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Query Corner

Q11.29. Southern Region locomotive numbering

Was there a particular reason why British Railways did not take the opportunity to restructure the chaotic numbering of Southern Railway locomotives at nationalisation?

(MP:21815)

Answers

I started as a “spotter” at my then home town of Tonbridge Kent in August 1944. By 1948, I joined the R.C.T.S. and considered myself to be an enthusiast, I, and all the local enginemen were completely familiar with the “jumbled” system of numbers that had existed, particularly on the Eastern Section since SECR days. We all knew that 1004 was a C class 0-6-0, 1005 an H class 0-4-4T, 1010 An R1 Class 0-6-0T and 1016 another H class 0-4-4T. Consequently why go to the trouble of completely renumbering in order. Do not forget the complications that had occurred only a year or two earlier when the LNER had reorganised and renumbered their loco fleet. I do not think BR Southern Region even entertained an idea of such renumbering. (BIF:3756)

Further to the previous answer, there was a certain amount of re-numbering by BR(SR), notably the Bulleids and the old LSWR duplicates in the 3xxx series. This number series was to be used by the Bulleid Q1s (33001-40) so the remaining Adams 0395s, Adams Radials, Beattie Well Tanks and the two Drummond C14s in capital stock were renumbered between 30564 to 30589, using numbers vacated by withdrawn Adams 'Jubilees'. Of course, the MNs and Light Pacifics had their 21C numbers replaced by conventional numbers in the 35xxx and 34xxx ranges. (JE)

last updated: 18/01/12