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LSWR Urie/Maunsell S15 class 4-6-0

photograph by Keith Harwood

S15 Class Nº30840 and sister engine at Feltham during 1963

The S15 was the third of Robert Urie's 4-6-0 designs for the LSWR. (the other two being the H15 and the N15). Twenty were built at Nine Elms in 1920. Their appearance is very similar the N15 class and they shared many components including the 180 lb per sq in boiler and tender designs. Being designed for heavy goods work they had 5 ft 7 in diameter drivers and cylinders of 21 in diameter. Originally fitted with the Eastleigh superheater, these were replaced by ones of the Maunsell design between 1927 and 1932.

Nº515 had the distinction of twice being converted to oil firing, once in 1921 and once in 1926. On both occasions, though, she was restired to coal firing.

Like their contemporaries the N15s further batches were built by the Southern Railway under the auspices of Richard Maunsell, and these builds also incorporated the revised front end and cab designs applied to the N15s, with the higher boiler pressure of 200 lb per sq in. Fifteen were built at Eastleigh in 1927/8 and a further ten in 1936. The first Eastleigh batch included engines for use on the Eastern and Central sections and some were fitted with six wheeled tenders for use where there were small turntables. Like the N15s over time tenders were swapped around not only within the class but also with N15s, the Schools class (which received their six wheeled tenders) and with the Lord Nelson class. Smoke deflectors were fitted to all of the class during the mid 1930s.

During 1942 four engines (496-9) were on loan to the GWR and whilst on that railway had a GWR shed code stencilled on the angle iron.

The modified design provided an excellent goods engine and they were best known for working heavy night express goods trains between Exeter and Nine Elms and Southampton and Nine Elms. They were also adaptable and were capable of putting up a creditable performance when pressed into passenger service during peak holiday periods. They outlived the King Arthur class, first withdrawals were in 1962 and the final members of the class were still in regular service in 1965. The last withdrawal, 30837, was in 1966. This had officially been withdrawn in 1965 but was retained to work an enthusiasts' special. Two Urie and five Maunsell S15s have survived into preservation.

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  • S15
    Feltham
    This photograph, taken about 1922, shows an unidentified S15, probably at Nine Elms, though possibly Feltham. It was sent to us by Ray Harrington-Vail and shows his grandfather, Gilbert Vail, on the ground second from the left.
    Photograph: Ray Harrington-Vail collection.
  • Closer view
     
    A closer view of the personalities in the photograph!
    Gilbert Vail was born in 1901 and died in 1949 having lived most of his life in Surbiton. On leaving school at 14 he went to work as an apprentice on the LSWR where was passed out as a fireman before leaving the railway in the 1920s to train as a motor fitter with Leyland. The men on the engine are believed to be the driver and fireman of this particular locomotive.
    Is there any faint possibility that someone might know who the men other than Gilbert Vail are? Please advise the if you do.
    Photograph: Ray Harrington-Vail collection.
  • 30498
    Bournemouth
    S15 Class Nº30498 outside the engine shed at Bournemouth Central during the mid to late fifties.
    Photograph by Alan Morton.
  • 30500
    Eastleigh
    Urie S15 Nº30500 depicted at Eastleigh in April 1963 with an ex-works U class Nº3163x buffered up to it. What was chalked on the tender is a mystery as it just cannot be deciphered!
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 30847
    Feltham
    Nº30847, the last S15 and, indeed, the last 4-6-0 to be built by the Southern Railway, basks in the sun at Feltham. Initially an Exmouth Junction engine, 30847 moved to Salisbury in June 1951 and then to Redhill in July 1959 for 4 years before a final six months at Feltham. She is seen here in November 1963 not long before her withdrawal in January 1964. Now owned by the Maunsell Society, 30847 is based at the Bluebell Railway.
    Photograph by Keith Harwood.
  • 30512
    Alton
    Urie S15 4-6-0 Nº30512 with the LCGB "The Hayling Farewell Rail Tour" of 3rd November 1963, photographed at Alton.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 30838
    Raynes Park
    It was not unusual to see predominantly freight locomotives working passenger services on the South Western main line. Here S15 Nº30838 is seen heading west through Raynes Park with a train of Bulleid coaching stock on a service from Waterloo to Southampton Terminus on 26th September 1964.
    Photograph by Keith Harwood.
  • 30844
    Feltham
    Nº30844 at Feltham with
    Standard 4 Tank Nº80137 in front
    and an unidentified class 24 in the background.
    Photograph by Keith Harwood.
  • 30839
    Queens Rd
    Nº30839 at Queens Road, Battersea on 21st September 1965.
    Photograph by Ray Soper.
  • 30837
    Rail tour
    All spruced up in the snow - Nº30837 on an LCGB rail tour, the "S15 Commemorative Rail Tour", on 9th January 1966. This ran from Waterloo to Bentley behind Nº30837, then down the Borden branch and back behind U Class Nº31639 followed by Bentley - Eastleigh - Eastleigh Works - Eastleigh - Fareham - Havant - Waterloo behind Nº30837 again.
    Note the six-wheel tender, which is like a Schools class tender and quite different from the eight wheel ones.
    Photograph by .
  • 30837
    Eastleigh
    Nº30837 now has a second LCGB "S15 Commemorative Rail Tour" to haul which, unlike the first, was not in the snowy midst of winter! This ran on 16th January 1966 from Waterloo to Bentley behind Nº30837, down the Borden Branch and back behind Nº31639, then Bentley to Alton behind Nº30837, Alton to Eastleigh double-headed by Nº30837 and Nº31639, to Eastleigh works behind USA Tank Nº30073 and finally back to Waterloo behind Nº30837 once more.
    Photographed here at Eastleigh.
    Photograph by Tony Woodward.
  • 506
    Ropley yard
    The Mid Hants' S15 Nº506 seen here in SR Olive livery being worked on in Ropley Yard on 20th August 1987.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • 506
    Ropley
    Nº506 whilst running in SR black livery with "sunshine" lettering.  It is seen here departing Ropley with a service to Alton on 29th May 2000.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • 847
    Sheffield Park
    The out-of-boiler-ticket Maunsell S15 Nº847 outside the loco shed at Sheffield Park on 21st July 2001.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.
  • 847
    Motion
    The motion of Nº847, Sheffield Park on 21st July 2001.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.

