In order to cope with the steadily increasing weight of express passenger traffic on the Southern Railway in the early years of Grouping, Richard Maunsell, the Chief Mechanical Officer, needed a locomotive that was more powerful than the King Arthur class, but one that would still conform to the various gauging and weight issues within the region and still be capable of hauling 500 ton trains at a speed of 55mph.The new Lord Nelson design had to fit within the profile of the King Arthur class and having previously used a Drummond four cylinder locomotive as a test bed, Maunsell altered the positions of the cranks on the Lord Nelson design to give eight exhaust pulses per revolution, rather than four.
Although areas for improvement were noted, there was enough confidence in the locomotive’s design for a further fifteen engines to be ordered; ten on March 13, 1927 and a further five on March 23, 1928. These locomotives were completed at Eastleigh between June 1928 and November 1929 and once the decision was taken to name the class after naval leaders, the Southern Railway’s publicity department went to work promoting the introduction, basing their claim of the class being “the most powerful express locomotive in Britain” on the theoretical tractive power of 33,300lbf.
Technical Specification & Detail
||Era 4 (1948 - 1956)
||Early BR, Lined Green
||2nd Radius + (438mm)
||5 Pole Skew Wound. Loco Drive