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SECR Wainwright C class 0-6-0

photograph: Mike Morant collection.

C Class Nº689, one of the early locomotives, constructed by Neilson, Reid & Co.

At the end of the 19th century, the two impecunious railways of the south-east decided to pool their resources and operate as one. Thus the South Eastern & Chatham Railway was created. Upon the appointment of Harry Wainwright as Locomotive and Carriage Superintendent steps were taken to replace the small and ageing locos of the two constituent lines with more powerful ones. From the team of draughtsmen drawn from primarily the LC&DR works at Longhedge came plans for 3 designs of locomotives: the D class 4-4-0s for express passenger work, the R1 class 0-4-4Ts for local passenger, and the C class 0-6-0s for goods work. Such was the success of the last design that all but 2 of the eventual 109 C class locomotives passed into BR ownership in 1948, and many lasted until the Kent Coast electrification took place in 1959 and 1960.

In most ways, the C class 0-6-0s owed their design heritage to LC&DR practice. They were robust, but of simple construction. They gave little trouble in traffic, had a good turn of speed, and had good riding qualities for an 0-6-0. They were at home equally on semi-fast passenger trains as well as all manner of goods trains. Through the years, representatives of the class were stationed at every depot on the SECR and Eastern Section of the SR.

The first two appeared simultaneously, both Nº255 from Ashford Works and Nº681 from Neilson Reid in June 1900. Between that date and June 1908, a further 107 appeared from Ashford (69), Longhedge (9), Neilson Reid & Co.(14) and Sharp Stewart (15), including the preserved Nº592, now running on the Bluebell Railway.

When new, they were painted in the Wainwright goods livery, not quite as ornate as his famous passenger locomotive livery, but a dark green with full and complex lining. They finished their days in plain BR black. No renumbering took place in the 60 years, other than the usual addition of 1000 to the numbers in Southern Railway days and the addition of 30000 in British Railways days.

Nº31272 became DS240 in 1965 and was used as a stationary boiler at Ashford and Nº31592 became DS239 in 1966, and was subsequently sold for preservation.

However, a unique fate fell to one of the class. In 1916, Nº685 was converted at Ashford to a 'Special Tank Shunter', and became the solitary S Class 0-6-0 saddle tank. It lasted until withdrawal in 1951.

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  • 1586
    London Bridge
    Nº1583 at London Bridge with what is thought to have been a hop pickers' special.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 31588
    Paddock Wood
    Rear view! Tender-first C class Nº31588 at Paddock Wood station. No headcode discs suggest it is running round the stock - is it the Hawhurst branch train? If so, it is unusual for it to be in the main line platform.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • DS239
    Departmental
    One-time Nº592 became 1592 then 31592, photographed when in departmental service as DS239, complete with snowplough. This locomotive is now preserved on the Bluebell Railway and has reverted to being Nº592 once again.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 31271
    Ashford?
    Nº31271 photographed on shed - believed to be Ashford.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 31716
    Kensington
    Nº31716, on railtour duty for the RCTS and SLS, is seen here at Kensington on 15th April 1950.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 31054
    Hither Green
    Nº31054 photographed on shed at Hither Green with 31059 in the background.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 592
    Ashford
    When first preserved, C Class Nº592 was at the embryo Ashford Steam Centre. Seen here with a birdcage brake at Easter 1970 on one of their open days, she is alongside O1 Class Nº65. The stock looks a lot smarter than the buildings behind!
    Photograph by Michael Morant.
  • 592
    Bluebell Rly
    The C class still hard at work on the Bluebell Railway during 2000.
    Photograph by Jonathan Hall.
  • 592
    Bluebell Rly
    A view of the top of the boiler and cab .
    Photograph by David Glasspool.

