Known by their nick-name of Charlies this class of locomotives was designed as a wartime economy locomotive by Bulleid, making use of already existing patterns for many of their parts, as goods locomotives intended only for a short life. This locomotive was the first of the class.
Although the same weight as the Q-class, their predecessors, they were 50 per-cent more powerful, and proved to be fine machines, lasting much longer than originally intended. Considered ugly by many, they were and are very popular with enthusiasts.
It represents the final version of the goods 0-6-0 development on the Southern Railway (and for that matter, in the world) which can be traced through the examples preserved on the Bluebell Railway of the SER O- and O1-class, through the SECR C-class and SR Q-class designs.
Right: C1 passes over New Road Bridge on the approach to Horsted Keynes with a mixed goods train on 11 April 1994 (Mike Esau)
This is the sole survivor of the design, and was restored to working order by the Bluebell on two separate occasions under successive agreements between the NRM and the Bluebell Railway and the Bulleid Society.
It was initially expected to wait its turn in the overhaul queue and enter the works in maybe 1982, but with the locomotive in relatively good condition, it was given to our apprentices in early 1980 as a challenge, which they rose to with a return to service on 14 September 1980, painted as No. 33001 with the early BR crest. It was well used for two and a half years, but ran little in 1983, being withdrawn for major work.
In June 1987 a renewed agreement with the NRM was agreed. Work started immediately with the locomotive dismantled, and the wheelsets sent to Swindon for attention. By April 1991 the frames were re-wheeled, and the boiler and tender overhauled, with the boiler lifted into its frames in June 1992, leading to a return to service on 9 September 1992, presented in its original condition as SOUTHERN C1.
It temporarily carried the early crest and BR number for a '26D Rail Recreations' photo charter on 5 June 1999, but was subsequently repainted into BR livery with the later emblem for the Winter Steam-up special event in February 2000, and ran as such until coming out of traffic that summer.
Left: Already in BR Livery for the Winter Steam-up event, the Q1 is seen approaching New Road Bridge during a 'Steam Recreations' photographic charter on 11 February 2000 (Mike Esau)
In 2004 it was apparent that there was not a
slot in the forseeable future for the Q1 to be overhauled in the Bluebell's
workshop, and we also currently have a shortage of undercover storage space. Thus when the NRM asked if the Bluebell would be prepared to
let the loco return to York for display after Railfest, the Railway readily agreed. The NRM wished to have the loco in York for two reasons; it has very few locos relating to the second world war and even fewer
of the 0-6-0 wheel arrangement. After the departure of exhibits to
Shildon there was room in the Great Hall to display her (as seen below in Richard Salmon's photo).
The NRM have indicated that the loco could return to Sussex in the future for display or another term of running. As C1 had been at Bluebell for 27 years and never been on display at the NRM it was expected
that it would attract a large amount of interest at Railfest in May/June 2004.
Over its last few weeks on the Bluebell a concerted effort was made to prepare the Q1 for the event at York by a small team from the loco department.
The Southern E-mail Group (SEmG) has four pages of information and photos of Q1s.
John Russell has a large number of photos of this loco taken on 13 September 1998.
Class Introduced: 1942
Designer: Oliver Bulleid
Built: March 1942 at Brighton Works
Purpose: Wartime goods traffic
Total number built: 40
Numbers carried: C1, 33001
Withdrawn from BR service: May 1964
Arrived on Bluebell Railway: 15 May 1977
Left Bluebell: 4 May 2004
Above right: when new, at Brighton on 26 March 1942 (collection of the late Harold Roy Pettit)
Below right: on display at the National Railway Museum in York on 8 November 2013 (Richard Salmon)
Length: 54ft 10.5in overall
Weight: 89 tons 5 cwt
Water capacity: 3,700 gallons
Coal capacity: 5 tons
Boiler pressure: 230 lb/sq.in.
Driving wheels: 5ft 1in diameter
Cylinders: (2, inside) 19" x 26"
Tractive effort: 30,080 lbs
BR power classification: 5F
Owner: National Railway
Museum (on loan to Bluebell 1977-2004)
First operational period at the Bluebell: 14 September 1980 to Spring 1983
Second operational period: 9 September 1992 to Summer 2000