John Speller's Web Pages South Eastern Railway Locomotives

John Speller's Web Pages - SE&CR
South Eastern Railway Locomotives Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
The South Eastern Railway had rather a poor reputation for speed, but this was probably more due to track and timetabling problems than to the locomotives which were among the finest on any railway. James l'Anson Cudworth (1817-1899) was appointed Locomotive Superintendent on the abolition of the Brighton, Croydon & Dover Joint Committee in 1846, and was responsible for establishing the locomotive works at Ashford. He retired in 1876 and was succeeded briefly by Alfred Mellor Watkin, a Director of the South Eastern Railway and son of the redoubtable Chairman, Sir Edward Watkin. James Stirling (1835-1917), who then took over, was son of the Rev. Robert Stirling of "Stirling Cycle" fame. James Stirling had previously made a mark for himself as the forward-looking Locomotive Superintendent of the Glasgow & South Western Railway. Like his brother Patrick Stirling on the Great Northern and his nephew Matthew on the Hull & Barnsley he favored ample domeless boilers and his locomotives were among the most powerful of their day. So widely were his designs admired, indeed, that the Metropolitan Railway had Neilson & Co. build four 0-4-4T locomotives to Stirling's "Q" Class design; these became the Metropolitan Railway's "C" Class. Stirling retired in 1898, and was succeeded by his Carriage & Wagon Superintendent, Harry Wainwright, the first Locomotive Superintendent of the South Eastern & Chatham Railways Joint Committee, in 1899.
6 ft. 6 in. Cudworth 2-4-0 No. 259, built by the Avonside Engine Co. in 1876
James Stirling 7 ft. 0 in. "F" Class 4-4-0 No. 240, which won the Gold Medal at the Paris Exposition of 1889
Cudworth 0-4-4 tank No. 241 the first 0-4-4 in Britain as fitted with a Stirling domeless boiler in 1881
James Stirling's 5 ft. 2 in. "Standard Goods" 0-6-0
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