By 1870 the LB&SCR was operating an increasingly intensive suburban service over lightly laid lines with shoddy sleepers, shallow gravel ballast and formidable gradients, and worked by unsuitable (and often ancient) tender locomotives built by Craven. On his appointment to office, William Stroudley immediately set about reorganising Brighton Works and began to tackle the even more urgent need for new locomotives in the express passenger and goods links. Although his first drawings for a suburban tank appeared in the middle of 1870, it wasn’t until two major revisions had occurred that the first half dozen were released to traffic in 1872.
The class proved to be a phenomenal success; fifty examples were built down to 1880, and all bar half a dozen of these were shedded in the London area at New Cross or Battersea for working predominantly the East London and South London lines. Eschewing injectors, Stroudley introduced his feedwater heating system with the Terriers (which was perpetuated with his D and E class tanks), whereby the water in the tanks was pre-heated by exhaust steam from the blast pipe operated by a crank via a rod from the cab. This crank cut off most of the exhaust steam from being directed up the chimney, instead sending it back into the left hand tank via a copper condensing pipe where the steam circulated, heating the water before penetrating the right hand tank. Any remaining uncondensed steam then travelled back to the smokebox via the right hand condensing pipe.
Until the Great Eastern, South Eastern, Metropolitan and Metropolitan & District railways commenced services over the ELR in the mid-1880s, New Cross was home to twenty three members of the class, but by this time suburban trains were becoming heavier, and Stroudley’s 0-4-2T D class began to oust the Terriers from many of their traditional services. In consequence, a number of London based Terriers were rusticated, so that by 1887 only fourteen remained at New Cross, some of which participated in the LB&SCR’s 36 trains each way over ELR every weekday. The opening of the New Thames Tunnel on the East London Railway Extension and the Extended Widened Lines did nothing to halt their slide from inner suburban workings, and from 1892, as the class began to enter Works for replacement cylinders, Billinton called time on almost all the Terrier’s activities over the ELR and ELRE by removing their feedwater pumps and condensing equipment. By 1895 only two examples of condenser fitted Terriers remained at New Cross – No.52 Surrey and No.59 Cheam, but the former was in such poor mechanical condition that it was relegated to shed pilot duties only.
Surprisingly Cheam continued to work on ELR and ELRE duties alongside the more powerful D1 tanks, and was involved in an accident at New Cross on a mid-afternoon service from Shoreditch in 1897, whereby it lost its bunker and a side tank in a collision with a Gladstone 0-4-2 Samuel Laing, which suffered even greater damage. Even more surprising is the fact that the loco was repaired and resumed its duties with it’s condensing equipment intact.
However, by the mid-1900s, the class that had been so for so long linked with the East London Railway and the Extension, no longer ran trains on those lines. Sale or scrapping awaited several members in the early years of the 1900s, until Billinton’s successor, D.E. Marsh, gave many a new lease of life on push-pull services in his new and handsome livery of umber.
There are currently only two kit options in 7mm for Terriers (leaving aside the scratchbuilt route, complicated somewhat by the Stroudley roof), viz; a whitemetal offering from Roxey, and a brass effort from Ace, neither of which fills me with great confidence that a satisfactory model can be built without recourse to
a bin some changes. I suspect the Ace kit will be the way I choose to go (n.b. order those calming pills now), if only because whitemetal loco bodies in 7mm are a bit of an anathema. As to which loco it’ll be – I’m not too sure. Cheam (see previous post) is an ideal candidate, not only as she spent most of her life, except for a few years in the mid-1880s, at New Cross, but also due to the longevity of her condensing gear and ELR/ELRE duties. However, I wouldn’t mind one with a local name more appropriate to Basilica Fields such as Bishopsgate, Whitechapel, or Shoreditch, all of which were unfortunately denuded of their condensing gear in the early 1890s.
No.51 Rotherhithe, a New Cross engine from release to traffic in 1876 until the mid-1890s, is another candidate; she retained her condensers until withdrawal, but was transferred to Brighton in the mid-90s. In 1898 she was added to the surplus list, but didn’t receive the ‘6’ prefix that many of hers sisters were given, and was withdrawn in February 1901.