C Class 0-6-0 1294 Southern Railway Black (Sunshine)
Built: 1900 – 1908
Built for: SE&CR (absorbed by the SR)
Designed by: Harry Wainwright
Duties: mixed traffic
Ideal for use with our Birdcage Coaches
• Fully detailed and decorated cab interior
• Adjustable tender draw-bar length
• Sprung buffers
• Hinged tender fall-plate
The end of the 19th century saw the formation of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway, uniting the South Eastern Railway and the London Chatham & Dover Railway under one managing committee. Following the inauguration of its new Locomotive and Carriage Superintendent, Harry Wainwright, a project was begun to replace the small and ailing locomotives of the constituent railways with larger and more powerful machines. The C Class was created as the new railway’s statement goods locomotive, and 109 were constructed between 1900 and 1908. Although used primarily for freight duties, the C Class locomotives were also occasionally engaged in passenger work when required, often for Kent ‘hop pickers’ services.
Simple yet robust in construct, the C Class locomotives proved to be a notable success. They gave little trouble in service, achieved good speed and, for engines of a 0-6-0 wheel arrangement, provided a surprisingly comfortable ride. These qualities contributed to a long working life, with all but two of the locomotives surviving into BR ownership and many lasting until the electrification of the Kent Coast in 1959-60. Withdrawals began in 1953 and accelerated during the electrification project.
One locomotive from the class – 592 (Southern Railway 1592, BR 31592) – has been preserved and can be seen on the Bluebell Railway.