SEmG

RJ Billinton C2 / Marsh C2x 0-6-0

The C2 was RJ Billinton's first main-line 0-6-0 goods locomotive for the LB&SCR. 55 C2s were built between 1893 and 1902, all by the Vulcan Foundry (which led to them being known as "Vulcans") sharing the same cylinders and motion as his earlier D3 (originally called D Bogie) 0-4-4 passenger tanks. The C2s had larger fireboxes (giving a total heating surface of 1,211.69 sq. ft. with 19.32 sq. ft. grate area) with 160lb boilers and smaller, 5ft, driving wheels.
Initially fitted with 18 in diameter cylinders, these were later reduced to 17½ in (as were those on the D3s). Their tenders had outside frames, bearings and springs and carried 2,420 gallons of water and four tons of coal. Built in the Stroudly fashion without coal rails, these were added at a later date. Although designed as a goods engines, the C2s had Westinghouse air brakes so that they could work excursion trains and, although initially turned out in goods green, in later LBSC life some were painted in passenger umber.
 
2435 C2 Nº2435 was one of the locos that was never rebuilt as a C2x. Although she lasted into BR ownership, she would never have carried a new number as she was withdrawn in May 1948.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

 
And the next-to-be-built C2 Nº2436 which was another of the locos that was not rebuilt, though this example lasted until January 1950. Note the shorter smokebox on these two locomotives when compared with the C2x photographs below.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

2436
 
RJ Billinton's C2 0-6-0 goods locomotives were subsequently rebuilt by Marsh as C2x. Some, as in the photograph below, had two ring boilers which were easy to recognize from the remainder of the class as they had two domes and their safety valves located over the firebox. They were long-lasting locomotives, working well into the British Railways era, with the last withdrawal not until February 1962.
 
2538 C2x Nº2538 was one of those fitted with the two-ring boiler and subsequent second dome.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

 
Following Billinton's death in office on 7th November 1904, the post of Locomotive Superintendent went to DE Marsh who had worked under Dean at Swindon and Ivatt at Doncaster. Apart from his "Brighton Atlantics" (very much a copy of the GN Atlantics) and I3 tanks, Marsh-designed locomotives were very poor performers but his rebuilds were something else! In 1908 the first three of class C2x were outshopped, being rebuilds of C2s Nos 545, 547 and 553, with a 5ft diameter boiler giving 1,300 sq. ft. of heating surface, working pressure increased to 170lb and a reduced grate area. As such, the C2x was a very useful engine for both the intended goods workings and the occasional passenger ones. Another, 551, was rebuilt in 1909 and a further 27 between then and 1922. The Southern Railway then rebuilt a further ten in 1924/5, two in 1939 and two in 1940, these last four being rebuilt at Ashford rather than Brighton. With seven locos withdrawn between 1927 and 1937, there were just three original C2s left, Nos 32435, 32436 and 32533, to be taken into British Railways stock in 1948.
 
C2x Nº2540, on the other hand, did not have the two-ring boiler and is seen here outside Tunbridge Wells West locomotive shed with her more "normal" outline.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

2540
2435 C2 Nº2435 was one of the locos that was never rebuilt as a C2x. Although she lasted into BR ownership, she would never have carried a new number and was withdrawn in May 1948. The shorter smokebox is very noticeable when compared with the photograph below.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

 
Visually there were obvious differences between the original and rebuilt locos. For the C2x Marsh fitted an extended smokebox, resting on a saddle and pitched considerably higher than the original and, as mentioned previously, some were fitted with a second dome. From 1924 onwards all C2s and C2xs had their domes and chimneys reduced in height to fit in with the smaller Southern Railway loading gauge.
 
2438
Single domed C2x Nº2438 in Southern Railway days.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

 
C2x Nº2451 at Clapham Junction in Southern Railway days with an interesting single van train. Note that in this shot you can see both 'A' and 'B' Signalboxes.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

2451
 
32548 Double-domed C2x Nº32548 on a goods at Chichester, during her twilight years, having just arrived from Lavant and Drayton. This turn was shared with sister engine Nº32550.

photograph by Trevor Tupper

 
Also fitted with the double domes, C2x Nº32550 and the Drayton goods at Chichester, 29th October 1955.

photograph by Trevor Tupper

32550

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This page was last updated 4 July 2004

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