SEmG

Adams O2 class 0-4-4T

In 1888 William Adams, the LSWR CME, decided that it was time to replace all the small Beattie tanks, mostly the well-known well-tanks, on the London suburban services. During the following four years Adams produced 60 small but powerful tank locomotives, to a new 0-4-4T design. As was common practice on the LSWR at the time, the class designation was taken from the initial order for 10 locomotives, Nine Elms Works order no. O2. The last ten, ordered in 1893, differed slightly from the first 50 by having modified stove pipe chimneys and 6 inch higher cab roofs. A further ten had been ordered by Adams but this order was cancelled when Drummond took over at Nine Elms in 1895.

Although the design can be traced back to an Adams design on the GER, the O2 was a compact, up-to-date and business-like design, very powerful for its size. Within a couple of years of the completion of the 60 locomotives, they had become so useful to the operating authorities that almost all sheds on the South Western had a few on their rosters.

As more and more of Drummond's M7 tanks were introduced at the end of the 19th century, for many of the London suburban duties, the O2s were moved to rural areas, except for a few still being used on Clapham Jc. to Waterloo empty stock workings. Some O2s were used on the Lyme Regis branch after it was found that the ex-LBSCR Terrier locomotives purchased by Drummond for that branch were unsuitable. Fortunately for posterity, the O2s were also found to be unsuitable for the tight curves on the branch, which enabled three of the Adams 415 Radial tanks to last until the end of steam in the 1960s.

 
30236 waits at Padstow before departing with a train for Bodmin North on 13th September 1958.

photograph reproduced with kind permission of Joanes Publications

30236
 
30199 30199 passing Beattie Well Tank Nº30587 at Boscarne Junction on 7th September 1961.

photograph reproduced with kind permission of Joanes Publications

 
NºW14 "Fishbourne" between Ryde St Johns and Smallbrook Junction. Note that the Island locos had larger coal bunkers than those of their mainland sisters.

photograph by Keith Harwood

W14
 
O2 An island O2 takes its train along Ryde Pier towards St Johns. In the foreground can be seen one of the tracks of the pier's petrol tramway.

photograph by Keith Harwood

 
W25 Godshill at Ryde St John's in Southern Railway days.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

Godshill
 
Alverstone A smart-looking W29 Alverstone being serviced at Ryde St John's.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

 
W32 Bonchurch in Ryde St John's loco yard, awaiting the next duty.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

Bonchurch
 
Bembridge W33 Bembridge arriving at Ryde St John's whilst working duty 16.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

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This page was last updated 3 December 2002

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