SECR L Class

photograph: Mike Morant collection

L Class Nº1762 on shed at St Leonards during Southern Railway days.

REL Maunsell's appointment to the position of Chief Mechanical Engineer to the SECR co-incided with the need for a powerful express passenger engine brought about by the strengthening of the company's main line. Preparation of the plans had started under Wainwright, but on his arrival Maunsell was able to make a number of changes to them including the fitting of a "Maunsell" chimney and a larger cab roof, extending to the rear of the footplate and supported on round pillars. The first twelve engines of the class were built by Beyer, Peacock and Co. of Manchester but as the SECR required 22 for the summer of 1914, and Beyer, Peacock were unable to fulfill the order within the timescale, ten were built in Germany by A Borsig of Berlin. Fortunately these ten engines were delivered in June and July 1914, otherwise they might not have arrived at all! These were in main line service by August of that year, with the Beyer, Peacock twelve in service a couple of months later.

All the locos were fitted with Belpaire fireboxes with the British-built ones having Robinson superheaters and the German-built ones Schmidt superheaters. These ten were the first and last German express locomotives built for a British railway, although there were lesser locos and, subsequently, railcars. Shipped to Dover in separate pieces, the frames and boilers were erected at Ashford by Borsig's own workers.

One of the Borsig engines, Nº772 on shed in SECR days.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

780 Nº780 photographed at an unknown location.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

Nº776 in Orpington Up Main platform shortly before electrification.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

1764 Nº1764 in charge of a passenger train.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

Nº1773 at Ashford during 1934.

photograph: Mike Morant collection


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This page was last updated 30 April 2011

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