As I mentioned in my Talking Stock #26 post here about the four Urie G16 class 4-8-0T locomotives, I do indeed have a soft spot for large tanks and therefore this post is about Urie’s other large tanks the five H16 4-6-2Ts. The later Maunsell Z class 0-8-0T locomotives were the subject of Talking Stock #19 post here, whilst Maunsell’s W class 2-6-4 tanks will soon also feature on this blog.
The ex London and Southern Western (LSWR) Urie H16 class of 4-6-2 tanks were introduced in 1921, and if you have read my Talking Stock #26 post, you will know already that this was the same year as their slightly smaller sisters the G16 4-8-0T class. The two classes sharing many common parts such as motion, bogies, boilers and fireboxes.
Both classes were built in association with the new hump marshalling yard at Feltham. Rather than the four G16s which were designed for working in the confines of Feltham yard the five H16s were intended for cross regional goods traffic between Feltham and the North London yards of Brent (Midland) and Willesden (London North Western). For this duty they had 5’7″ driving wheels, larger than the G16s, larger water capacity and the extra large bunker was carried by a radial truck. As they were also used occasionally on empty carriage stock working between Waterloo and Clapham Junction and on special passenger trains, such as during Ascot Race Week, the H16s were initially given the standard Southern passenger livery of lined olive green unlike the black livery of the G16s, giving rise to their nickname amongst operating staff as ‘Green Tanks’. This changed to a plain black livery, in common with all Southern locomotives from 1940 due to watime constraints, and was retained during BR days until their withdrawal in 1962.
My model was built, with much effort, from a Jidenco etched brass kit; that owing to the quality of the kit design, thin etches and limited instructions, took a number of years of starting, doing a bit, getting frustrated and putting down again before finally getting round to finishing. Certainly not a kit for the feint hearted. She is powered using a Portescap coreless motor along with quite a bit of lead weight added to provide adequate traction due to the lightweight thin etched brass construction of the kit with only the small dome, safety valves and chimney being white metal castings.
My usual excuse for an occasional appearance on Fisherton Sarum of an H16, as they were only allocated to Feltham, is on a running in turn from Eastleigh although that does not really explain her weathered condition, so perhaps she was borrowed for a freight trip down the West of England line?