LB&SCR E5 class

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LB&SCR E5 and E5X classes
SR Class E5 32591 Brighton 1948.jpg
LBSCR E5 class 0-6-2T built 1904. Photographed at Brighton 1948 carrying its British Railways number, but still in Southern Railway livery.
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer R. J. Billinton
Builder Brighton Works
Build date 1902–1904
Total produced 30
Configuration 0-6-2T
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter 5 ft 6 in (1.676 m)
Locomotive weight E5: 58 tons to 57 tons 10 cwt
E5X: 64 tons 5 cwt
Fuel type Coal
Boiler pressure E5: 160 psi (1.10 MPa)
E5X: 170 psi (1.17 MPa)
Cylinders Two, inside
Cylinder size 18 in × 26 in (457 mm × 660 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort E5: 17,355 lbf (77.2 kN)
E5x: 18,440 lbf (82.0 kN)
Class E5, E5x
Power class BR: 2MT
Withdrawn 1936–1956
Disposition All scrapped

The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway E5 Class is a class of 0-6-2T side tank steam locomotive designed by Robert Billinton. They were introduced in 1902 and were a larger version of the E4 Class intended for semi-fast secondary passenger work.


As the weight of passenger trains continued to grow steadily during the 1890s and 1900s Robert Billinton decided to enlarge his radial tank classes still further by introducing a 5-foot-6-inch (1.676 m) wheeled version incorporating the C2 class boiler. Thirty E5 locomotives were built by Brighton Works between November 1902 and November 1904. In addition to more power and a higher top speed, they also had more fuel capacity than the E4 class.

The E5s were deemed to be fairly successful and locomotives achieved high mileages, but in 1911 four examples were rebuilt by D. E. Marsh with the larger C3 class boiler and were re-classified E5X. This experiment was not however a success and the performance was not greatly improved and higher centre of gravity made for rougher running at speed.

All of the class survived the transfer to Southern Railway ownership in 1923. One E5 was however withdrawn in 1936 and another in 1944 following a collision . The remainder continued in regular use following the nationalisation of the Southern Railway to become a part of British Railways in 1948. However, many of the class were now worn out and the arrival of a large number of new 2-6-4T locomotives in Southern England enabled the withdrawal of the remaining members of the class between 1949 and 1956. No examples have been preserved.


British Railways (BR) numbers were 32399-32406, 32567-32576 and 32583-32594. The E5X locomotives were 32401, 32570, 32576, and 32586.


  • Bradley, D.L. (1974) Locomotives of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, Part 3. Railway Correspondence and Travel Society.

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