Wed 21 Feb 2018 14:51:12


Steam Loco Class Information


Class G6 Details

Grouping : Southern Railway
Configuration : 0-6-0T
Common Name :
Designer : Adams W

The LSWR G6 class was an 0-6-0 tank locomotive designed by William Adams for the London and South Western Railway. Adams LSWR design with subsequent detail alterations by Drummond but retaining Adams type boiler. These engines were very similar in appearance to Stroudley's Class E1 0-6-0 Tanks. They were built for freight and shunting duties and were the 0-6-0 Tank version of his Class O2 passenger tank locomotives.


In 1893 William Adams had a requirement for additional motive power in the form of yard shunters to supplement the railway's stock of 0-6-0Ts dating from 1881 and built by Beyer Peacock.

The late nineteenth century was a troubled period for the LSWR due to frequent motive power shortages brought about by employing a collection of ageing locomotives in an era of increasing rail traffic. There was a need to supplement this fleet with a new class of locomotive design that could undertake the mundane task of shunting in goods yards around the LSWR network.

With works capacity available he was able to facilitate their construction within his own jurisdiction and so was born the largely unheralded but very successful G6 class in the form of just ten examples all of which were of entirely new construction. All 34 locos lasted into BR ownership and it says much for the solid design principles that three of the original batch survived to be amongst only eleven that eventually carried BR running numbers.

In 1893, the LSWR tasked their Locomotive Superintendent, William Adams, to solve this requirement for additional motive power. A new class of yard shunters was required to supplement the railway's current stock of 0-6-0Ts, which dated from 1881 and had been constructed by Beyer, Peacock and Company. Therefore, a need for a compact freight design was highlighted, with the G6 being the resultant locomotive class.

Adams authorised the construction of four further examples which entered service in October and November 1896. These were direct replacements for B4 0-4-0Ts at Southampton Docks and provided greater coal and water capacity as well as enhanced power.

The new design was designated the Class G6 by Adams, who intended the class to be an 0-6-0 version of his O2 class passenger locomotives. The wheel arrangement was ideal for the tight curves and traction needed in shunting activities, with the shorter wheelbase helping to solve both these concerns. It is interesting to note that the G6 represented the only 0-6-0 design undertaken by Adams, with the resultant locomotive being a highly compact design.[3] Construction of the class began in 1893, and was undertaken in-house by the LSWR at Nine Elms works in London, with an initial batch of ten locomotives being constructed. The boiler also betrayed the pairing with the O2 Class because it was the same for standardisation purposes.

Four further locomotives were constructed in 1896 as replacements for the B4 class 0-4-0T dock shunters at Southampton Docks due to their increased coal and water capacity and enhanced power. This proved to be one of Adams's last deeds on the LSWR, as he retired to be replaced by Dugald Drummond.

Adams' successor, Drummond, was sufficiently impressed with the design the performance of the class, to supplement the numbers with ten additions in 1897/8 followed by a final batch of ten which was ordered in 1900. Both of these batches differed from the original ten because they utilised the boilers of Beattie Well tanks and other withdrawn locomotives. Very few modifications were undertaken during their working careers, with only the Adams stovepipe chimney being replaced by a Drummond lipped example, whilst vacuum brakes were also eventually implemented.

Drummond authorised a further batch of ten locomotives during the period 1897 to 1898 after being impressed with the performance of the class. A further,

With the sole exception of Reading the G6 class members spent their entire lives on the former LSWR.

In 1941, due to a shortage of suitable motive power, one G6 was allocated to Reading and was subsequently ably assisted by a second example.

The class was afflicted by very little in the way of rebuilding during its life-span. All were subsequently fitted with lipped chimneys to replace the Adams stovepipes on the earlier examples and all were gradually fitted with the vacuum break over a lengthy period. There were many boiler changes involving the original, Beattie well tank types and also a Drummond version of the O2 type which had proved to be unpopular with the Isle of Wight loco crews.

Two of the class found their way into departmental service and both were allocated to Meldon Quarry. 30272 was so treated in June 1950 and became DS3152 whilst 30238 replaced her in the guise of DS682 in November 1960 some three months after the withdrawal of her sister engine.

This was a class of 34 very successful locomotives which led unremarkable lives tucked away in goods yards on the former LSWR. Their forays into passenger work were restricted to banking duties between the two main stations at Exeter and even that privilege was withdrawn when they were superseded by the Stroudley E1/R 0-6-2Ts in 1933.

It would seem that there were two styles of coupling rod fitted to this class. Photographic evidence would suggest the last nine engines had plain rods as opposed to the fluted rods fitted to the pr-1900 build engines.