Technical Details

Introduced:
Driving Wheel:
Trailing Wheel:
Length:
Weight:
Water Capacity:
Cylinders (2):
Boiler Pressure:
Tractive Effort:
Coal Capacity:
Power Classification:
March 1920
5 ft 7 ins
3 ft 7 in
65 ft 6¾ ins
36 tons 4 cwt
5,000 gals
20½ in x 28 in
180#/200# lb sq in
28,200#/29,855# lb
5 tons
6-F
# Urie locomotives.
# Maunsell locomotives.

Data

LSWR/SR Nº # BR Nº Date Built Maunsell S/H Withdrawn
496 30496 May 1921 Sep 1927 Jun 1963
497 30497 Mar 1920 Feb 1928 Jul 1963
498 30498 Apr 1920 Feb 1930 Jun 1963
499 30499 May 1920 Jun 1931 Jan 1964 §
500 30500 May 1920 Oct 1930 Jun 1963
501 30501 Jun 1920 Aug 1931 Jun 1963
502 30502 Jul 1920 Mar 1930 Nov 1962
503 30503 Aug 1920 May 1931 Jun 1963
504 30504 Sep 1920 Jan 1929 Nov 1962
505 30505 Oct 1920 Dec 1931 Nov 1962
506 30506 Oct 1920 Feb 1930 Jan 1964 §
507 30507 Nov 1920 Jan 1932 Dec 1963
508 30508 Dec 1920 Aug 1929 Dec 1963
509 30509 Dec 1920 Apr 1929 Jul 1963
510 30510 Jan 1921 Feb 1931 Jun 1963
511 30511 Jan 1921 Nov 1930 Jul 1963
512 30512 Feb 1921 Aug 1931 Mar 1964
513 30513 Mar 1921 May 1930 Mar 1963
514 30514 Mar 1921 May 1931 Jul 1963
515 30515 Apr 1921 Sep 1931 Jul 1963
823 30823 Mar 1927 - Nov 1964
824 30824 Mar 1927 - Sep 1965
825 30825 Apr 1927 - Jan 1964 §
826 30826 May 1927 - Nov 1962
827 30827 Jun 1927 - Jan 1964
828 30828 Jul 1927 - Jan 1964 §
829 30829 Jul 1927 - Nov 1963
830 30830 Aug 1927 - Jul 1964 §
831 30831 Sep 1927 - Nov 1963 §
832 30832 Oct 1927 - Jan 1964
833 ¶ 30833 Nov 1927 - May 1965
834 ¶ 30834 Nov 1927 <-/td> Nov 1964
835 ¶ 30835 Dec 1927 - Nov 1964
836 ¶ 30836 Dec 1927 - Jun 1964
837 ¶ 30837 Jan 1928 - Sep 1965
838 30838 May 1936 - Sep 1965
839 30839 May 1936 - Sep 1965
840 30840 Jun 1936 - Sep 1964
841 30841 Jul 1936 - Jan 1964
842 30842 Aug 1936 - Sep 1965
843 30843 Sep 1936 - Sep 1964
844 30844 Oct 1936 - Jun 1964
845 30845 Oct 1936 - Jul 1963
846 30846 Nov 1936 - Jul 1962
847 30847 Dec 1936 - Jan 9164 §
# 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!
¶ Fitted with six-wheel tenders for use on the Central Section
§ Preserved but not restored at East Lancs Railway
§ Preserved at the Mid-Hants Railway
§ Preserved at the North Yorks Moors Railway (830 not yet restored)
§ Preserved at the Bluebell Railway.

This page was last updated 25 March 2021

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