Maunsell Q class 0-6-0

Richard Maunsell's last design for the Southern Railway, and the Southern's first own 0-6-0 design, was to meet the requirement of a replacement for a number of ageing pre-Grouping 0-6-0 goods classes which had remained to serve on various secondary routes and branches from which heavier and more powerful engines were barred. It was very much an expediency and did not form part of his envisaged standard range of locomotives, though the design did use parts in common with the N Class 2-6-0 and L1 class 4-4-0. In fact the first sample did not appear in 1938 until after Maunsell had retired and Oliver Bulleid had taken over as his successor. Bulleid was reported to have been appalled that what was essentially a Victorian design had been constructed and had he arrived earlier he would have stopped its production. However his response was perhaps an over-reaction because in reality the Q class proved to be an inexpensive and useful type with a wide route availability which fulfilled its intentionally modest remit well. Indeed being fitted with vacuum brake and steam heating connections they could work light passenger duties and when called to do so with their 5ft 1in drivers they could be relied upon for some sprightly running!
Nº30549 in Three Bridges yard. Behind is N Class Nº31833.

photograph by Keith Harwood

The superheated boiler, which had a maximum working pressure of 200 p.s.i., fed two 19in by 26in inside cylinders which drove a solid crank axle. Tractive effort at 85% working pressure was 26,157 lb. Stephenson's link motion, an Ashford type steam reverser and Ross pop safety valves were fitted. The total engine weight was no more than forty nine and a half tons with the maximum axle load being a modest eighteen tons.

Twenty engines were constructed in total, numbers 530-540 in 1938 at Eastleigh and numbers 541-549 in 1939, again at Eastleigh. The order for the Q class also included for the build of 4000 gallon tenders but these were subsequently fitted to N (1407 to 1414 ) and U class (Nos 1610 - 1629) locomotives and their original 3500 gallon tenders were then paired with the new Q class locomotives.

Bulleid subsequently improved the draughting performance of some of the class by fitting a multiple jet blastpipe and BR also later had a go by fitting an improved single blastpipe. In BR days at least six of the class received BR standard class 4 chimneys.

30536 Nº30536 photographed at Eastleigh on 23rd August 1950.

photograph by Les Darbyshire

Nº30531 with the LCGB "The Hayling Farewell" Rail Tour on 3rd November 1963. Q class 0-6-0s Nº30531 and Nº30543 at Havant prior to taking their charge to Chichester and points east.

photograph: A. E. Durrant/Mike Morant collection

30543 Nº30543 simmers in the sun at Redhill on 28th August 1964.

photograph by Keith Harwood

Nº30531 again, in Three Bridges yard. Note the with large diameter chimney.

photograph by Keith Harwood

30547 Nº30547 on shed at Horsham.

photograph by Keith Harwood

Nº30531 again, seen here stored out of use at Redhill on 28th August 1964.

photograph by Keith Harwood

30543 Passenger trains on the Redhill to Reading line were usually worked by Maunsell Class U or N 2-6-0s, although standard locomotives were also seen regularly. Occasionally freight engines took a turn on passenger duties and Q class Nº30543 is seen here at Betchworth with a 3 coach Bulleid set, heading for Guildford and Reading on 28th August 1964.

photograph by Keith Harwood

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