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LSWR Drummond D15 class 4-4-0

photograph: Mike Morant collection

D15 N°471 captured on shed in Southern days. As built the smokebox was far shorter and sat on a wider saddle. It was lengthened (and the saddle narrowed) when the locos were superheated which improved their looks a little, but with the small smokebox door they still looked somewhat clumsy.

Dugald Drummond built a series of 4-6-0 locomotives, but none was particularly successful, so when he designed in 1911 what was to be his last class, to some surprise a 4-4-0 emerged from Eastleigh workshops in February 1912, the first of his D15 class. With the typical Drummond "look" it was a rather clumsy design with a short, stubby smokebox sitting on a wide saddle, though not as clumsy-looking as his T14 4-6-0s. First married with an eight wheel, double bogie, tender, in later years they were to be fitted with Eastleigh superheaters by Urie which improved their looks quite a lot, then later still by Maunsell ones, at which time the tenders were changed for six wheelers.

The wheelbase was 6' 6" + 8' 3" + 10', some 18" longer than on the T9s. The boiler was based on that fitted to his double single N°720 of 1905 and the long firebox, too big to fit between the coupled axles, was pitched higher with a sloping grate to clear the trailing axle. Feed water heaters were provided and the boiler feed was by two duplex pumps on the frames between the coupled wheels. Contrary to his 4-6-0 designs, the D15s performed exceptionally well and were put to work on the Bournemouth run where, apparently, many drivers preferred them to the T14 4-6-0s as they used less coal, water and oil and were quicker and easier to prepare and dispose. Drummond did not have long to enjoy the class' success as he was involved in an accident in 1912 and died whilst the class was still being built. His successor, Robert Urie, built no more D15s as he preferred to concentrate on 4-6-0 designs. He was man enough, however, to admit in 1914 that the Drummond 4-4-0s on similar duties burnt far less coal than his H15 4-6-0s, though the H15 was, in turn, more economic than the Drummond T14 4-6-0s.

These successful locomotives worked, in the main, out of Waterloo and prior to electrification had a virtual monopoly of the Portsmouth expresses. Until the advent of the Bulleid light pacifics one was usually to be found working the Brighton to Plymouth service. N°468 differed from the rest of the class in that it had the safety valves mounted on the firebox, with Urie N15 style dome and safety valve casings, whilst the others had Drummond direct-loaded safety valves on their domes. As built, N°463 was fitted with a hooter rather than a whistle, which it kept until the second World War when it was removed to avoid confusion with the A.R.P. sirens.

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  • 471
    N°471 photographed on 11th March 1924.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 30466
    N°30466 at Eastleigh, still carrying the legend "SOUTHERN" on her tender but with her BR number, both in Sunshine lettering. The loco behind her is a far more graceful T9, N°30302.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 30472
    N°30472, in standard BR lined black livery, being turned.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.

Technical Details

Driving Wheels:
Bogie Wheels:
Cylinders (2):
Boiler Pressure:
Tractive Effort:
6 ft 7 ins
3 ft 7 ins
19½ in x 26 in
200/180 lb sq in *
108 tons 15 cwt/102 tons 5 cwt #
4,500/3,500 gals #
4 tons
* Boiler pressure lowered when superheated.
# Lower weight and coal capacity with six wheel tenders.


LSWR/SR N° § BR N° Built Eastleigh S/H Maunsell S/H Withdrawn
463 30463 Feb 1912 1916 1926 Sep 1951
464 30464 May 1912 1915 1926 Sep 1954
465 30465 Jun 1912 1915 1926 Jan 1956
466 30466 Jul 1912 1916 1926 Aug 1952
467 30467 Jul 1912 1917 1925 Sep 1955
468 30468 Sep 1912 1916 1926 Jan 1952
469 30469 Oct 1912 1916 1925 Dec 1951
470 30470 Nov 1912 1917 1925 Dec 1952
471 30471 Nov 1912 1917 1926 Feb 1954
472 30472 Dec 1912 1916 1926 Jan 1952

§ Between 1923 and 1928 SR numbers were the L&SWR numbers with the added prefix 'E', although the prefix may not have been removed until some time later!

This page was last updated 24 August 2007

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