Technical Details

Introduced:
Driving Wheel:
Weight:
Water Capacity:
Cylinders (2):
Boiler Pressure:
Tractive Effort:
BR Power Classification:
1900
5 ft 2 in
43 tons 16 cwt
3,300 galls
18½ in x 26 in
160 lb sq in
19,520 lbs
2-F
 
The SECR numbering system was nothing less than chaotic! With this in mind the following table is set out in what is believed to be the order of build:
 
SECR Nº SR Nº # BR Nº Built Built at Withdrawn
229 1229 31229 Jun 1900 Ashford Oct 1961
255 1255 31255 Jun 1900 Ashford Sep 1961
256 1256 31256 Jun 1900 Ashford Jul 1961
257 1257 31257 Jun 1900 Ashford Aug 1949
681 1681 31681 Jun 1900 Neilson, Reid & Co Feb 1959
682 1682 31682 Jun 1900 Neilson, Reid & Co Oct 1961
683 1683 31683 Jun 1900 Neilson, Reid & Co Jun 1959
684 1684 31684 Jun 1900 Neilson, Reid & Co Oct 1961
685 1685 31685 Jun 1900 Neilson, Reid & Co 1917 §
686 1686 31686 Jun 1900 Neilson, Reid & Co May 1962
687 1687 31687 Jul 1900 Neilson, Reid & Co Apr 1955
688 1688 31688 Jul 1900 Neilson, Reid & Co Feb 1960
689 1689 31689 Jul 1900 Neilson, Reid & Co Mar 1962
690 1690 31690 Jul 1900 Neilson, Reid & Co Jun 1962
691 1691 31691 Jul 1900 Neilson, Reid & Co Oct 1961
692 1692 31692 Jul 1900 Neilson, Reid & Co Apr 1960
693 1693 31693 Jul 1900 Neilson, Reid & Co Jun 1961
694 1694 31694 Jul 1900 Neilson, Reid & Co Mar 1961
695 1695 31695 Jul 1900 Neilson, Reid & Co Jun 1961
63 1063 31063 Jul 1900 Ashford Mar 1956
191 1191 31191 Jul 1900 Ashford Sep 1959
86 1086 31086 Sep 1900 Ashford Oct 1960
102 1102 31102 Sep 1900 Ashford May 1960
112 1112 31112 Sep 1900 Ashford Apr 1962
18 1018 31018 Oct 1900 Ashford Dec 1958
33 1033 31033 Oct 1900 Ashford Mar 1960
218 1218 31218 Dec 1900 Ashford Apr 1962
219 1219 31219 Dec 1900 Ashford Oct 1959
225 1225 31225 Dec 1900 Ashford Oct 1959
227 1227 31227 Dec 1900 Ashford Oct 1961
711 1711 31711 Dec 1900 Sharp, Stewart & Co Jan 1957
712 1712 31712 Dec 1900 Sharp, Stewart & Co Feb 1957
713 1713 31713 Dec 1900 Sharp, Stewart & Co Apr 1955
714 1714 31714 Dec 1900 Sharp, Stewart & Co Jul 1961
715 1715 31715 Dec 1900 Sharp, Stewart & Co Nov 1961
716 1716 31716 Jan 1901 Sharp, Stewart & Co Oct 1961
717 1717 31717 Jan 1901 Sharp, Stewart & Co Feb 1962
718 1718 31718 Jan 1901 Sharp, Stewart & Co Sep 1955
719 1719 31719 Jan 1901 Sharp, Stewart & Co May 1962
720 1720 31720 Jan 1901 Sharp, Stewart & Co Oct 1961
721 1721 31721 Jan 1901 Sharp, Stewart & Co Mar 1962
722 1722 31722 Jan 1901 Sharp, Stewart & Co May 1962
723 1723 31723 Jan 1901 Sharp, Stewart & Co Jan 1962
724 1724 31724 Jan 1901 Sharp, Stewart & Co May 1962
725 1725 31725 Jan 1901 Sharp, Stewart & Co Aug 1960
37 1037 31037 Mar 1901 Ashford Feb 1961
54 1054 31054 Mar 1901 Ashford Aug 1960
221 1221 31221 Mar 1901 Ashford Aug 1959
