Talking Stock #22 The Missing Mogul – the K class

With respect to the Southern Railway Mogul 2-6-0 locomotive fleet most people probably immediately think of the Maunsell Moguls,  the N/N1 and U/U1 classes. Their origins lead back to the SECR for the 5’6″ driving wheeled N class followed by the later Southern built, also under the design auspices of Maunsell who was now CME of the Southern, the U class with their larger 6′ driving wheels.
The missing mogul in more ways than one is the ex London Brighton and South Coast railway (LBSC)  K class  designed by LB Billinton. First introduced in  1913 the eventual 17 members of the class were the first 2-6-0 locomotives on the LBSC and the first with a Belpair firebox, and like the Maunsell N class  also had 5’6″ driving wheels. They were generally seen as one of the most successful LBSC locomotive designs.
It is a great shame that no examples were preserved, hence the missing mogul.  It was a class of locomotive  on the wish list of the fledgling Bluebell Railway, as members of the class were still in service  when the Bluebell Railway was formed, however obtaining one was considered too expensive at the time.

K 2346_2
K Class number 2346 built from an old K’s white metal kit

Although  mainly employed on the central section for freight use they did occasionally wonder further west and east. I am not sure if one ever made it to Salisbury or not but the Brighton to Cardiff trains that changed engines at Salisbury could sometimes throw up a surprise loco from Brighton so it might have been possible.

A missing mogul both in preservation and also model kit or RTR form
A missing mogul both in preservation and also model kit or RTR form

My K class number 2346 shown left is built from an old Keyser (K’s) white metal kit, and makes an occasional appearance on Fisherton Sarum.

Sadly the K’s kit is not available anymore, so even in model form the class is still the missing mogul both in either Ready To Run (RTR) or kit form. Maybe now is the time to vote for a RTR K class in the current RMweb / MRE Mag wish list poll, along with perhaps voting for a few other Southern items at the same time. The results of this annual poll whilst not having a direct link to the manufacturers certainly is referred to by them when considering  their future plans.

21 thoughts on “Talking Stock #22 The Missing Mogul – the K class

  1. Hi,

    Whilst I agree a rtr K Class would be very nice indeed, one is still available as a 4mm kit from Blackmiths Model 424002 LBSCR/SR/BR Brighton K Mogul £117.50.

    Regards, Sue

    1. Hello Sue

      That is very true indeed and I had forgotten the Blacksmiths kit, thanks for reminding me. Although currently on the Blacksmith models website only the coach kits are listed.

  2. Graham,
    Does your model of 2346 have a triangle on the front buffer beam. Tounge in cheek it should have. Locomotives illustrated 37 (IIan Allan|) shows rear view of 3246 with cut down fittings and a front view of 2347 also with cutdown fittings and the triangle. The triangle indicated a loco modified to the composite SR loading gauge. For other rivet counters the giveaway is the flat top to the dome and flatened cab roof. Unfortunately the book does not indicate how many were modified. Interestingly Kensington – Addison Rd (Olympia ) could accept original size as 2351 is shown returning from Willesden.

    Most ks were shedded at Brighton and Three Bridges but two, 32338 and 32340 were shedded for a period at Fratton.

    All were withdrawn November / December 62


    1. Hi Dave

      Thanks for the information. I will confess that the triangle on the buffer beam is indeed missing. just out of interest what date was the photograph that you refer to as I can understand it being on the bufferbeam prewar but think it might not have been continued post war?



      1. Graham,
        The pic with the triangle is indeed 1947. I know Wickapedia is not allways to be trusted but that has a reference to all 17 being modified to SR composite loading gauge by 1939


    2. All seventeen were modified from 1925 onwards along with most of the larger Brighton engines – Atlantics, ‘J’ class 4-6-2 and ‘I3’ 4-4-2 tanks for example. However they rarely strayed off ex-LBSCR territory though there is photographic evidence of occasional appearances at Salisbury on ‘through’ Brighton-Cardiff workings.

  3. Graham, I have already voted for the “K” + “700” and first series “MN”, by the way, have emailed Chris re cabs. Regards Alan

    1. Hi Alan

      Do you mean first series rebuilt MN with the 5000 / 5250 gallon tender which Hornby have not yet done or do you mean an original air smoothed MN? part of me hopes that the original Air Smoothed MN does not appear as I have four kit built examples in my fleet at the moment and a further three on the workbench!

  4. Graham, Like you I model the Southern and like you have also a Millholme air smoothed example to build. Regarding the “K”, I have just been having a look in the to do cupboard and espied a Keyser “K” kit almost complete except for cross heads and slide bars, any suggestions re these parts? Regards Alan.

    1. Hi Alan

      That is a good question, Nu-Cast/Autocom took over the K’s range so they might still be able to help? An alternative might to contact DJH as the cylinders and crossheads from their Brighton Atlantic H2 kit might be suitable as they should be the same size.

    2. Hi

      It may be worth looking at the Romford/Markits catalogue. They do replacement slide bars for the DJH N/U and I know they were doing other replacement crossheads for others.

      Regards, Sue

  5. Graham, I really like your K, I have a K’s one salted away somewhere, without wheels as a friend of mine managed to mangle the wheels on his when buiding it so I finished it for him with the old K’s motor and wheels. I think it is still in existance. My K will be based on Blacksmith running gear and the modified K’s body, just can’y have too much weight over the driving wheels which be Romford, just waiting for that rainy day!

    Your work is very much an inspiration to others, keep it up!

    Ray Kinsella

    1. Ray

      Many thanks for your kind comments. My K is also fitted with Romford driving wheels and it does not use the original Ks motor.

    2. Ray. Sorry if I have used the wrong forum but trying to contact you. Still at Pinjarra. If you get this message, would you please make contact.
      Fred B.

  6. Re your crosshead etc reply, no joy with DJH, any other idea’s Graham ? Kind regards AJ.

    1. Alan

      Sorry to hear of no joy with DJH, I have managed to get parts from them in the past. Other than that I do not know of anyone who has done Brighton style cylinders and valve gear in 4mm.

    I have read with interest the comments of K’s locomotive kits. The kits, as mentioned, were inexpensive when compared to some other manufacturers, and perhaps basic by comparison. But this, I think, was helpful to those starting out in loco kit building, by which I mean that it gave the builder the choice of a basic worthy model, and the choice of improvement could be achieved by adding detail, such as lamp irons etc. This of course involved research to various degrees, and a growing collection of books, magazines and folders of begged and saved mag pages!
    An early kit I built was a K’s Q1, which I still have. It was assembled by employing epoxy glue and cold solder. One thing I needed to do was file out the spectal footplate windows as the casting was solid! I even built a crude backhead assembly, the layout given to me by an ex driver of the class. I borrowed photographs from the late Jack Turley of Tunbridge Wells, taken from his club room at Tunbridge Wells Central station, of views looking down onto a member of the class. These were very useful as it showed the fire iron trough, not part of the kit, but I fashioned one from thin brass sheet and fitted it. I did not add brake details though! It was great fun and a challenge to research and build, which of course cant be there with RTR models. I am not knocking the excellent detailed models available nowadays, but they are a different approach to the hobby. And another interest was, and is to “admire” well constructed models at model railway shows, some model makers over the years achieving a “wow” factor !!

  8. I have Just obtained this Keyer Kit it was my father in laws and sadly he suffered a couple of heart attacks and is not in a position to complete it, There were no instructions on how to complete it and a part of the firebox is missing, Is there any chance you still have instructions on building it as I am new to white metal kits.

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