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Maunsell 350hp DE Shunters

Photograph: Graham R 'Muz' Muspratt collection.

Nº1, the first of the Maunsell 350hp shunters. After nationalization it became first S1, then 15201. Note the two lower windows referred to in the text further down the page.

The construction of the frames, cabs and bodywork was completed at the Southern Railway's Ashford works. English Electric, at their Preston works, then installed the traction equipment and motors after which they were returned to Ashford for final assembly.
The coupled wheels were 4'6" in diameter and the weight in working order was 55¼ tons. Numbers 1 and 2 entered service in August 1937 with Number 3 following in September.

Duplicate controls were provided to enable the driver to operate from both sides of the cab with a delay incorporated into the "deadman's" pedals to give time for a driver to cross from one side of the cab to the other without the emergency brake being applied.

One distinctive feature of the Ashford body was the overhang at the rear of the cab with two angled lower windows, as well as the more normal two vertical windows, giving clear visibility of the buffers and coupling area. Most drawings available for these locos do not show these two lower angled windows, resulting in one line of thought that they were an afterthought or a later modification, however the limited available photographic evidence from the pre-war period shows them with the windows (it must also be said that if the windows were not fitted when new it would question the why the original cab was shaped that way)

All three were allocated to Norwood yard for the majority of their working life on the Southern. When these locos were first introduced they were not described by the Southern as 'shunters' but as 'trip' locos. However, in trials on short freight trip workings around London the maximum speed of 25 mph was found to be too slow for regular use on the heavily used suburban passenger lines.

With the outbreak of war they were annexed for military use and requisitioned to work on the Martin Mill military railway. On their return to the Southern at the end of hostilities they were serviced and sent back to Norwood Yard to continue where they had left off.

A small number of modifications was made to these locos; for example, the engine compartment door hinges were at some stage replaced and the doors hung from the opposite side. Complaints from drivers of the exhaust entering the cab resulted in the cab vents being repositioned. The hot water radiators in the cab were found to be inadequate in severe weather, and so were enlarged.

Whilst not overly successful for trip working due to 350hp not really being powerful enough nor fast enough on main lines, the overall idea of Diesel electric shunters was a success.

Bulleid ordered further 350hp diesel shunters, to his own revised design which were not to dissimilar to the later BR 08/09 type still in use today. Bulleid also designed a 500hp shunter, Nº;11001, whose additional power was supposed to alleviate the issues when trip working. Only one of these was produced.

On nationalisation they were renumbered 15201, 15202 and 15203 in the BR numbering scheme. All three were withdrawn and broken up in 1964 with none being preserved.

1-3 were introduced in plain black with Southern pre-war yellow lettering/numbering. During the commandeering by the War Dept in 1941 numbers 1 and 3 were re-painted khaki while 2 was dark green, all had red coupling rods and white buffer beams. They therefore only carried the pre-war livery for approximately four years.

Following their return to the SR in 1945 they were repainted in black with Bulleid 'Sunshine' style lettering. They received their BR numbers in 1951, 1948 and 1950 respectively. Nº1 was numbered 'S1' between 1948 and 1951, and lettered 'British Railways' in the Bulleid 'Sunshine' style.

All three later received standard British Railways green with end stripes and a totem on the tanksides

Text from Graham R 'Muz' Muspratt

Click on the thumbnails for a larger image.
  • Windows
    This early photograph of Nº2 confirms that on this locomotive at least, the lower windows were not present when delivered.
    Photograph courtesy of Ray Tarrant.
  • Nº1
    Nº1 still in Southern livery taken on the main line, for a change, at Norwood junction (so not that far from home) on 6 June 1948.
    Photograph: Graham R 'Muz' Muspratt collection.
  • Nº15203
    Nº15203 at an unknown location with the first style of BritishRailways crest.
    Photograph: John Wills collection.
  • Nº15203
    Another photograph of Nº15203, date unknown, whilst working at Norwood MPD.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • Nº15203
    Note the absence of a ladder at the front, only one was provided and this was on the other side of the loco (as can be seen in the top photo), and the apparent "hood" protruding over the radiator.
    Photograph: John Wills collection.

Technical Details

  • Introduced: 1937
  • Number Series: 1-3, subsequently S1 and 15201-3
  • Engine: English Electric 6KT, 350bhp
  • Main Generator: English Electric EE801
  • Auxilliary Generator: English Electric EE736
  • Traction Motors: 2 off, English Electric DK129-2D
  • Maximum Speed: 25 MPH
  • Weight: 55 tons 10 cwt
  • Height: 12 ft 9 ins
  • Length: 30 ft 3¾ ins
  • Width: 8 ft 5 5/8 ins
  • Cylinders: Bore 10 ins, Stroke 12 ins
  • Wheel Diameter: 4 ft 6 ins
  • Wheelbase: 11 ft 6 ins
  • Minimum Curve Negotiable: 3 chains
  • Braking: Air (no train brake)
  • Fuel Tank: 490 gals
  • Sanding Equipment: Pneumatic
  • Tractive Effort: 30,000 lbs
  • Power at Rail: 194 hp
Review of the Golden Arrow Models kit.

Locomotives of the Southern Railway Part 1; Bradley, D.L.; Oct-75; RCTS; 0-901115-30-4

This page was last updated 15 May 2010

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