Firstly a quick Happy New Year to all the readers of this blog as this is the first post of 2013, I wish you all a peaceful and prosperous year ahead with hopefully plenty of time of modelling all things Southern!
One of the regular sights on Fisherton Sarum is my Z class pushing loaded loco coal wagons up the incline to the coal stage. Maunsell Z Class 0-8-0T number 957 was allocated to Salisbury primarily for shunting the East yard, this was due in part to the fact that the yard was shunted 24 hours a day and being three cylinder locomotives the Z class had a much softer exhaust beat than for example the ‘bark’ of a traditional 2 cylinder locomotive such as the G6 Class. It was reported that on the days when the Z Class was on shed for routine maintenance such as boiler wash out etc. the locals would complain about the additional noise of its replacement in the yard!
The eight Maunsell Z class 0-8-0 tanks, numbered 950 to 957, were designed specifically for the role of heavy shunting in hump and marshalling yards that was capable of negotiating tight curves often found in yards, be able to deliver lot of power after lengthy periods of idling, whilst reducing the tendency for locomotives employed on such work to often lift safety valves and therefore wasting steam etc.
Maunsell built on the experience of gained from the Urie G16 class 4-8-0T (a post on this class and other SR heavy tanks will follow in due course) which had been produced for the same purpose and utilised a number of standard components including an existing Brighton boiler design and cyclinders from the U1/N1 class.
The wheels were of 4ft 8in diameter and the leading and trailing pair had sufficient sideplay so that curves of 4½ chains could be negotiated providing that they were not in confined spaces due to the large 11ft overhang at each end.
Whilst mainly used for yard shunting, such as at Salisbury and the ‘hump’ yard at Feltham they were also known for their use later in life as banking engines between Exeter St David’s and Exeter Central.
My model of number 957 is built from an old Milholme white metal kit powered by a Portescap motor that ensures that like the prototype she is quiet, very powerful and does not slip. She may well at some time be pensioned off to be replaced by the excellent DMR etched brass kit that is in my pile of kits to build but that is likely to be some time off yet.