Steam locomotive and tender, No 737, Class D, 4-4-0, South Eastern & Chatham Railway, designed by H S Wainwright, built at Ashford in 1901, withdrawn in 1956. Fifty Class D 4-4-0s were built. Length over buffers 57'; width 8' 6"; weight: 50 tonnes; area 42.89m square. Driving wheel diameter 6 feet, 8 inches.
No. 737 is an excellent example of late Victorian/early Edwardian era locomotive engineering.
In total, fifty D class locomotives nicknamed ‘coppertops’ were originally built. By 1913 Richard Mausell (Chief Mechanical Engineer of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway from 1913-1923) had begun the rebuilding of twenty-one D Class locomotives with Belpaire fireboxes in order to produce the more powerful D1 class. No. 737 is the only D class locomotive to be preserved.
The locomotives appearance is of great interest; the styling and finish were part of a successful attempt to create a favourable impression on the public, the railway concerned being the recent result of a joint management agreement between two smaller railways - the South Eastern and the London, Chatham and Dover - neither of which stood in high public esteem.
With its elaborate livery and sweeping brass edged splashers no. 737’s appearance is certainly unusual. Indeed, few railway companies adorned their locomotives to this extent and by 1914 the paintwork had been simplified on the South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR). Today no. 737 is displayed in full SECR livery.
The coppertops were intended to be used as general passenger services; however, in their early years, they became particularly associated with boat trains to Dover and Folkestone.
No. 737 was withdrawn from service in November 1956 and entered the national collection in 1975.
- Locomotives and Rolling Stock
- Object Number:
length over buffers: 17374 mm,
driving wheel diameter: 2032 mm,
width: 2591 mm
- steam locomotive
- vehicles and vehicle components
- British Rail, Clapham
- Permanent collection
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