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Maunsell U Class (31610-31639) including rebuilt River class tank engines (31790-31809)

Discussion in 'Photography' started by neildimmer, Dec 31, 2019.

  1. neildimmer

    neildimmer Member

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    The U class was designed in the mid-1920s for production at a time when more obsolete 4-4-0 locomotives were withdrawn, and derived from Maunsell’s earlier SECR K (“River”) class 2-6-4 tank locomotives. The first 20 members of the U class were rebuilds of the K class locomotives, one of which was involved in the Sevenoaks railway accident. A further 20 U class locomotives were built in 1928 to fill the gap in cross-country and semi-fast express passenger services after the withdrawal of the K class. The design also continued the standardisation of the Southern Railway locomotive fleet by using parts designed to be interchangeable with other Maunsell-designed classes.

    A total of 50 locomotives were built over three batches between 1928 and 1931, and the design formed the basis for the 3-cylinder U1 class of 1928. They were able to operate over most of the Southern Railway network, gaining the nickname "U-Boats" after the submarine warfare of the First World War, and continued to operate with British Railways (BR). The class saw continuous use until 1966, when all members of the U class were withdrawn from service

    The history of the U class is complex as it is linked to the fate of the 2-cylinder K ("River") class 2-6-4 tank locomotives. The design work had for a new passenger 2-6-0 with 6 ft (1.83 m) driving wheels was complete by 1927, when the involvement of a K class locomotive in the Sevenoaks rail crash presented an opportunity to bring forward construction of the class. The K class tank engines were the passenger counterpart to the N class 2-6-0 mixed-traffic design, and were noted for rough-riding over the cheaply laid track of the former SECR.[7] The class was withdrawn from service, and the inquiry that followed determined that the rough-riding contributed to the crash. Its recommendation was that the K class should be rebuilt to 2-6-0 tender locomotives, using tried and tested features used by Maunsell and his assistant, the former GWR engineer Harold Holcroft on the N class.

    The N class principles applied to the U class design aided mass production, and incorporated several features found on the GWR 4300 Class locomotives designed by Churchward. An order made in 1926 for a second batch of 20 K class locomotives was delayed until 1928, when the specification was revised to construct U class locomotives. It was intended to replace several elderly 4-4-0 classes within the former SECR's running fleet, and attempted to standardise and ease maintenance of locomotives by sharing parts with other Maunsell designs. The style of the new locomotive reflected the Midland Railway influence of another of Maunsell’s assistants, the ex-Midland Railway engineer James Clayton.[9] The addition of a tender increased the operating range of the U class over its K class predecessors, and the wheel arrangement applied to the former K class locomotives improved the locomotive’s stability when operational

    The rebuilding programme that followed the derailment of K class No. A800 "River Cray" at Sevenoaks began at Ashford works in June 1928. The work involved in converting a 2-6-4 tank engine to a 2-6-0 tender locomotive included the removal of the side water tanks, rear coal bunker and trailing axles, although the 6 ft (1.83 m) driving wheels, right-hand drive and N class–type boiler were retained. The aesthetic aspects inherited from the K class were the former Midland Railway engineer James Clayton’s contributions to the design, creating a simple, functional locomotive similar to the N class.

    The rebuilt locomotives were given a tender and a re-designed cab that bore a strong resemblance to those featured on designs by Henry Fowler. Two designs of Maunsell tender were used, the straight-sided 3,500 imperial gallons (15,911 l) variety, and the larger 4,000-imperial-gallon (18,184 l) design used on later batches of the N class with inward-sloping raves to prevent coal spillage. The first rebuild was No. A805 River Camel, which also became the first U class locomotive into service in March 1928, three months before the first production locomotive under construction at Brighton. The rapid turnaround was achieved as design work was already in place, and the rebuilding of existing locomotives was cheaper than building from scratch.

    No. A805 was put on performance trials prior to work commencing on rebuilding of the rest of the class at Brighton and Eastleigh works. The rebuilds lost their names because of the bad publicity attached to the "River" class after the 1927 crash, and the heavily damaged No. A800 was the last member of the K class to be rebuilt to U class configuration in December 1928.[8] The unique 3-cylinder "River" tank, K1 class No. A890 River Frome was also rebuilt to the general U class specification, becoming the prototype of Maunsell's 3-cylinder U1 class derivative in June 1928.


    Large collection of over 115 photos


    S.R. era


    629 Maunsell U Class Eastbourne 21st February 1932 (loco+tender fitted for pulverised fuel)


    https://railway-photography.smugmug...River-class-tank-engine-31790-31809/i-f6CjjqW



    to 1611



    https://railway-photography.smugmug...River-class-tank-engine-31790-31809/i-mjqk4Nh



    B.R era U Class


    31612


    https://railway-photography.smugmug...River-class-tank-engine-31790-31809/i-b2QDQDz



    to 31639


    https://railway-photography.smugmug...River-class-tank-engine-31790-31809/i-cSJMT9j



    ex River tank rebuilt locos


    31791


    https://railway-photography.smugmug...River-class-tank-engine-31790-31809/i-JBCVK6p



    to 31800



    https://railway-photography.smugmug...River-class-tank-engine-31790-31809/i-J8QF4z3



    to 31809



    https://railway-photography.smugmug...River-class-tank-engine-31790-31809/i-fCb3j8J




    Neil
     
  2. torgormaig

    torgormaig Well-Known Member Friend

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    Hi Neil

    A few location suggestions for you.

    6/117 1796 Bournemouth West
    7/117 ditto
    14/117 31618 ? Southampton
    15/117 31618 Barry scrapyard
    31/117 31628 Salisbury
    35/117 31628 piloting a divirted down Bournemouth Belle on Medstead bank
    43/117 31631 ?Red Post Junction, Andover
    80/117 31792 West Moors
    98/117 31803 (piloting 31411) East Grinsted High Level (not Worgret Junction)
    107/117 31806 Barry Scrapyard
    116/117 31809 ? Redhill

    Peter
     
  3. Romsey

    Romsey Member

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    Hi Neil,

    My contribution for locations

    12/117 1615 Reigate
    25/117 31624 Nine Elms (Flats in background)
    48/117 31633 Basingstoke Up Yard - Eli Lilly building in background
    54/117 31639 Havant
    58/117 31639 Guildford
    59/117 31639 Basingstoke
    72/117 31639 Evercreech Jn, not Exmouth
    78/117 31791 Swindon Town
    93/117 31801 Romsey
    98/117 Agreed, not Worting Jn, LBSC signal box
    102/117 31805 Guildford.

    Cheers, Neil
     
  4. neildimmer

    neildimmer Member

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    Thanks Peter

    Neil
     
  5. neildimmer

    neildimmer Member

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    Exmouth was the name of the Bullleid

    Exmouth was the name of the Bulleid not the location Neil, many thanks for the other locations

    Neil
     
  6. Romsey

    Romsey Member

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    Thanks for the clarification.

    Cheers, Neil
     

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