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LBSCR B1 "Gladstone" class 0-4-2

photograph by Peter Richards

Nº214 "Gladstone" on the turntable ay the NRM sporting the Royal Train regalia.

On the last day of the year of 1882, the first of Stroudley's final design of express passenger locomotives, Nº214 Gladstone, left Brighton works. This first loco of the new Class B1 was very similar to, but larger than, the Class D3, although the boiler was smaller but with a greater heating surface. Within two weeks it was in regular service being tried out on all the company's main lines, as well as being used for various trials on the main line between London and Brighton. With 6ft 6ins coupled driving wheels, larger cylinders at 18¼" x 26" and increased dimensions all round, the 'Gladstone' was a much bigger engine than Stroudley's previous 0-4-2, the D Class tanks. After almost one year of testing, Stroudley built five more identical locomotives to complete the original order.

To overcome the expected heavy wear on the leading wheel flanges, Stroudley introduced steam-jet lubrication to the front tyres as well as increasing the cone on the tread to 1 in 32. Together with modified springing, Stroudley was attempting to obtain express passenger engine characteristics from a shorter and more compact design, partly to save construction costs in expanding locomotive premises in the London area. During the years that the 'Gladstones' were the prime choices for express passenger trains, their maintenance costs were much higher than the equivalent locomotives on other lines, particularly the neighbouring lines of the SER and LSWR with their 4-4-0s. These high maintenance costs were in addition to the already-known much higher construction costs of these and many Brighton locomotives.

Despite the above drawbacks, six more of the class were ordered in 1887 and a further six in 1888, as Stroudley was well satisfied with his Gladstone class of express locomotives. So between 1889 and 1890 a further twelve entered traffic. But for Stroudley's untimely death in Paris in December 1889 yet another twelve 'Gladstones' would have been built. Billinton cut this number back to six, making a total of 36 in the class. The names used were a mixture of prominent politicians and statesmen and a continuation of the Brighton practice of using town and village names within its territory.

While Billinton was not in favour of express locomotives without leading bogies, the company was well-stocked with express passenger locomotives and it took Billinton five more years to introduce a 4-4-0, the B2. These were of no real improvement on the 'Gladstones', and it wasn't until the B4s were introduced in 1899 that the 'Gladstones' were relegated to secondary services. Through the years various upgrades, such as new boilers and working pressure changes, were implemented, but by 1910 wear and tear meant that ten of the class were scrapped within two years, with all usable parts salvaged for re-use on the remaining locomotives of the class. The outbreak of WWI gave the remaining 26 of the class a further lease of life and all these entered Southern Railway stock in 1923. However, with the surplus of secondary passenger locomotives as a result of electrification and changing traffic patterns, withdrawal started again in 1925, so that by 1932 only 3 were left in service, and these had been withdrawn within a year.

In 1927, the Stephenson Locomotive Society had made representation to the Southern Railway to preserve the old Nº214, now Nº618, Gladstone. For a cost of £140 it was restored closely to Stroudley condition, with the addition of various period fittings. The intention was to place it on permanent exhibition in the Science Museum in London, but this was impracticable at the time and it ended up at York in May 1927, where it now remains in a much enlarged National Railway Museum.

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  • Gladstone
    Bearing the later number of 618, Gladstone passes Goring circa 1920 with a Portsmouth-Brighton express.
    Photograph by A E Gurney-Smith.
  • Jonas Levy
    Now bearing an early Southern Railway number, B197 at Brighton, date not known.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • Gladstone
    On 27th May 1992 Gladstone formed part of the Royal Train exhibition at the NRM.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • Gladstone
    Now some six years later in 1998 Gladstone, still depicting a "Royal Train" loco, is pictured on the turntable at the NRM.
    Photograph by John Lewis.
  • Gladstone
    In 2000 Gladstone was part of the "around the turntable" display.
    Photograph by Jonathan Hall.

Technical Details

Driving Wheel:
Cylinders (2):
Boiler Pressure:
Tractive Effort:
6 ft 6 in
(2) 18¼ in x 26 in
150 lb sq in
14,155 lbs


The LBSC was better than the other Southern Companies in keeping locomotive classes more or less in consecutive numbers, but they could issue these numbers somewhat randomly! The following table is set out in order of build:
LBSC Nº Later LBSC Nº Date renumbered SR Nº Name Built Notes
214 618 Jul 1920 B214 Gladstone Dec 1882 Withdrawn 1927, preserved in National Collection
215 - - - Salisbury Dec 1883 Withdrawn Apr 1910
216 - - - Granville Dec 1883 Withdrawn Oct 1911
217 620 Sep 1920 - Northcote Dec 1883 Withdrawn Jun 1927
218 - - - Beaconsfield Oct 1885 Withdrawn Jun 1913
219 619 Dec 1920 B619 Cleveland Oct 1885 Withdrawn Dec 1928
220 - - - Hampden Dec 1887 Withdrawn Jan 1911
198 - - B198 Sheffield Dec 1887 Withdrawn Dec 1930
199 - - - Samuel Laing # Dec 1887 Withdrawn Jul 1925.
200 - - B200 Beresford Dec 1887 Withdrawn Apr 1929
197 - - B197/2197 Jonas Levy May 1888 Renumbered 2197 in 1931/2. Withdrawn Aug 1932
196 - - - Ralph L Lopes May 1888 Withdrawn Dec 1912
195 - - - Cardew Jun 1888 Withdrawn Dec 1912
194 - - B194/2194 Bickersteth Jun 1888 Renumbered 2194 in 1931. Withdrawn Jul 1931
193 - - B193 Fremantle Oct 1888 Withdrawn Sep 1930
192 - - - Jacomb-Hood Oct 1888 Withdrawn Des 1927
191 - - B191 Gordon-Lennox Nov 1888 Withdrawn Dec 1929
190 - - B190 Arthur Otway # Dec 1888 Withdrawn Apr 1930
189 - - - Edward Blount § Mar 1889 Withdrawn Dec 1912
188 - - B188 Allen Sarle Apr 1889 Withdrawn Jun 1925
187 - - B187 Philip Rose Jun 1889 Withdrawn Dec 1930
186 - - - De la Warr Jun 1889 Withdrawn Oct 1911
185 - - - George A Wallis Sep 1889 Withdrawn Feb 1923
184 - - B184 Carew D Gilbert/
Sep 1889 Renamed Stroudley in Dec 1906. Withdrawn Jun 1930
183 - - - Eastbourne Nov 1889 Withdrawn Jan 1929
182 - - - Hastings Dec 1889 Withdrawn Jul 1910
181 - - B181 Croydon Feb 1890 Withdrawn Dec 1929
180 - - B180 Arundel Mar 1890 Withdrawn Apr 1925
179 - - B179 Sandown May 1890 Withdrawn Jun 1929
178 - - - Leatherhead Jun 1890 Withdrawn Dec 1912
177 - - B177 Southsea Nov 1890 Withdrawn Nov 1926
176 - - B176 Pevensey Nov 1890 Withdrawn Feb 1929
175 - - - Hayling Dec 1890 Withdrawn Dec 1926
174 - - B174 Fratton Dec 1890 Withdrawn Dec 1929
173 - - B173 Cottesloe Apr 1891 Withdrawn Dec 1926
172 - - B172/2172 Littlehampton Apr 1891 First of class to be fitted with injectors, renum 2172 in 1931/3. Wdn Sep 1933
# Although Marsh scrapped locomotive names in 1906, these two engines kept their names throughout.
§ For a while Nº189 was fitted with the Hammond air pre-heater, giving a frontal appearance similar to a pannier tank.

This page was last updated 25 June 2003

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