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SR Maunsell Q class 0-6-0

photograph by Keith Harwood

Nº30549 in Three Bridges yard. Behind is N Class Nº31833.

Richard Maunsell's last design for the Southern Railway, and the Southern's first own 0-6-0 design, was to meet the requirement of a replacement for a number of ageing pre-Grouping 0-6-0 goods classes which had remained to serve on various secondary routes and branches from which heavier and more powerful engines were barred. It was very much an expediency and did not form part of his envisaged standard range of locomotives, though the design did use parts in common with the N Class 2-6-0 and L1 class 4-4-0. In fact the first sample did not appear in 1938 until after Maunsell had retired and Oliver Bulleid had taken over as his successor. Bulleid was reported to have been appalled that what was essentially a Victorian design had been constructed and had he arrived earlier he would have stopped its production. However his response was perhaps an over-reaction because in reality the Q class proved to be an inexpensive and useful type with a wide route availability which fulfilled its intentionally modest remit well. Indeed being fitted with vacuum brake and steam heating connections they could work light passenger duties and when called to do so with their 5ft 1in drivers they could be relied upon for some sprightly running!

The superheated boiler, which had a maximum working pressure of 200 p.s.i., fed two 19in by 26in inside cylinders which drove a solid crank axle. Tractive effort at 85% working pressure was 26,157 lb. Stephenson's link motion, an Ashford type steam reverser and Ross pop safety valves were fitted. The total engine weight was no more than forty nine and a half tons with the maximum axle load being a modest eighteen tons.

Twenty engines were constructed in total, numbers 530-540 in 1938 at Eastleigh and numbers 541-549 in 1939, again at Eastleigh. The order for the Q Class also included for the build of 4000 gallon tenders but these were subsequently fitted to N (1407 to 1414 ) and U class (Nos 1610 - 1629) locomotives and their original 3500 gallon tenders were then paired with the new Q class locomotives.

Bulleid subsequently improved the draughting performance of some of the class by fitting a multiple jet blastpipe and BR also later had a go by fitting an improved single blastpipe. In BR days at least six of the class received BR standard class 4 chimneys.

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  • 30536
    Nº30536 photographed at Eastleigh on 23rd August 1950.
    Photograph by Les Darbyshire.
  • 30548
    Q Class Nº305548 in the engine sidings near Bournemouth Central shed during the mid to late fifties.
    Photograph by Alan Morton.
  • 30531
    Nº30531 with the LCGB "The Hayling Farewell" Rail Tour on 3rd November 1963. Q class 0-6-0s Nº30531 and Nº30543 at Havant prior to taking their charge to Chichester and points east.
    Photograph: A. E. Durrant/Mike Morant collection.
  • 30543
    Nº30543 simmers in the sun at Redhill on 28th August 1964.
    Photograph by Keith Harwood.
  • 30531
    Three Bridges
    Nº30531 in Three Bridges yard. Note the large diameter chimney.
    Photograph by Keith Harwood.
  • 30547
    Nº30547 on shed at Horsham.
    Photograph by Keith Harwood.
  • 30543
    Passenger trains on the Redhill to Reading line were usually worked by Maunsell U Class or N Class 2-6-0s, although standard locomotives were also seen regularly. Occasionally freight engines took a turn on passenger duties and Q class Nº30543 is seen here at Betchworth with a 3 coach Bulleid set, heading for Guildford and Reading on 28th August 1964.
    Photograph by Keith Harwood.
  • 30538
    Nº30538 on the up through road at Redhill, with L Class Nº31762 in the down platform, date unknown.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 30544
    East Grinstead
    Nº30544 double heading a goods train with an unidentified single-domed C2X class about to enter the platform at East Grinstead's high level station. Date unknown.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 30544
    The same train as in the previous photograph now seen entering Rowfant station.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 30547
    Three Bridges
    Nº30547, with safety valves lifting, at Three Bridges in 1965.
    Photograph by John Bradbeer.
  • 30532
    Nº30532 waiting to depart from Lymington Pier with a through train to Waterloo which it will work as far as Brockenhurst. Date unknown.
    Photograph by Nigel Brodrick.
  • 541
    The sole survivor of the class, Nº541, now owned by the Maunsell Locomotive Society, passing Three Arch Bridge on the Bluebell Railway.
    Photograph by Paul Booth, courtesy of the Maunsell Locomotive Society.

Technical Details

Driving Wheel:
Total Weight:
Water Capacity:
Cylinders (2):
Boiler Pressure:
Tractive Effort:
Coal Capacity:
Power Classification:
5 ft 1 ins
53 ft 9½ ins
90 tons 0 cwt
3,500 gals
19 in x 26 in
200 lb sq in
26,157 lb
5 ton 0 cwt


SR Nº BR Nº Built Withdrawn
530 30530 Jan 1938 Dec 1964
531 30531 Jun 1938 Jul 1964
532 30532 Jun 1938 Jan 1964
533 30533 Jul 1938 Mar 1963
534 30534 Aug 1938 Dec 1962
535 30535 Sep 1938 Apr 1965
536 30536 Oct 1938 Jan 1964
537 30537 Oct 1938 Jan 1962
538 30538 Nov 1938 Jul 1963
539 30539 Dec 1938 Jan 1963
540 30540 Dec 1938 Nov 1962
541 30541 Jan 1939 Nov 1964 *
542 30542 Feb 1939 Dec 1964
543 30543 Mar 1939 Dec 1964
544 30544 Apr 1939 Jan 1964
545 30545 Jun 1939 May 1965
546 30546 Jun 1939 May 1964
547 30547 Jul 1939 Jan 1964
548 30548 Aug 1939 Mar 1965
549 30549 Sep 1939 Jul 1963
*  Preserved on the Bluebell Railway

This page was last updated 25 March 2021

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