LB&SCR H1 class

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LB&SCR H1 class
LBSC H1 class.jpg
Official photograph of No.37 shortly after delivery in 1905.
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
DesignerD. E. Marsh
BuilderKitson & Co.
Build date1905–1906
Total produced5
 • Whyte4-4-2
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Leading dia.3 ft 6 in (1.067 m)
Driver dia.6 ft 7 12 in (2.019 m)
Total weight106 long tons 5 cwt (238,000 lb or 108 t) (119 short tons)
Fuel typeCoal
Boiler pressure200 psi (13.79 bar; 1.38 MPa)
CylindersTwo, outside
Cylinder size18.5 in × 26 in (470 mm × 660 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort19,028 lbf (84.6 kN)
Power classBR: 3P
DispositionAll scrapped

The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway H1 class was a class of 4-4-2 steam locomotives for express passenger work. They were designed by D. E. Marsh and were built by Messrs Kitson & Co. in 1905 and 1906.


Prior to taking up office as the Locomotive Superintendent of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway in 1905, Douglas Earle Marsh had worked for the Great Northern Railway at Doncaster Works. There he had been involved in the design of the Klondyke class designed by Henry Ivatt in 1897. There was an urgent need for new large express passenger locomotives for the LB&SCR and so he obtained a set of drawings from Doncaster, and made only detailed amendments before ordering them from the manufacturer. He did however increase the boiler pressure from 175 to 200 pounds per square inch (1.21 to 1.38 MPa).


The class soon proved to be successful working the London to Brighton express trains including the heavily loaded Pullman services the "Brighton Limited", and The Southern Belle, which the LB&SCR described as "the most luxurious train in the World".


In May 1920 L. B. Billinton wished to install the Schmidt superheater to improve the efficiency of the class, but was refused permission to do so by the Brighton Locomotive Committee. This modification was however carried out by Richard Maunsell of the Southern Railway during 1925–1926 after the "Grouping" of 1923.

Re-allocation and naming[edit]

38 Portland Bill

No 39 was named La France from Jun 1913 to Jan 1926, following its use on the train for a State visit of the French President; this was he only Brighton Atlantic to carry a name in LBSCR days. During 1925 and 1926 the H1 class were gradually replaced on the London-Brighton express trains by the "King Arthur" and "River" classes, but there was still plenty of work for them on other express services, including the boat trains connecting with the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry service. At the same time they were all named after geographical features of the south coast.


Following the cessation of the cross-channel ferries after 1940, as a result of the Second World War the class were left with little work to do and several were put into store or else moved to miscellaneous duties in southern England, and the first members of the class were withdrawn in 1944.

In July 1947 No. 2039 was experimentally rebuilt with sleeve valves by Oliver Bulleid as a mobile test bed in preparation for his Leader class locomotives. It was never returned to its original state and in common with the remainder of the class had been withdrawn by 1951. None have survived.

Locomotive Summary[edit]

H1 class fleet summary
LB&SC Number Built S.R. Number Name B.R. Number Withdrawal
37 December 1905 2037 Selsey Bill 32037 July 1951
38 December 1905 2038 Portland Bill 32038 July 1951
39 La France January 1906 2039 Hartland Point 32039 February 1951
40 February 1906 2040 St Catherine's Point January 1944
41 February 1906 2041 Peveril Point March 1944


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

External links[edit]