The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) A1/A1X class are a characterful steam locomotive type with happily an unusual number of nine survivors, made especially remarkable given that they were built 1872-1880. Their long lives were a result of them being lightweight and relatively powerful. They were used extensively on lightly laid railways that include the Isle of Wight network and they were the only class light enough to haul trains across the Hayling Island Bridge.
Terrier’s were so called for their small size and unusual bark, the latter being a fond memory of mine. I could often hear terriers barking up Tenterden Bank whilst growing up near the Kent and East Sussex Railway. One of the ten survivors, no. 662 (formally numbered/named 62 Martello) resides at Bressingham Steam Museum. Martello was built in 1875 at Brighton Works as a class A1. In 1912 it was modified to A1X status that involved fitting a new boiler and removal of the condensing pipes – one of the more noticeable visual changes. It operated until withdrawal in 1963 and was saved for display at Butlin’s holiday camp in Ayr before moving on to Bressingham. Martello has operated in preservation and visited a number of heritage railways. The Museum aim to return Martello back to working order by 2016 and have set up an appeal that we are very happy to support – so if you can, please donate! More information of the Martello Restoration fund and how to donate can be found by clicking on their web link here.
Special thanks go to Phillip Rooke of Bressingham Steam Museum for allowing us to use the above photograph of 662, taken some years ago wearing the distinctive LBSCR umber livery. Thanks for reading!