The Southern Railway 'Lord Nelson' 4-6-0s

During the 1920s the Southern Railway identified a requirement for a powerful yet fast locomotive for use on its continental boat train services, and this was to lead to the development of the ‘Lord Nelson’ class, a design that perhaps never really lived up to its full potential. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES takes up the story.

Lord Nelson Class
Above: SR ‘Lord Nelson’ 4-6-0 855 Robert Blake passes Knockholt with the down ‘Golden Arrow’ on August 27 1936. The locomotive has now gained smoke deflectors, but is yet to receive the post-1937 self-trimming tender. O.J. Morris/Rail Archive Stephenson.

IN THE THIRD decade of the 20th century Britain was a country undergoing a vast amount of change. The horrors of the First World War were beginning to recede into the past, the years of austerity were over and there was a new optimism amongst the young. The country’s rigid class society was beginning to break down and the middle if not the working classes had more wealth than ever before.

One re

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