SREmG
 
Untitled

SECR Wainwright D class 4-4-0

photograph: Mike Morant collection.

D Class Nº1057 photographed at Ashford in Southern Railwaydays

When the South Eastern & Chatham Railway was created at the end of the nineteenth century, one of the first problems to be addressed was that of locomotives. Upon the appointment of Harry Wainwright as Locomotive and Carriage Superintendent steps were taken to replace the small and ageing locos of the LC&DR and the SER with more powerful ones. From the team of draughtsmen drawn primarily from the LC&DR works at Longhedge came plans for 3 designs of locomotives: the D class 4-4-0s for express passenger work, the R1 rebuilds of the R class 0-4-4Ts for local passenger, and the C Class 0-6-0s for goods work. In all some fifty-one of these locomotives were built and a large number, because of their robust construction, survived well into the 1950s.

The first locomotive was delivered from the builder, Sharp, Stewart & Co., in 1901 and in appearance and detail was a radical departure from anything seen previously on either the SER or the LCDR. Finished in brilliant green, with a copper chimney cap and brass boiler mountings, splasher beads and cabside numbers they were real eye-turners! One of the class, Nº735, was exhibited at the Glasgow exhibition of 1901.

In 1907 an experimental extended smokebox was fitted to Nº247 which, having proved to be a success, was subsequently fitted to the rest of the class. When Maunsell took over from Wainwright he proceeded to rebuild some of the class into class D1 and, at the same time, painted over the brasswork thus stripping the engines of some of their aesthetic glory!

Their reputation was mainly associated with the boat trains to Dover and Folkestone where the combination of the engines and new carriages led to these services being acknowledged as some of the most elegantly finished trains in the country.

Colloquially known as "Coppertops" these engines were at the forefront of the Managing Committee's efforts to raise the public profile of the two railways, which had sunk to an all-time low. Their striking livery, above all, made them stand out from the crowd!

Click on the thumbnails for a larger image.
If there is a larger version, clicking on the 'F' key will display it. Clicking again will close the window.
  • s1493
     
    s1493 photographed in very early British Railways days with the legend 'British Railways' on the tender.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 31477
    Ashford
    Nº31477, still sporting a 'Southern' tender at Ashford on 10th August 1950.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 31488
    Clapham Jn
    Nº31488, formerly Nº488 of 1902, en route to the carriage sidings at Clapham Junction in the mid 1950s.
    Photograph by Mike Morant.
  • 31737
    Ashford
    Nº31737 at Ashford, paired with E Class Nº31166 on 12th September 1954. Nº31737 had worked the R.C.T.S. (London Branch) "Invicta Special" from Blackheath to Rainham, then from Kearnsey to Ashford and has now joined Nº31166 for a double-headed run from Ashford to Blackfriars. Nº31737 was subsequently preserved as part of the National Collection.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 31577
     
    Nº31577 in later British Railways livery, date and location unknown. This loco and 31075 were the last to be withdrawn, in December 1956.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 31733
    Tonbridge
    Nº31733 photographed at Tonbridge.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 737
    Clapham Museum

     
    Fortunately one of these engines, Nº737 of 1901, was saved for the nation and could be seen at the Clapham Transport Museum, as pictured here in 1968.
    Photograph by Mike Glasspool.
  • 737
    NRM York
    Later Nº737 was moved and may now be seen at the National Railway Museum in York.
    Photograph by Mike Glasspool.

