As part of the project to construct a marshalling yard at Feltham in West London, Urie produced two locomotive designs, the G16 "Black Tanks" to shunt the new yard, and the H16 "Green Tanks" to work transfer freights to the London area yards of the other railway companies.
When originally built they were numbered 516–520. On passing to the Southern Railway, they had their LSWR numbers prefixed with an ‘E’. The locomotives lost the prefix between 1931–32. The Southern Railway painted the H16 class in passenger green paint, rather than goods engine black.