What’s in the Shops: Eight beats to the bar!

Nigel Burkin reviews a completely new OO-gauge model of the Southern Railway’s four-cylinder ‘Lord Nelson’ express passenger 4-6-0s that has now arrived in the shops from Hornby 

Reputed to be a difficult class of locomotive to fire, the Southern Railway’s Maunsell-designed ‘Lord Nelson’ (LN) 4-6-0s were constructed to haul the heavier cross-Channel passenger trains between London Victoria, Dover and Folkestone envisaged by the SR’s operating department.

Sixteen locomotives, numbered 850-865 (each initially with an ‘E’ prefix) were built at Eastleigh works between 1926 and 1929, with particular care being taken to keep their weight to a minimum to reduce the impact on trackwork, a particularly important consideration at Channel port terminals. 

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This side view of the locomotive shows off its pristine lined olive green livery.

They were a departure from the more conventional two-cylinder locomotives operating on the Southern Railway at the time in having four cylinders divided between the front and middle coupled axles to improve weight distribution to meet the demands of the Southern Railway’s lighter axle loadings.

Another documented feature was the 135-degree crank angle instead of the more conventional 90-degree angle which, when combined with the cylinder arrangement, further reduced the locomotive’s impact on the track and gave eight exhaust beats to each revolution of the driving wheels.

For the full article and to view more images, see the April 2019 edition of Modelling – available now!

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For a complete list of stockists and how to get your copy, visit: www.railwaymagazinemodelling.co.uk/distributors

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About the Author

Sam Hewitt