Our model of the Week is certainly one of the favourites of the Locoyard fleet. Today we look at the history behind the prototype that Bachmann based this fabulous model on (click here for the model review) – South Eastern and Chatham Railway C class 592.
592 was one of 109 C class locomotives built by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SE&CR) under Chief Mechanical Engineer Harry Wainwright. 592 was constructed in Ashford, Kent and was finished in the SE&CR’s elaborate and beautiful lined green livery. The C class was the railway’s standard goods locomotive class that was designed after the company’s formation after the amalgamation of the SER and the LCDR in 1899.
With the exception of two accidents (that were not the fault of the type); the C class were very successful in their primary role, although it wasn’t unknown for them to also be used on passenger duties. They served the Southern Railway well after grouping, with all but three surviving until nationalisation in 1948. However, most of them were by that point, in poor condition, as a result of being worked very hard during the second world war.
Withdrawals started in 1953 and accelerated due to the Kent coast electrification in 1959-60. Numbered 31592 by BR, this locomotive was one of three members of the class (the others being 31271 and 31280) to live a little longer and survive until 1966 as Departmental Shunters at Ashford Works. By this time, the Wainwright ‘C’ Preservation Society that was formed in 1962 had raised enough funds to purchase 31592 and save it from the scrapyard.
The preserved locomotive was kept at Ashford until 1970, when it was moved to it’s current home – the Bluebell Railway in Sussex. It first entered service on the Bluebell Railway in 1975 and has since had another two overhauls completed. The first of these overhauls saw 592 enter service in 1994, making use of a spare tender that had been obtained in Folkestone and the second in 2007 that wouldn’t have been possible without a spare boiler being obtained from a stationary boiler from Ashford. 592 is currently in working order and is regularly rostered to service at the Bluebell Railway, painted in it’s stunning lined green SE&CR livery.
Don’t forget the history of many other locomotive prototypes of the locoyard model fleet can be found by clicking on the “Prototype Info” links on the Loco Models page (click here for more). Thanks for reading 🙂