery. With these the engine was in the middle and they were not a success! The engines had insufficient coal capacity and the experiment was abandoned during the same year. When doing the work for which they were intended they were very useful engines, one of their duties in the late 1930s was to bring in the stock for the "Night Ferry" and then bank the train out of Victoria.
The second series of E2 in 1915 had extended side tanks.
The new design was judged to be successful, except that they were found to have inadequate water supply. Thus when a further order for five locomotives was placed they were given extended side tanks. The second batch were delayed by the onset of the war but were eventually delivered between June 1915 and October 1916.
The E2 class locomotives were mainly used for the heavier shunting and short distance freight duties in the London area and on the south coast, as their small coal bunkers made them unsuitable for long trips. These included empty stock workings at Victoria and London Bridge Stations.
Two were tried in 1914 as passenger locomotives on push-pull duties with the locomotives in the middle of a rake of six coaches, but the experiment was abandoned during the same year as they had insufficient coal capacity.
Following the electrification of the Brighton line in 1936 the class was used as replacements for the former London Chatham and Dover Railway T class at the Herne Hill marshalling yard, around Victoria station and at Dover harbour. During the Second World War they also replaced the SR Z class at Hither Green marshalling yard.
During the mid 1950s, the majority of the locos were allocated to Stewarts Lane shed, with the other members of the class allocated to Dover. Also, in the mid-1950s the class were tried out as shunters at Southampton Docks, and found to be useful, and six examples were retained for this purpose until their replacement by British Rail Class 07 diesel shunters in 1962.
Withdrawal of the class took place between February 1961 and April 1963.
The first loco withdrawn was 32107 in March 1961 from Southampton Docks shed.
The last locos withdrawn were 32014 and 32109 in May 1963 from Southampton Docks shed.
None have survived to preservation.
In 1946, Reginald Payne used the later series of E2 locomotives as the basis for the character Thomas the Tank Engine in the second book of The Railway Series by the Reverend W. Awdry. According to some sources and early sketches by Awdry Thomas was originally going to be modelled on one of the L.N.E.R. J tank classes.
Power type : Steam
Designer : L. B. Billinton
Builder : Brighton works
Introduced : May 1913
Build date : 1913–1916
Total produced : 10 ; Total to BR 10
Configuration : 0-6-0T
Gauge : 4 ft 8½ in (1,435 mm)
Driver wheel diameter : 4 ft 6 ins (1.372 m)
Length : 30 ft 1 in (9.17 m)
Locomotive weight : 100-104: 52 tons 15 cwt, 105-109: 53 tons 10 cwt (a)
Fuel type : Coal
Water capacity : 1,090 imp gal (5,000 l; 1,310 US gal) or 1,256 imp gal (5,710 l; 1,508 US gal)
Boiler pressure : 170 lb sq in (1.2 MPa)
Cylinders : Two (inside)
Cylinder size : 17½ in × 26 in (440 mm × 660 mm)
Valve Gear : Stephenson (slide valves)
Tractive effort : 21,305 lbf (94.78 kN)
Power class : BR: 3F
(a) Introduced 1915. Later locos with forward extension to side tanks.