LB&SCR H2 class

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LB&SCR H2 class
Farnborough 2119859 f686ae8d.jpg
H2 32421 'South Foreland', at Farnborough 8 July 1950
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer D. E. Marsh/L. B. Billinton
Builder Brighton Works
Build date 1911–1912
Total produced 6
 • Whyte 4-4-2
Gauge 4 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)
Loco weight 69 long tons 5 cwt (155,100 lb or 70.4 t) (77.6 short tons)
Fuel type Coal
Boiler pressure

170 psi (1.17 MPa)

200 psi (1.38 MPa) (1938)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 21 in × 26 in (533 mm × 660 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort

20,840 lbf (92.7 kN)

24,518 lbf (109.1 kN) (1938)
Class H2
Power class BR: 4P
Withdrawn 1949–1958
Disposition All original locomotives scrapped, replica under construction

The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway H2 class was a class of 4-4-2 steam locomotives for express passenger work. They were designed when D. E. Marsh was officially Locomotive Superintendent, and were built at Brighton Works in 1911 and 1912


During 1911 D. E. Marsh was on leave of absence due to sickness, and his assistant Lawson Billinton was granted authority to construct a further six 4-4-2 'Atlantic' locomotives similar to the Marsh H1 class but incorporating the Schmidt superheater.

Construction and use[edit]

The new H2 class locomotives built by Brighton railway works and introduced between June 1911 and January 1912. They were an immediate success and shared with the H1 class 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".

As with the non-superheated class they were gradually replaced on the London-Brighton express trains in 1925/6 by the "King Arthur" and "River" classes, but there was still plenty of work for them on other express services, including boat trains connecting with the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry service. At the same time they were all named after geographical features of the south coast.

Oliver Bulleid, familiar with the class from his time at LNER, increased the boiler pressure of the H2 class from 170 psi to 200 psi starting in 1938 to match the H1.[1]

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. The H2 class however returned to the boat trains after the end of the war and continued until the mid-1950s.


One member of the class was withdrawn in 1949, but the remainder continued in regular use until 1956. The last survivor was withdrawn in April 1958.


Beachy Head replica, under construction

No examples of the H2 class were preserved, but on 29 October 2000 the Bluebell Railway announced its intention to reconstruct a Brighton H2 Atlantic based on SR/BR period Beachy Head. At the time of writing many surviving locomotive parts had been assembled including an ex-GNR 'Atlantic' boiler, and an ex-LB&SCR B4 class tender chassis.[2]


Bachmann Branchline are producing an OO scale model of the class in two variations.

31-920 H2 Class Atlantic 4-4-2 No. 2421 South Foreland[3] in Southern Railway olive green livery; and 31-921 No. 32424 Beachy Head in BR black livery with early emblem.[4]

Locomotive Summary[edit]


  • Bradley, D.L. (1974) Locomotives of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway Part 3, Railway Correspondence and Travel Society.
  • English, Jeremy (2014). LBSCR Atlantics. Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-3791-5. 

External links[edit]