What’s in the Shops: SE&CR’s Wainwright ‘C’ from Graham Farish

Graham Farish has released a brand new N-gauge model of Wainwright’s C Class 0-6-0 that was designed as a standard freight engine for the South Eastern and Chatham Railway. 

Following the merger between the South Eastern Railway and the London, Chatham and Dover Railway to form the South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SE&CR), the successor company inherited a number of different locomotive designs that needed to be consolidated with standard designs. 

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After being appointed chief mechanical engineer for the SE&CR and undertaking trials with locomotives from each of the constituent companies in 1898, Harry Wainwright designed the C Class, a lightweight 0-6-0 tender freight locomotive.

The first examples were built in 1900, marking the start of a long construction period that lasted for eight years and resulted in 109 locomotives being built by several private contractors, the bulk of them (70 locomotives) at Ashford Works.   

They were numbered by the SE&CR in a seemingly random manner, and the Southern Railway added ‘1’ to each locomotive number. BR further changed things by adding a ‘3’ to the front of the SR number. For example, SE&CR No. 695 built in 1900 became SR No. 1695 and BR No. 31695. 

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The model is finished in unlined BR black with red buffer beams and numbers applied to the smokebox door.

One locomotive, SE&CR No. 685, was rebuilt as an S Class locomotive, leaving 108 examples in traffic by 1917. 

Primarily constructed as goods locomotives without train heating, the ‘Cs’ performed all manner of such duties over the SE&CR network and latterly spread their wings after the Southern Railway was formed.

The locomotives’ light weight made them useful for many of the lightly laid railways of the Southern Railway, and C Class locomotives also found work on passenger duties, primarily special trains such as hop-picker specials and excursion trains.

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Pictures show them coupled to ‘Birdcage’ stock, excellent models of which are produced by Bachmann under the Graham Farish label.

Their use on empty stock movements saw the last 12 C Class locomotives fitted with steam heating, and the remainder fitted retrospectively with steam train heating by the SR after 1923. 

Read more and view more images in the August issue of RMM – available now!

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