Designed by Maunsell, built at Brighton, these engines first saw light of day in 1929, thanks to the ‘Great Depression’ of 1930 only 8 were built, though the intention was to build more. The Z class 0-8-0s were a bit of a hotch-potch utilising, as they did, a ‘standard’ Marsh C 3 class boiler, and having 3 cylinders with a ‘novel / one-off’ design for the inside cylinder motion. However, they did prove reasonably successful and lasted into the 1960s, finishing their days on banking duties between Exeter Central and Exeter St.Davids.
When new the Z class were used on heavy shunting duties and inter-yard movements in the London area around Hither Green and Norwood Jct, they also did similar work at Eastleigh and Exmouth. During my own time on the Southern I visited all these depots, Hither Green and Norwood Jct, during my brief spell at 72A Stewarts Lane, the others whilst I was at 70A Nine Elms. The visit to Exmouth was on 28th February 1965 when I worked the LCGB’s East Devon Rail tour, running Yeovil non-stop.
During WWII, in 1942, three of the Z class were sent to Scotland where they remind for six months, ‘helping the war effort’. In 1955 No.30955 was allocated to 74A Ashford, in 1960 she moved to Exmouth and she is seen here at Exeter, waiting for her next duty.
I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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