Steam locomotive, No 33001, Q1 Class, 0-6-0, Southern Railway, designed by O V Bulleid, built at Brighton in 1942, withdrawn in 1964. Weight: 51.25 tons; length 54 feet, 10 ½ inches; driving wheel diameter: 5 feet, 1 inch (according to H C Casserley).
This distinctive austerity locomotive was built during the Second World War to pull freight services on the Southern Railway network. C1 is the prototype of the Q1 class, a total of forty Q1 locomotives were built – the most powerful 0-6-0 British tender locomotives ever built.
Oliver Bulleid incorporated a number of innovative designs in order to produce a highly functional locomotive. Wartime austerity demanded functionality over style and appearance. Weight was saved wherever possible, which is why C1 does not have running boards over the wheels. The weight saved enabled a larger boiler to be incorporated into the design.
On seeing a photograph of a Q1 class locomotive William Stanier (Chief Mechanical Engineer of London Midland and Scottish Railway) is reputed to have asked, “where’s the key?”
During the Second World War the Q1s proved to be an invaluable addition to Southern Railway’s fleet. So much so, that they all remained in service until the 1960s, long after they were intended to cease operation.
C1 was preserved for the National Collection in 1964. It was then based at Bluebell Railway in Sussex between 1977 and 2004. In 1980 the engine received an intermediate overhaul and C1 was returned to traffic, running regularly until September 1983.