Built for the LSWR as class 415 these engines represented an enlargement of earlier locomotives designed for the LSWRs rapidly growing London suburban and outer suburban traffic. The well-balanced design is considered a classic of British locomotive engineering, featuring 4 driving wheels with a 4-wheel leading bogie to guide the locomotive into curves at speed and a more rigid radial trailing axle allowing a large bunker to be accomodated. The first of 71 locomotives entered service in 1882, but the ever growing train weights saw them replaced with the still larger M7 0-4-4 tanks (modelled by Hornby) from 1897. Like their predecessors the 415 class Radials migrated to lighter duties on country branches and during WW1 some surplus engines were loaned or sold on, the military authorities sending them to depots, supply dumps and deploying them to other railways short of locomotives, including the Highland Railway in Scotland!
The last 'radials' were still active until 1962, working the Lyme Regis branch, where the fleet included LSWR number 488, BR 30583, which had been sold to the Army and purchased back by the Southern from the East Kent Railway in 1946 to supplement the fleet.
Still carrying an original pattern boiler 488/30583 was purchased for preservation on the Bluebell Railway.
Model Specifications and Features :
- 5 Pole skew wound motor
- DCC Ready - 8 Pin decoder required for DCC operation
- Geared for slow running and prototypical operation
- Sprung Buffers
- Detailed Cab Interior
- Weighted Chassis for extra pulling power
- All over spray painted finish with precision printing
- NEM couplings pockets
- Pickups on all the wheels
- 1:76 Scale