Technical Details

Introduced:
Driving Wheel:
Bogie Wheel:
Total Weight:
Water Capacity:
Cylinders (2):
Boiler Pressure:
Tractive Effort:
Coal Capacity:
January 1901
6 ft 8 ins
3 ft 7 ins
50 tons 0 cwt
3,300 gals *
19 in x 26 in
175 lb sq in
17,500 lb
4 tons 10 cwt
* Last eleven (built 1906 & 1907): 3,450 gals

Data

The SECR was, if anything, the worst of the Southern Companies when it came to numbering locomotive classes out of consecutive order and the D Class was no exception! The following table is set out in order of build:
SECR Nº
727
726
728
729
730
731
732
733
734
735
736
737
738
739
740
246
57
487
488
490
75
92
145
247
489
492
494
493
501
502
741
742
743
744
745
746
747
748
749
750
470
509
545
549
577
477
496
505
574
586
591
Builder
Sharp Stewart
Sharp Stewart
Sharp Stewart
Sharp Stewart
Sharp Stewart
Sharp Stewart
Sharp Stewart
Sharp Stewart
Sharp Stewart
Sharp Stewart
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Dübs & Co
Dübs & Co
Dübs & Co
Dübs & Co
Dübs & Co
Dübs & Co
Dübs & Co
Dübs & Co
Dübs & Co
Dübs & Co
Stephenson & Co
Stephenson & Co
Stephenson & Co
Stephenson & Co
Stephenson & Co
Vulcan Foundry
Vulcan Foundry
Vulcan Foundry
Vulcan Foundry
Vulcan Foundry
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford
SR Nº #
-
1726
1728
1729
1730
1731
1732
1733
1734
-
-
1737
1738
-
1740
-
1057
-
1488
1490
1075
1092
-
-
-
-
-
1493
1501
-
-
1742
-
1744
-
1746
-
1748
-
1750
-
-
-
1549
1577
1477
1496
-
1574
1586
1591
BR Nº
-
-
31728
31729
31730
31731
31732
31733
31734
-
-
31737
31738
-
31740
-
31057
-
31488
31490
31075
31092
-
-
-
-
-
31493
31501
-
-
-
-
31744
-
31746
-
31748
-
31750
-
-
-
31549
31577
31477
31496
-
31574
31586
31591
Built:
Jan 1901
Feb 1901
Feb 1901
Feb 1901
Mar 1901
Mar 1901
Mar 1901
Apr 1901
Apr 1901
Nov 1901
Dec 1901
Dec 1901
Jan 1902
Jan 1902
Feb 1902
Jun 1902
Jul 1902
Jul 1902
Aug 1902
Sep 1902
Mar 1903
Mar 1903
Apr 1903
Apr 1903
Apr 1903
Apr 1903
Apr 1903
May 1903
May 1903
May 1903
Mar 1903
Apr 1903
Apr 1903
May 1903
Jun 1903
Aug 1903
Aug 1903
Aug 1903
? 1903
Oct 1903
Aug 1906
Sep 1906
Sep 1906
Sep 1906
Sep 1906
Mar 1907
Mar 1907
Feb 1907
Feb 1907
Feb 1907
Mar 1907
Rebuilt as D1 *
1923 A
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1921 BP
1927 A
-
-
1927 A
-
1921 BP
-
1921 BP
-
-
-
-
1923 A
1921 BP
1921 BP
1927 A
1921 BP
-
-
1921 BP
1927 A
-
1927 A
-
1927 A
-
1921 BP
-
1921 BP
-
1926 A
1927 A
1921 BP
-
-
-
-
1927 A
-
-
-
Withdrawn
-
Nov 1947
Apr 1953
Apr 1954
Mar 1951
May 1951
Aug 1951
Nov 1953
Oct 1955
-
-
Nov 1956 §
Sep 1950
-
Mar 1951
-
Mar 1951
-
Feb 1956
Aug 1951
Dec 1956
Jun 1951
-
-
-
-
-
Jan 1954
Mar 1953
-
-
Oct 1944
-
Apr 1953
-
Dec 1954
-
Mar 1951
-
Feb 1953
-
-
-
Oct 1956
Dec 1956
Jan 1951
Aug 1955
-
Oct 1956
Sep 1955
May 1955

# Between 1923 and 1928 SR numbers were the SECR numbers with the added prefix 'A'
* A - Rebuilt at Ashford, BP - Rebuilt by Beyer, Peacock.
§ - Preserved at National railway Museum.

This page was last updated 7 July 2020

SR Target