223 1223 31223 Mar 1901 Ashford May 1960
234 1234 31234 Apr 1901 Ashford Aug 1953
4 1004 31004 Jul 1901 Ashford Nov 1961
38 1038 31038 Jul 1901 Ashford Feb 1954
61 1061 31061 Jul 1901 Ashford Jul 1961
71 1071 31071 Jul 1901 Ashford Sep 1959
592 1592 31592/DS239 Feb 1902 Ashford May 1967 §
113 1113 31113 Mar 1902 Ashford Jul 1961
242 1242 31242 Apr 1902 Ashford Sep 1961
243 1243 31243 Apr 1902 Ashford Oct 1959
244 1244 31244 Apr 1902 Ashford Oct 1961
593 1593 31593 May 1902 Longhedge Feb 1958
460 1460 31460 Oct 1902 Longhedge Feb 1949
59 1059 31059 Nov 1902 Ashford Feb 1958
150 1150 31150 Nov 1902 Ashford Oct 1961
90 1090 31090 Dec 1902 Ashford Aug 1953
245 1245 3124 Dec 1902 Ashford Aug 1959
252 1252 31252 Dec 1902 Ashford Jul 1959
461 1461 31461 Dec 1902 Longhedge Aug 1958
486 1486 31486 Dec 1902 Longhedge Apr 1953
253 1253 31253 Jan 1903 Ashford Oct 1959
68 1068 31068 Jan 1903 Ashford Oct 1961
576 1576 31576 May 1903 Ashford Nov 1959
581 1581 31581 May 1903 Ashford Mar 1960
580 1580 31580 Jun 1903 Longhedge Aug 1953
582 1582 31582 Jun 1903 Ashford Jun 1958
583 1583 31583 Jun 1903 Longhedge Jul 1961
584 1584 31584 Jun 1903 Ashford Feb 1962
585 1585 31585 Jun 1903 Ashford Feb 1959
572 1572 31572 Sep 1903 Ashford Feb 1954
573 1573 31573 Sep 1903 Ashford Nov 1961
575 1575 31575 Sep 1903 Ashford Jul 1961
578 1578 31578 Oct 1903 Ashford Jun 1961
579 1579 31579 Oct 1903 Ashford Oct 1961
267 1267 31267 Jan 1904 Ashford Jun 1962
480 1480 31480 Jan 1904 Longhedge Jul 1961
268 1268 31268 Feb 1904 Ashford Apr 1962
272 1272 31272/DS240 Feb 1904 Ashford ?
277 1277 31277 Feb 1904 Ashford Aug 1955
481 1481 31481 Apr 1904 Longhedge Nov 1961
270 1270 31270 Jun 1904 Ashford Jun 1959
495 1495 31495 Jun 1904 Ashford Mar 1961
498 1498 31498 Jun 1904 Ashford Jul 1961
508 1508 31508 Jul 1904 Ashford Sep 1957
510 1510 31510 Jul 1904 Ashford Jun 1962
260 1260 31260 Aug 1904 Ashford Apr 1953
271 1271 31271 Dec 1904 Ashford Jul 1963
262 1262 31262 ? 1904 Ashford ?
499 1499 31499 ? 1904 Ashford ?
280 1280 31280 Feb 1908 Ashford Dec 1963
291 1291 31291 Feb 1908 Ashford Apr 1953
298 1298 31298 Mar 1908 Ashford Nov 1960
317 1317 31317 Mar 1908 Ashford Feb 1962
588 1588 31588 Mar 1908 Ashford Jun 1962
589 1589 31589 Mar 1908 Ashford Nov 1961
287 1287 31287 May 1908 Ashford Oct 1960
513 1513 31513 Jun 1908 Ashford Jan 1955
293 1293 31293 Jun 1908 Ashford Apr 1962
294 1294 31294 Jun 1908 Ashford Sep 1955
297 1297 31297 Jun 1908 Ashford Sep 1959
590 1590 31590 Jul 1908 Ashford Feb 1961

# Between 1923 and 1928 SR numbers were the SECR numbers with the added prefix 'A'

§ Converted to S Class 0-6-0ST

§ Preserved at the Bluebell Railway

This page was last updated 13 March 2012

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