With the imminent opening of Ludgate Hill terminus, and the projected link with the Widened Lines at West Street, by August 1864 it was obvious to the board of the LC&CR that a more powerful class of locomotive than the Second Sondes was needed for the cross-London trains, and following much discussion, Martley’s design for a larger 2-4-0T was put out to tender. Neilson & Co.returned with the lowest price, but following consultation with the Locomotive Superintendent, Neilson & Co. suggested substituting the design for an 0-4-2 well tank, similar to those being supplied by them to Sturrock of the GNR for Widened Lines duties. Sturrock was approached and had no objection to his design being replicated, and so the Chatham was supplied with fourteen of the well tanks. Named after Scottish islands and rivers, the class became known on the Chatham as Scotchmen; they performed their duties well, and remained on Widened Lines turns until the introduction of Kirtley’s A class 0-4-4Ts in the mid-1870s.

Between 1868 and 1871, Patrick Stirling introduced the 126 class 0-4-2WTs replace Sturrock’s tanks on the GNR Widened Lines services. Concurrently, the LC&DR realised the need for more and more powerful locomotives for cross-London trains, and on the advice of Neilson & co., Martley once again approached the Great Northern, and was granted permission to base the new Chatham locos on Stirling’s design. Like the Scotchmen before them, the Large Scotchmen performed well on Widened Lines duties, showing an aptitude for quick acceleration and improved riding qualities at speed over their predecessors. Their Widened Lines duties included sharing the Victoria to Moorgate Street services with the Second Sondes class, as well as services to Wood Green over the Great Northern, to Hendon via the Midland, and City portions of main line trains from Holbourn Viaduct to Herne Hill. At the turn of the century, the class was still employed on the latter, but by now, instead of terminating at Moorgate Street, services from Victoria ran as far as Basilica Fields.

Erin, No.97, was photographed at Longhedge in the early 1890s. The Westinghouse brake was fitted in 1890-1, and iron brake shoes replaced the wooden blocks seen here, from this date. The rounded corners to the lining, just visible under the grime, replaced concave corners from 1892. Both this, and the photo of the Second Sondes shatter Bradley’s assertion in his book that:

Chatham locomotives were among the best groomed and smartest locomotives in the country. Every express passenger engine was thoroughly cleaned daily no matter what the climatic conditions. Many passenger tanks received similar attention…The Locomotive History of the London, Chatham & Dover Railway – D.L. Bradley (RCTS) p.10.

The loco sports the small Neilson works plate, name plate, and a brass ownership plate on the bunker. It has a replacement Kirtley cast chimney, and has been fitted with a rudimentary all-over roof and rear weatherboard.

Advertisements