|RJ Billinton's first express passenger engines for the
LBSCR were the Class B2 4-4-0s, designed between 1893 and 1895 but not
appearing until June 1895. Very curvaceous with reverse curve splashers over
the bogie wheels and at each end of the footplate, they were attractive
engines, but not particularly successful and when taking over the comparatively
lightly loaded Portsmouth line trains from the Stroudley singles, were hard
pressed to match the performance of their predecessors! The boiler, which was
similar to that fitted to his C2 Class, was
originally of 4' 3" diameter, but this was increased to 4' 5"
diameter as production of the class progressed. The first three B2s were fitted
with the same 2,420 gallon tender as that supplied with the C2 class, but the
remainder had a larger one of some2,600 gallons capacity. During their earlier
years they were referred to as "Duncannons", after the second of the
class, although the loco crews of the day called them "Grasshoppers"
on account of their rough riding!
All the engines were named after notable people, some connected with the LBSCR and some with the Institution of Civil Engineers. The name Goldsmid on Nº316 having been transferred from the first D3 (which was then re-named Havant) was that of Sir Julian Goldsmid of Hove, a director of the Railway and influential person in the locality.
B2x Nº206 Smeaton, one of only two of the class to be fitted with the second, top feed, dome. This was the locomotive that, as class B2, had the honour of initiating the 'Brighton in One Hour' service on 2 October 1898. She was also the engine involved in the Railway's worst disaster for many a year when she ran into the back of a Newhaven boat train in dense fog at Keymer Junction on 23 December 1899, resulting in six fatalities and much destruction of rolling stock. Most of the blame was apportioned to the driver who had run through the junction's up distant and home signals, though the Railway was also criticized for having no fogmen out and for using out-dated signalling practices.
photograph: Mike Morant collection
|Despite the problems of the class, with careful driving they
could perform adequately for most purposes and, as the numbers increased, they
were also used on the heavier Brighton and Eastbourne line services.
In January 1898 a larger version was built, Nº213 Bessemer, with a 4' 8" diameter boiler which increased the heating area from 1,342.08 sq ft to 1,464.82 sq ft and grate area from 18.73 sq ft to 20.6 sq ft. These increases in size were considered sufficient re-classify the locomotive as the solitary member of class B3.
However, after Marsh had taken over at Brighton he decided to try to do something to cure their bad steaming and rebuilt them with larger boilers that were similar to his C3 goods engines, with an extended smokebox on a saddle, to become class B2x. They were also provided with smaller cylinders as well as larger cabs which made them a lot more "modern" by the standards of the day. The first, Nº 310, was rebuilt in 1907 and the last, Nº316, in 1916. As the locomotives were repainted in Marsh's umber livery so the names were removed. Two of the class, 206 and 319, were subsequently fitted with Lawson Billinton's double domed top feed boiler during 1921.
Despite the policy initiated by Marsh of abandoning names for engines, some survived and that of the B3 Bessemer was one. In addition, in 1906, Nº315 was given the name J Gay and Nº319 the name Leconfield, after Lord Leconfield at Petworth.
B2 / B31895 / 1898
6 ft 9 in
3 ft 6 in
2,600 gals *
18in x 26in
160 lb sq in
6 ft 9 in
3 ft 6 in
2,600 gals *
17½in x 26in
170 lb sq in
|* Locos 314, 315 & 316 - 2,420 gals.|
The LBSC was better than the other Southern Companies in keeping locomotive classes more or less in consecutive numbers, but they could issue these numbers somewhat randomly! The following table is set out in order of build:
|LBSCR Nº||Name||Built||Rebuilt as B2x||Name||SR Nº #||Withdrawn|
|314||Charles C Macrae||Jun 1895||Apr 1911||-||2314||Apr 1930|
|315||Duncannon||Jun 1895||Mar 1909||J Gay||2315||Apr 1933|
|316||Goldsmid||Jun 1895||Jul 1916||-||2316||? 1930|
|317||Gerald Loder||Jun 1896||Oct 1908||-||2317||Jun 1929|
|318||Rothschild||Jun 1896||Jul 1910||-||2318||Jul 1930|
|319||John Fowler||Sep 1896||Jun 1914||Leconfield||2319||Apr 1930|
|320||Rastrick||Sep 1896||Jul 1910||-||2320||? 1932|
|321||John Rennie||Sep 1896||Oct 1907||-||2321||Sep 1930|
|322||GP Bidder||Oct 1896||Sep 1908||-||2322||Jun 1931|
|323||William Cubitt||Dec 1896||Sep 1908||-||2323||Nov 1932|
|324||John Hawkshaw||Jan 1897||May 1913||-||2324||? 1932|
|201||Rosebery||Jan 1897||Jan 1909||-||2201||? 1930|
|202||Trevithick||Feb 1897||? 1909||-||2203||Sep 1931|
|203||Henry Fletcher||Mar 1897||Feb 1909||-||2203||Oct 1930|
|204||Telford||Mar 1897||Mar 1911||-||2204||Jul 1929|
|205||Hackworth||Apr 1897||Mar 1910||-||2205||Nov 1931|
|206||Smeaton||Apr 1897||Jan 1909||-||2206||Mar 1933|
|207||Brunel||Jun 1897||Jul 1909||-||2207||Oct 1931|
|171||Nevill||Jun 1897||Aug 1910||-||2171||May 1931|
|208||Abercorn||Aug 1897||Jan 1911||-||2208||Jun 1929|
|209||Wolfe Barry||Sep 1897||Apr 1913||-||2209||Sep 1930|
|210||Fairbairn||Oct 1897||Feb 1909||-||2210||Jul 1931|
|211||Whitworth||Nov 1897||Jun 1910||-||2211||Oct 1930|
|212||Armstrong||Jan 1898||Feb 1910||-||2212||Jul 1930|
|213||Bessemer||Jan 1898||Nov 1908||Bessemer||2213||Apr 1932|
|# Between 1923 and 1928 SR numbers were the
LBSCR numbers with the added prefix 'B'
although the new number may not have been applied until some time later, or even at all!
All photographs are copyright
return to picture gallery page
This page was created 26 July 2003