Maunsell N class 2-6-0

Nº31845 waits at Halwill as T9 class 30709 runs in with a train for Padstow and Bude on 21st April 1960.

photograph reproduced with kind permission of Joanes Publications

Changes to details and modifications happened throughout the class' lifetime. Some of the most pertinent points have been summarised by SEmG member Tony Harker:
  • Stovepipe chimneys were fitted to 812 in 1921 and to 817 & 819 when built. 818 received the stovepipe chimney from 819 sometime before 1923. Later, about 1926/7, they were replaced by parallel types.
  • Immediately after the Grouping all locos were painted sage green, (Urie LSWR Green) repainted into (Maunsell) olive after 1931.
  • During 1939, 1413 & 1850 were painted Olive green with no lining. Others were painted black but only when necessary, i.e. after a major overhaul, etc.
  • Between 1939 and 1941 1821/25/47/78 & 1403 were painted Maunsell Green with Bulleid gilt lettering unlined. Two engines received Malachite green in 1946, 1817 & 1854. Lining was yellow edged in black with "Sunshine" style lettering, not gilt.
  • All Ns were painted black by the end of the war. It is not known if Bulleid or Maunsell style lettering was applied in general to wartime liveried Ns, but 1831 carried Bullied style (this loco was converted to oil burning during 1947 and converted back in 1948).
  • When built all engines had smokebox mounted snifting valves. These were removed during the war or just after.
  • Engines built before 1930 had piston tail rods - these were removed in 1933 when front steps were fitted. Engines built by the SR, i.e. 1400 and later, had front steps from new.
  • Some locos ran with tail rods and front steps for a while, e.g. 1824.
  • In 1933, experimental Marshall valve gear and motion was fitted to 1850. It was found to be unsuccessful and removed in April 1934 after the loco failed.
  • Two types of smoke deflector were fitted to the class in 1933, some had a vertical handrail with a round handhole, but most had a horizontal handrail with a rectangular handhole.
  • In 1930/31 A816 was extensively modified with a steam condensing apparatus for trial. This trial lasted until mid 1935 when it was rebuilt into "normal" N at Eastleigh so it will have been re-painted in dark olive. It's chimney was replaced by a U1 type.
  • From 1955 until 1961, 29 engines were re-cylindered. In some cases the frames were replaced but others only had the front end renewed. Outside steampipes were fitted for the new cylinders. Some engines, e.g. 31848, ran for a while with the smoke deflectors removed. From 1957 some locos received BR Class 4 chimneys, e.g. 31412 which had a new chimney (but not new cylinders).
  • Steam Heating hoses were removed during the Summer and were sent to Eastleigh for testing! Was this general for all SR locos?
31832 N class Nº31832 with an up goods train arrives at Port Isaac Road on 6th September 1961.

photograph reproduced with kind permission of Joanes Publications

Nº31817 with a train near Gomshall during 1961.

photograph: A. E. Durrant/Mike Morant collection

31870 This slightly unusual head-on shot of Nº31870 shows just how much of a gap there was between the smokebox and the smoke deflectors!

photograph by John Roffey

Nº31870 captured on shed at Ashford in the early 1960s.

photograph by John Roffey

31837 Nº31837 waits for her allotted departure time at Bude sometime during the early 1960s.

photograph by John Bradbeer

A late evening photograph of N Class 2-6-0 Nº31815 hauling a Maunsell set at Eridge. The public timetable probably showed that the train was destined for Tunbridge Wells West or Tonbridge but the headcode suggests that it will work through to Redhill via Edenbridge.

photograph by Keith Harwood


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This page was last updated 12 September 2008

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