SEmG

Adams O2 class 0-4-4T

After Grouping in 1923, the Southern were forced to resolve the desperate locomotive power situation on the Isle of Wight. As electrification spread over the suburban lines of the LSWR, with a subsequent cascading down of M7s and T1s, several O2s became surplus to mainland requirements. Initially nine O2s were sent over to the Island, but they were so successful that a further 14 were sent over, the final two being sent over in 1949. None of those sent over were from the final series of 10 with the higher cab roofs. They were ideal for Island duties except for the lack of adequate coal bunker space, so in 1932 a much larger extended bunker was fitted to W19 (formerly 206), and this design subsequently became the standard for all the Island locomotives.

All the Island O2s had been named, using IOW place names, but only one mainland O2 had ever carried a name before, Nº185 'Alexandria' for a short period in 1890.

Although 8 of the mainland locomotives were withdrawn in the 1930s, and 4 more in the 1940s, the rest lasted well into BR days. As closure of various branch lines began to take place in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the mainland O2s became redundant and the last to go was no.225 in 1962. A gradual withdrawal of some of the Island locos had begun just before that, but some of the class lasted until the end of steam on the Island in 1966. Fortunately one of the remaining ones, W24 Calbourne, was rescued by the Wight Locomotive Society and remains as an active locomotive today on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.

 
W33 W33 Bembridge picks up a full brake from the bay platform at Newport having arrived on the train in the background. You can just make out the shunter between the loco and coach.

photograph by Roger Traviss

 
Then pulls forward from the bay platform.....

photograph by Roger Traviss

W33
 
W33 ....and sets back onto the waiting stock.

photograph by Roger Traviss

 
Leaving with the strengthened train, W33 slows at Newport "B" (north) Signalbox to collect the single line token for Cowes.

photograph by Roger Traviss

W33
 
Newport An unidentified O2 runs bunker-first into Newport with a train from Cowes.

photograph by Roger Traviss

 
And waits patiently at the platform for another train to arrive.

photograph by Roger Traviss

Newport
 
W20 En-route for Newport, W20 Shanklin and train emerge from Mill Hill tunnel into the single platform station of that name.

photograph by Roger Traviss

 
W20 Shanklin receiving attention outside Ryde works in 1963.

photograph by Keith Harwood

W20

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This page was last updated 29 May 2003

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