LB&SCR C2 class
|LB&SCR C2 class|
C2 class 2436 at Brighton in 1948.
|Designer||R. J. Billinton
rebuilt D. E. Marsh
|Serial number||1375–1386, 1412–1419, 1699–1718, 1813–1827|
|Gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Driver diameter||5 ft 0 in (1.524 m)|
|Wheelbase||16 ft 0 in (4.877 m)|
|Locomotive weight||38 long tons (38.6 t); C2 class
45 long tons (45.7 t) C2X class
|Water capacity||2,420 imp gal (11,001.538 l)|
|Boiler pressure||160 psi (1.10 MPa) C2 class
170 psi (1.17 MPa) C2X class
|Cylinder size||17.5 in × 26 in (444 mm × 660 mm)|
|Tractive effort||18,050 lbf (80.3 kN) C2 class
19,175 lbf (85.3 kN) C2X class
|Withdrawn||1935–1950 C2 class
1957-1962 C2X class
The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway C2 class was a class of 0-6-0 steam locomotives, intended for heavy freight trains. Fifty-five were built by the Vulcan Foundry between 1893 and 1902 to the design of Robert J. Billinton. Forty-five of these were later rebuilt between 1908 and 1940, with a larger boiler as the C2X class.
In January 1891 Robert Billinton was given authority to build ten new 0-6-0 freight locomotives, to supplement Stroudley's C1 class of 1882-7. However, at the time, Brighton works was fully committed building Billinton's various classes of radial tanks and so tenders were sought from outside contractors. Ultimately the Vulcan Foundry agreed to construct these ten locomotives, and further orders were received at intervals until 55 had been purchased by February 1902. The class were therefore nicknamed 'Vulcans'.
The new class were not as powerful as their predecessors but were found to be both reliable and also capable of running at speed, thereby enabling them to be used on secondary passenger and excursion duties. As a result, a further ten were ordered from Vulcan Foundry, which were delivered 1893-4, and twenty five delivered 1900-1902.
During the first decade of the twentieth century the railway experienced a rapid growth in freight traffic and by 1905 their locomotives were no longer capable of hauling the heaviest trains without loss of time. Douglas Earle Marsh's initial response was to introduce his C3 class with a larger boiler in 1906, but the performance of these also proved to be disappointing.
However, in 1908 Marsh rebuilt one C2 with a larger diameter C3 steel boiler and an extended smokebox. In doing so he created an excellent powerful freight locomotive that was classified "C2X", and nicknamed 'Large Vulcans.' The modification was so successful that twenty-nine out of the original fifty-five members of the class were similarly rebuilt by the end of 1912. By this time the class were beginning to struggle to keep time when hauling the heaviest freight trains and began to be superseded on these by the K class 2-6-0 in 1913/14, but were nevertheless kept very busy during the First World War on military supply and munitions trains, and three further C2’s had been rebuilt by the end of 1922.
After the First World War Lawson Billinton acquired ten spare boilers for the class incorporating his own top feed apparatus. These were clearly visible when fitted because of the presence of a second dome.
Grouping and Nationalisation
All of the C2 and C2X locomotives passed to the Southern Railway in 1923, and nine further examples were rebuilt during 1924-5, as the original boilers be came due for replacement. However, the trade recession of the early 1930s caused a decline in freight traffic resulting in the withdrawal of seven of the remaining locomotives C2 by the end of 1937. The advent of the Second World War meant that four other survivors were rebuilt in 1939 and 1940 and that the remaining three unrebuilt C2 locomotives remained in service until after the nationalisation of the railways to British Railways in 1948. The remaining were all withdrawn between 1948 and 1950.
The C2X locomotives remained in regular use on secondary freight trains for a further decade and most had completed very impressive mileages for freight locomotives before they were all withdrawn between 1957 and February 1962. The last few examples were centred around Three Bridges.
No examples have been preserved.
- Bradley, D.L. (1974). Locomotives of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, Part 3. Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. p. 97.
- Bradley (1972) p.108.
- Bradley (1974), p.103.