Running number: 1324
The H Class was Harry Wainwright’s solution to updating the ageing 2-4-0 and 0-4-2T stock running on the South Eastern and Chatham Railway at the turn of the 20th century and was very much a development of Kirtley’s R Class and subsequent R1 design. Sixty six locomotives were built by Ashford Works, with No.540 being the first engine delivered on November 7, 1904 and No.184 the last, in April 1915.
Initially spread across the SECR region, from Bricklayers Arms down to Hastings and Ramsgate and various sheds in between, the engines operated on short haul suburban services such as Orpington and Tonbridge into the London termini, as well as from the coastal towns to Ashford and Tonbridge. Allocations and duties stayed fairly constant through to Grouping in 1923, with the addition of Reading-Redhill Branch services and the operation of semi-fast trains from Maidstone East into London Victoria during 1918/19. Following Grouping, services expanded to include East Grinstead, Horsham, Eastbourne and Brighton.
Locomotive No.1324 was built at Ashford Works in May 1907, entering traffic as No.324 at Ashford. In 1924, now at Tonbridge, the locomotive provided through train services between the Eastern and Central sections of the Southern Railway, an unusual event for the time, but one that became commonplace. Renumbered as No.31324 under British Railways, the locomotive was withdrawn from Three Bridges in July 1962.
Technical Specification & Detail