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SER 0-4-0CT Crane Engine

photograph courtesy Jerry Ricketts and stated to be in the Public Domain when posted on the newsgroup.
It will be removed if the original author deems that to be necessary.

Locomotive N°A234.S, a Neilson crane tank that was one of two built for the South Eastern Railway. Ordered on 24th June 1880 at a cost of £1,335 (works N°2686) the locomotive was delivered in April 1881.

Originally numbered N°302 in SER stock, then A302, it was built for service at Folkestone Harbour, where it remained until 1905 when it was transferred to Ashford Works. Allocated to Ashford until October 1914, after which the loco was sent to Dover for a few months, and subsequently had a short spell at Richborough, but was back at Ashford by Easter 1915. Sent again to Richborough in the spring of 1918 and remained there until the Armistice when it returned to Ashford. Renumbered as N°A234S by the Southern Railway, but by 1927 it was no longer required at the Works so was laid aside. It remained out of traffic until June 1929 when, after an overhaul and the fitting of the Westinghouse brake, it was transferred to Lancing Carriage Works as N°234S. In this guise N°234S was actively employed at Lancing until the autumn of 1938 when it was sent for overhaul and the fitting of an enclosed cab in place of the pillar supported canopy. Renumbered as N°1302 when returned to traffic in November 1938, it was sent to Stewarts Lane to assist in the shunting of the C.W.S. Milk Depot. Just lasting into British Railways ownership, though never carrying a BR number, this crane tank was withdrawn in July 1949 and scrapped at Ashford.

The crane had twin cylinders and could lift 2½ tons within a radius of 7' 2" and was used regularly whilst the locomotive was at Folkestone and Ashford and occasionally whilst at Lancing. As far as is known it was not required whilst the locomotive was allocated to Stewarts Lane. This interesting locomotive lasted just long enough to be taken into British Railways stock, but was laid aside at Ashford from September 1948 until it was condemned in July 1949.

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  • 409
    N°409 was a second crane tank built in 1896. Similar to N°302 but with a longer jib.
    Photograph: Steve Roffey collection.
  • 235.S
    N°409 pictured here at Ashford in her later guise as N°235.S.
    Photograph: Steve Roffey collection.
  • 235.S
    A further photograph of N°235.S, most probably taken at Ashford once again.
    Photograph: Steve Roffey collection.
  • 1302
    N°A302/A234.S pictured here in her later guise as Southern Railway N°1302, though unusually for a 1938 or late photo still carries the A from its previous number as A302. Note that the loco has gained a cab during the partial rebuild in 1938. Originally the small canopy was all that was provided in the way of weather protection in order that the driver would have a clear view when operating the crane.
    Photograph: Steve Roffey collection.
  • 1302
    Stewarts Lane
    Another view of the crane engine whilst numbered 1302. It is not known if the crane was used again after the fitting of the cab and the relocation to Stewarts Lane.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 1302
    A last look at N°1302. Note that the number has moved back towards the cab in this photograph.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.

Technical Details


Cylinders (2):
Boiler Pressure:
1891 (302) - 1896 (409)
1940 (302) - 1949 (409)
11 in x 20 in
3 ft 3 in
120 lb sq in
17 tons 7 cwt
5 tons


Lifting Capacity:
Radius of Operation:
2 tons 10 cwt:
7 ft 2 in
2 tons 0 cwt:

This page was last updated 20 January 2009

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