SEmG

Urie H15 class 4-6-0

Robert Urie's first design for the LSWR was the result of a crying need for a locomotive with power, freight haulage capacity and reliability. The result of his deliberations was the 2-cylinder simple H15 with outside Walschaerts valve gear and easy accessiblity for maintenance, which latter was a major and welcome departure from his predecessor's 4-6-0 designs.

There was one externally obvious design difference within the class with some having a lower running plate which was raised in order to clear the cylinder casing, whereas the remainder had a straight running plate above the driving wheels which made them difficult to distinguish from the later Maunsell S15 when viewed from a distance. The type with the lower running plate had a single straight splasher above the driving wheels in the same form as the N15s.

The earlier built locos had a new style of tender with external bogie frames and large capacity - 5,200 galls of water and 7 tons of coal. Nº335 and the 1924 built locos had the more usual "watercart" tenders with 5,000 galls and 5 tons.

 
BR 30489 Nº30489, looking in a sorry state, was one of the original 1914 build but was one of the last to be withdrawn in January 1961.
Note the new style of bogie tender.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

 
A couple ran for a while with saturated boilers for comparison purposes but Urie was a fervent proponent of superheaters and so, eventually, the entire class was fitted with them. With their 21" x 28" cylinders allied with 6' 0" driving wheels and a free-steaming boiler they proved to be excellent workhorses. Indeed, they were so well built that when 30487 was stripped down for general repairs in 1954 it was found that the frames showed little sign of forty years of hard graft.

Twenty six engines were constructed in total in seven batches over a period of twelve years. The first two batches of five in each were constructed in 1914. These were numbers 482 - 491. A further fifteen were constructed in three batches during 1924 with the final one appearing in January 1925. Those later builds received the numbers 521 - 524, 330 - 334 and 473 - 478. The 330 - 334 batch consisted of rebuilds of F13 class locos, this rebuilding was first earmarked by Urie and then subsequently authorised by Maunsell. The 1924 built engines all had the running plate level from the front rise to the rear fall whilst the other members of the class had a rise in the running plate above the cylinders.

 
One of the 1924 built engines, Nº474, is being prepared for departure from Waterloo on what appears to be a bright summer's day in 1935.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

SR 474
 
The mathemeticians amongst you will have noted already that the above notes amount to only twenty five in total. There was an oddity amongst the final quantity, No. 335, which brings the final total to 26.
 
SR 335 Nº335 in Southern livery at Salisbury shed. This loco was a rebuild of an E14 class 4-6-0 and kept that class's 175 lb boiler and 4,500 gallon tender, making it quite an oddity in a class of variations.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

 
Before Urie's reign started, his predecessor (Drummond) had set aside E14 class 4-6-0 No. 335 for major modifications as a result of poor performance. Urie knew of this state of affairs when he took office and had so little regard for the loco's design that he gained authorisation, under the auspices of a rebuilding order, to use it as the basis of a completely new locomotive. This engine became H15 No. 335 and was the only one built as a one-off project.
 
Nº30335 was withdrawn in June 1959 and is seen here awaiting the cutter's torch at Eastleigh.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

BR 30335
 
These locomotives were a bit of a test-bed for superheating, something the LSWR was rather late in adopting. Engines numbered 482-5 were fitted with Schmidt apparatus, numbered 486-9 with Robinson's apparatus whilst 490 and 491 were built to use saturated steam. The result was Urie's own design, known as the Eastleigh Superheater, that was later fitted to 490 and 491. In June 1927 Nº491 was fitted with a King Arthur boiler working at 200 lb sq in, and fitted with a Maunsell style superheater. Subsequently the other nine of the above engines were fitted with Maunsell superheaters, but retained their original boilers.
Comparisons of the different types are below:
  Saturated
Steam
Schmidt
Superheater
Robinson
Superheater
"Eastleigh"
Superheater
"Maunsell"
Superheater
       490           482-5           486-9           490/1           491           482-90     
Small tubes: sq.ft 2,025 1,252 1,252 1,252 1,252 1,252
Large tubes: sq.ft - 507 464 464 464 464
Firebox: sq.ft 167 167 167 167 162 167
Total: sq.ft 2,191 1,296 1,883 1,883 1,878 1,883
Superheater: sq.ft - 360 333 308 337 337
Total combined: sq.ft - 2,286 2,216 2,191 2,215 2,220
 
BR 30330 Nº30330 is shown here at Nine Elms in June 1949, sporting the first BR livery style and, being one of the 1924 built locos, with the smaller tender.
The locomotive, built in November 1924, was one of the earliest H15 withdrawals, succumbing in May 1957.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

 

Technical Details:

Introduced:
Driving Wheel:
Bogie Wheel:
Length:
Total Weight:
Water Capacity:


Cylinders:
Boiler Pressure:


Tractive Effort:


Coal Capacity:

Power Classification:

 

Jan 1914
6 ft 0 in
3 ft 7 in
65 ft 6¾ in
137 tons 10 cwt (approx)
Nº335 - 4,500 gals
Nº482 - Nº491 5,200 gals
remainder 5,000 gals
(2) 21 in x 28 in
Nº335 - 175 lb. sq. in.
remainder - 180 lb. sq. in.
rebuilt Nº491 - 200 lb. sq. in.
Nº335 - 26,240 lb
remainder - 25,500 lb
rebuilt Nº491 - 29,150 lb
Nº482 - Nº491 7 tons
remainder 5 tons
4-P 5-F
 
LSWR/SR Nº # BR Nº Built Superheater § Maunsell S/H fitted Withdrawn
486 30486 Dec 1913 R Mar 1930 Jul 1959
485 30485 Jan 1914 S Sep 1928 Jan 1955
487 30487 Jan 1914 R May 1929 Nov 1957
482 30482 Feb 1914 S Oct 1934 May 1959
488 30488 Mar 1914 R Mar 1928 Apr 1959
483 30482 Mar 1914 S Sep 1929 Jul 1957
484 30484 Apr 1914 S Jan 1931 May 1959
489 30489 May 1914 R Mar 1932 Jan 1961
490 30490 Jun 1914 - 1 May 1929 Jun 1955
491 30491 Jul 1914 - 2 Jun 1927 Jan 1961
335 30335 Nov 1914 E Dec 1927 Jun 1959
473 30473 Feb 1924 E Nov 1931 Jul 1959
474 30474 Feb 1924 E Jun 1931 Apr 1960
475 30475 Mar 1924 E Jun 1930 Dec 1961
476 30476 Apr 1924 E Jan 1929 Dec 1961
477 30477 May 1924 E Dec 1929 Jun 1959
478 30478 Jun 1924 E May 1930 Mar 1959
521 30521 Jul 1924 E Sep 1929 Dec 1961
522 30522 Jul 1924 E Apr 1929 Oct 1961
523 30523 Sep 1924 E Jul 1929 Sep 1961
524 30524 Sep 1924 M - Feb 1961
330 30330 Oct 1924 M - May 1957
331 30331 Nov 1924 M - Mar 1961
332 30332 Nov 1924 M - Oct 1956
333 30333 Dec 1924 M - Oct 1958
334 30334 Jan 1925 M - Jun 1958
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!
§   S = Schmidt Superheater
 R = Robinson Superheater
 E = Eastleigh Superheater
 M = Maunsell Superheater
 1 Eastleigh S/H fitted Dec 1919
 2 Eastleigh S/H fitted Oct 1917

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This page was last updated 29 August 2007

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