For enthusiasts and researchers of the Great Eastern Railway

The Bromley era

E10 Class 0-4-4T 1878-1883

51-60, 87-102, 231-244, 572-591

These sixty 0-4-4Ts were built for the expanding London suburban traffic, and appeared shortly after Bromley became Locomotive Superintendent, so the design was almost certainly Adams's. They were basically an elongated version of the K9 class 0-4-2Ts, and thus slightly smaller than the ‘No. 61 Class’ 0-4-4Ts.

The final twenty engines built were equipped with Westinghouse brakes, and these were added to the existing engines at around the same time. In 1885 five engines were fitted with condensing gear to work the East London Line Services between Liverpool Street and East Croydon, when the GER took over responsibility for these trains from the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway.

The whole class were rebuilt with new boilers in 1887-1896, and during the same period the cabs were enclosed and larger-diameter cylinders fitted. In 1893, three engines were fitted for oil burning. From 1897, nine engines were reboilered a second time, with 160 lbs. psi. pressure. Withdrawal took place between 1903 and 1911.

‘No. 245 Class’ 4-2-2 1879-1882

245-254, 600-609

From 1862 the principal GER express passenger locomotives had been the Sinclair 'W' class 2-2-2s, but by the end of the 1870s a more modern design was required. These were the ‘No. 245 Class’ 4-2-2s, otherwise known as the 'Bromley Singles' although - like the 'Moguls' - the design must surely have been initiated under Adams, for the first engines were ordered within six months of Bromley taking office. The first ten were Nos. 245-254, constructed by Dübs & Co. in 1879, Nos. 600-609 following from Kitson & Co. in 1881-82. There were some minor differences in detail between the two batches, and the Kitson engines were somewhat heavier than the Dübs examples.

It would appear that there was some problem with the frames of the Kitson engines, for in 1885-88 they were all modified under James Holden. New, deeper front end frames were fitted, together with new cylinders, inclined at 1:36 instead of being placed horizontally. The valves were placed vertically inside the frames, whereas they were formerly on top of the outside cylinders. It would seem that there was nothing wrong with the original cylinders of the Kitson engines however, for some of them were later re-used on the Dübs locomotives.

No. 251 became the first express locomotive to be equipped for oil burning in 1888, whilst 254 was the first to be fitted with steam sanding, in 1887. The 'Bromley Singles' were very successful in service, but they were ousted from the principal express trains by James Holden's later locomotives, and they were withdrawn in 1890-93.

‘No. 140 Class’ 0-4-4T 1881


These ten engines were placed in traffic in 1880 for branch line duties. They were essentially a shortened version of the E10 class 0-4-4Ts, with larger driving wheels, 5-ft. 4-ins. in diameter. The intention had been to produce a lighter, faster engine than the E10s. In actual fact they were only half a hundredweight lighter, for most of the weight saved by reducing the length of the engines at the rear had been made up for by the weight of the larger driving wheels!

By 1883 all ten engines had been fitted with Westinghouse brakes and then, in 1890, James Holden rebuilt No. 144 as a 0-4-2T by substituting a trailing axle for the bogie. This had the desired effect of bringing the overall weight down to an acceptable amount, and the remainder were similarly rebuilt between 1891 and 1897. The engines were reboilered at the same time, and fitted with closed cabs and other modernised details. The prototype conversion, No. 144, was also reboilered in 1897. They were scrapped in 1903-1905.

M12 Class 0-6-0T 1881


The ten engines of the M12 Class were an 0-6-0T version of the E10 0-4-4T, but with 5-ft. 2-in. diameter driving wheels, and built at Stratford Works for shunting work. Only five were given new boilers - three in 1887-88, and another two in 1895. These last two were additionally given closed cabs and steam brakes. At the same time, the first withdrawals were made, and all had gone by 1902.

‘No. 552 Class’ 0-6-0 1882


These ten 0-6-0 goods engines were ordered from Kitson & Co. at the same time as the 'No. 245 Class' 4-2-2s, and were delivered immediately afterwards. These engines were perhaps the only new locomotives that were wholly of Bromley's design. Mechanically, they were entirely conventional, with inside cylinders driven by Stephenson link motion, of the same pattern as used on the E10, M12 and 'No. 140' Classes, whilst the boilers were the same as those of the Adams 'No. 61 Class' 0-4-4Ts. However, in external details they were most unusual for a British locomotive in that the running plate was swept upwards, completely exposing the coupled wheels, and there were thus no splashers. As on the 'Moguls' and 'Singles', the cabs featured front doors on the fireman's side.

All engines were reboilered under Holden with two-ring boilers having the dome of the front ring between 1893 and 1898. However, the last engine to be reboilered - No. 553 - had the then-current version of this boiler type with increased pressure. Over the same period larger-diameter cylinders were also fitted to the class. The engines were initially used on the coal traffic, but in later years they were generally used on ballast trains. They were withdrawn in 1904-06.