Drummond T14 class 4-6-0

Having already introduced the F13, E14, G14 and P14 classes of 4-6-0 which had all fallen significantly short of hopes and expectations. Drummond's final throw of the 4-6-0 dice was the T14 class which produced marginally better performance characteristics than its predecessors but with the same liabilities of heavy coal and water consumption combined with the serious ongoing ailment of hot axle boxes that afflicted all his 4-6-0s.

T14 'T14' class Nº444 near Earlsfeild on an Up Bournemouth train in 1911 or 1912. The locomotive is stll coupled to its original 4,500 gallon tender, to be replaced by a 5,800 gallon one in September 1912.

photograph: John Alsop collection

All were based at Nine Elms from new and were used exclusively on expresses to Bournemouth and Salisbury. Perhaps it says a great deal about the T14's capabilities (or lack of) that the most difficult turn, according to Bradley, was a Salisbury working on tight timings with intermediate stops at Surbiton and Woking which became a D15 working as it, quite simply, kept to the schedule better than a T14.

Having said that, O S Nock maintains that, when properly handled(!!), the T14s were superior to the Urie N15s. As the 'King Arthur' Class, the N15 only came into its own once the alterations to the front end had been made in Maunsell's time.

The official works photograph of Nº458 being the first T14 to have the firebox cross watertubes removed and to be fitted with a Urie superheater in August 1915.

photograph: John Alsop collection


Returning to the general unpopularity of the Drummond 4-6-0s in general, it is worth noting that only the T14s managed a lifespan in excess of 19 years, which tells its own story. That they had a life of only 8 years at the top of their appointed tree is also testament to their own inadequacy as they were quickly replaced by Maunsell's N15s as they became available.

Numbers 447 and 458-62 were fitted with the Drummond smokebox superheater, or steam drier. This steam drier consisted of 2 inch tubes arranged in grids in communication with the boiler tubes and therefore exposed to the hot combustion gases. They were in chambers which took the live steam whilst on its way to the steam chests. The remaining four engines used saturated steam, with the entire class later being fitted with the Eastleigh superheater by Urie, then later the Maunsell type by Maunsell.

That the T14s survived longer than their cousins is entirely due to Maunsell who saw that they had potential as a secondary level resource and also knew what probably needed doing to them to ensure their prolonged life. In 1930/1 he applied his well-known principles of simplicity and pragmatism to all ten members of the class. The infamous 'paddleboxes' over the driving wheels went and were replaced by a simple raised running plate. This, together with the installation of mechanical lubricators, went some way towards curing the hot-box problem. Maunsell also fitted his own pattern of superheater during the rebuilding phase but, with just one problem partially solved and an arguably better-looking engine, there was still no sign of any marked improvement in performance.

T14 From two pieces of a broken glass negative comes this image of an unidentifiable T14 on the slow line between Farnborough and Woking.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

Nº443 was one of the earlier withdrawals and succumbed in May 1949 after a respectable 33 years of service.

In this undated image she is depicted in Southern livery at Eastleigh buffered up to a sparkling Drummond 4-4-0 of similar vintage.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

It was to be a logistical accident that eventually lengthened the T14's lives and is worth recording here. Nº447 required a replacement chimney in October 1940 but no spares were available and so a short stove-pipe chimney, all that was available at the time, was somehow fitted. Remarkably, there was a marked improvement in its steaming abilitity. The same enhancement was subsequently applied to all but one of the class as they went through Eastleigh works.

The first withdrawal took place in 1940 (Nº458) following a direct hit on Nine Elms, but the rest carried on into nationalisation with the beginning of the end for the remainder in November 1948 and the last one surviving until June 1951.


Technical Details

Driving Wheels:
Cylinders (4):
Boiler Pressure:
Tractive Effort:


6 ft 7 ins
76 tons 10 cwt
15 in x 26 in
200 lb sq in
5 tons
5,800 gals
LSWR/SR Nº# Built Rebuilt Withdrawn
443 Mar 1911 Jul 1931 May 1949
444 Apr 1911 Mar 1931 Feb 1950
445 Feb 1911 Jul 1931 Nov 1948
446 Aug 1911 Jul 1931 Apr 1951
447 Jun 1911 Sep 1930 Dec 1949
458 Dec 1911 Nov 1930 Oct 1940
459 Jun 1912 Jan 1931 Nov 1948
460 Jan 1912 Apr 1930 Nov 1948
461 Mar 1912 Jun 1931 Jun 1951
462 Apr 1912 Aug 1930 Feb 1950
# 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! After nationalisation numbers 30446 and 30461 were the only two to actually carry British Railways numbers.

Link to Railway Magazine: "Farewell to the T14s"

Link to You Tube Drummond T14 at Southampton

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This page was last updated 28 February 2015

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