This book is one in the Pen & Sword Transport History imprint in the Locomotive Portfolio series and covers the family of two-cylinder 4-6-0s designed and built by the Chief Mechanical Engineers of the London & South Western and Southern Railways between 1914 and 1936, which survived well into the era of British Railways. The N15 King Arthur class of express passenger engines were the mainstay of the Southern Railways passenger business between the two world wars, but both Robert Urie and Richard Maunsell built mixed traffic and freight locomotives of a similar ilk forming a King Arthur family of locomotives for all purposes that were simple, robust and long lived. This book describes the conception, design and construction of the N15, H15 and S15 classes and the N15X rebuilds of the LB&SCR Baltic Tanks and their operation in traffic before and after the Second World War, until the withdrawal of the last Maunsell 4-6-0 in 1965. The book includes extensive personal recollections of the author, who both saw and travelled on hundreds of trains hauled by many of these engines in the 1950s and 60s, and gives a brief summary of those that have been preserved on Britains heritage railways. The book is copiously illustrated with over 200 black and white and colour illustrations.
The Lord Nelson Class has come to be viewed as an ‘also ran’ amongst express locomotives and is largely overlooked for that reason. It had the misfortune to be sandwiched on Southern metals between the classic and much revered King Arthurs and Schools and by Bullied’s controversial Pacifics. In such company any design might suffer by comparison. And yet when first appearing they attracted plaudits from railway professionals, including the footplate crew, and the public alike. But with only 16 being built their impact was muted and any faults in their design were magnified beyond their actual impact. In truth they deserved far better than this and were, in fact sturdy, reliable performers that served the company well on the heavy boat trains for which they were designed and across their other passenger services for 30 years and more in peace and war. Much has been written about these locomotives but no story is ever complete, with new information and photographs emerging to deepen our understanding of them. This book provides an in depth view that re-examines these impressive engines using, new material, eye witness accounts, contemporary assessments and more than 200 photographs and drawings.