The first withdrawal was No. 348 in August 1948, which was the precursor of the mass withdrawal of a further 22 more by the end of 1951. The final survivor was the 64 years old 30238 which, remarkably, hung around until the very end of the 1962 cull of pre-grouping locos and met her demise in December of that year.

For one of the early withdrawals it was not the end of a railway career. No. 30237, which was withdrawn in February 1949, had a further life in industrial use as No. 39 at the Redbourn Ironworks, Scunthorpe. Apparently when the locomotive was purchased by the ironworks the vacuum brake was removed and a Wakefield mechanical lubricator fitted, in which condition the locomotive gave another eleven year's service until 1960.

Order Year Qty LSWR numbers
G6 1894 10 257266
C7 1896 4 267270
X7 1897 5 271275
D9 1898 5 237240, 279
M9 1900 5 160, 162, 276278
R9 1900 5 348, 349, 351, 353, 354

Under LSWR ownership, the G6s were outshopped in the LSWR dark Holly Green livery, with black and light green lining, which was applied to most freight designs of the LSWR. Gilt lettering and numbering was located on the water tank sides and cabside respectively, with the letters LSW.
Post-1948 (nationalisation)

The class as inherited by British Railways retained the Southern livery for a short period. As overhauls took place, the class began to be turned out in unlined BR Freight Black livery. However, only ten locomotives were to see this livery, as several members were withdrawn from service and scrapped. The BR crest was placed upon the water tank sides, with the number cabside.

Due to the confused nature of the original LSWR and subsequent SR numbering systems, the class was spread across several numbering bands in the BR 30xxx series. BR inherited 32 locomotives: 30160, 30162, 30257 to 30279, and 30348, 30349. However, after the mass withdrawal of 1951, only 30160, 30162, 30237, 30258, 30260, 30266, 30270, 30274, 30279 and 30349 remained to receive the new livery.
Operational details

The G6 Class was a highly localised, though useful, locomotive design that very rarely ventured off the LSWR network, even in service with the Southern Railway. The only exception was the transfer of a single example to Reading freight yard in 1941 to assist with the GWR's shortage of motive power during the Second World War. As the war progressed, a second member of the class was also transferred here and provided sterling service.

The class was highly successful in undertaking the tasks they were designed for, and were respected by their crews. They rarely undertook passenger work, though they did undertake banking duties between Exeter St Davids and Exeter Central on occasion, until Stroudley E1/R 0-6-2Ts took on this task in 1933.

After Nationalisation, two members of the class eventually found their way into departmental service, both being allocated to Meldon Quarry in Devon. The first to undertake this role was number 30272 in June 1950, being renumbered DS3152. When this example was withdrawn in 1960, 30238 replaced DS3152 under the new number of DS682.

The first withdrawal was number 30348 in August 1948, followed by a larger number of 22 by the end of 1951. The final survivor was a 61 year-old example, number 30277, though this locomotive was one of the last to be withdrawn as part of the Modernisation Plan in late 1962. The few examples left in service during the mid 1950s were widely scattered with two loco being in Departmental stock in different periods.

The first six locos withdrawn in 1948 were 30348 August 1948 from Basingstoke shed, 30271 September 1948 from Nine Elms shed, 30239 October 1948 from Bournemouth shed, 30261 November 1948 from Eastleigh shed, 30278 December 1948 from Basingstoke shed and 30279 December 1948 from Salisbury shed.
The last loco 30277 was withdrawn in November 1961 from Guildford shed.
None are preserved.

Technical Details
Designer : William Adams
Builder : LSWR Nine Elms Works
Build date : 18941900
Total produced : 34 - Total to BR 34
Configuration : 0-6-0T
Gauge : 4 ft 8 in (1,435 mm)
Driver wheel diameter : 4 ft 10 ins (1.473 m)
Length : 30 ft 8.5 in (9.36 m)
Locomotive weight : 47 tons 13 cwt (38.3 t)
Fuel capacity : 1.5 long tons (1.5 t); later 3.25 long tons (3.3 t)
Water capacity : 1,000 imp gal (4,500 l)
Boiler pressure : 160lb/sq in NS (1.10 MPa)
Cylinders : Two (inside)
Cylinder size : 1724 in (445610 mm)
Valve Gear: Stephenson (slide valves)
Tractive effort : 17,235 lbf (76.67 kN)
Career : London and South Western Railway, Southern Railway, Southern Region of British Railways
Class : LSWR; G6, SR; G6, BR; 2F
Disposition : All scrapped
Number Series : 30160/62, 30237-40, 30257-79, 30348-49/51/53-54.

(a) 30160, 30259, 30274 Fitted with Drummond type boiler from 1925.
(b) 30272 Used as Departmental loco No. DS3152.

Total Locos for Class G6 - 34


30160 a


30259 a



30272 b
30274 a




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