Bulleid Q1 class 0-6-0

The Second World War saw a vast increase in goods traffic traversing the rails in the south of England and the Southern Railway found itself short of suitable motive power to haul it. In peacetime the railway was primarily a passenger hauler and as such had a fleet consisting mostly of passenger and mixed traffic rated locomotives with a comparatively small number of specialised goods engines. The most obvious option would have been to produce a further batch of Q class goods 0-6-0s, a type which had been commissioned by Richard Maunsell before his retirement but only introduced after Oliver Bulleid had taken over. Bulleid disliked the Q class, regarding it to be dated for the time (indeed it was because essentially it had its origins in Victorian loco design) and of disappointing performance, and he regretted his arrival had been too late to prevent construction of the class. So the decision was taken to build a new design - his second for the Southern Railway.
C28 NºC28 on shed at Hither Green during Southern Railway ownership.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

Nº33038 in early British Railways days, still bearing the name "SOUTHERN" on the tender.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

Bulleid never needed an excuse to be innovative in locomotive design and construction methods but the requirement for a rugged, lightweight goods locomotive with wide route availability at a time of scarce raw materials and labour provided a suitable challenge for his talents. What resulted was a powerful (30,000 lb at 85% boiler pressure) acceptably reliable loco with the largest fire grate area of any British 0-6-0 (27 sq. ft) weighing some 14 tons lighter than a comparable engine which could operate over 93% of the Southern system. However the need to keep the weight down and make efficient use of materials resulted in a controversial design - most notably a very boxy appearance, a lack of a running plate and splashers - which appalled students of British locomotive design, locomen and railway enthusiasts alike. The Q1 class attracted more nicknames, mostly uncomplimentary, than any other SR loco class (see our Steam Locomotive Directory for further details).
33040 A nice clean photograph of Nº33040, location unknown.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

A Q1, almost certainly Nº33012, passes through Mitcham with some ex-LB&SCR coaches in tow. Photographed in falling snow, which has blotted out part of the smokebox number, and believed to have been taken in 1956.

photograph by the late Eric Arnold, courtesy of the Dick Morant collection

Q1 entering Mitcham
33006 Nº33006 on shed at Eastleigh and all spruced up for railtour duty!

photograph by Ray Soper

33015 and 33017 on-shed at Three Bridges.

photograph by Keith Harwood

33026 33026 on-shed at Three Bridges.

photograph by Keith Harwood

33031 at Paddock Wood with the 6:40p.m. Maidstone West to Tonbridge passenger working, 10th June 1961.

photograph: Gerald T. Robinson/Mike Morant collection

33006 Nº33006 agai, this time working a goods train, the traffic it had been designed to handle.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

33009 at Feltham in November 1963. Latterly shedded at Guildford, Nº33009 was one of the last Q1s to be withdrawn from service.

photograph by Keith Harwood


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This page was last updated 7 July 2011

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