Southern Railway "Lord Nelson"

1926 in Eastleigh railway works
Southern Railway
R E L Maunsell

Steam locomotive, Southern Railway, Lord Nelson class 4-6-0 No E850 "Lord Nelson", designed by R.E.L. Maunsell, built at Eastleigh in 1926, withdrawn in 1962.

The Southern Railway Lord Nelson class is a 4-6-0 steam locomotive designed by Richard Maunsell in 1926. Each locomotive was named after famous Royal Navy admirals.

E850 Lord Nelson was the first of this class to be built, and was ordered from Eastleigh railway works in 1925, entering service in 1926. It was the prototype for the class and was successful enough for a second order of ten more locomotives to be placed for delivery in 1928-1929.

The Lord Nelson class did not perform as well as hoped, so Maunsell undertook a series of alterations and experiments in order to improve their performance. Smoke deflectors were added, and there were alterations in driving wheel diameter on some of the locomotives. Eventually, under the oversight of Maunsell’s replacement as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Southern Railway in 1938, Oliver Bulleid, the problem was solved. Bulleid fitted larger chimneys and new blastpipes, which vastly improved their performance.

The class was gradually superseded by the Bulleid Pacifics, particularly when these were rebuilt in the 1950s to become more powerful, and the Lord Nelson class was gradually phased out. By 1962 the entire class had been withdrawn.

Lord Nelson became part of the National Collection and is the only surviving member of its class.

Related people


Locomotives and Rolling Stock
Object Number:
steam locomotive
  • vehicles and vehicle components
  • vehicle
  • locomotive
British Rail, Historical Relics

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