Talking Stock #33 The five Urie H16 large 4-6-2 tanks

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.

Urie H16 4-6-2T number 519 built from a Jedenco etched brass kit.
Urie H16 4-6-2T number 519 built from a Jedenco etched brass kit.

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.

H16 number 519 viewed from the other side.
H16 number 519 viewed from the other side and shows off the powerfull looking nature of these tanks that appeals so much.

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?

8 thoughts on “Talking Stock #33 The five Urie H16 large 4-6-2 tanks

  1. Graham, you might be interested to know a friend of mine has just completed, after seventeen years work, a 7.25″ gauge miniature of ‘H16’ no 517, finished in Maunsell Green. She runs on the Great Cockcrow Railway at Chertsey, Surrey. The late-Ian Allan purchased the equipment in 1964 from the widow of Sir John Samuel, who had built the Greywood Central Railway at his home in Walton-on-Thames, and transferred it to this much larger site. Not being an ideal place – decided west to east slope with a large drop across the centre and very boggy in places – the first train did not run until September 1968. We now have about two miles of track, fully track-circuited and properly signalled, open to the public every Sunday after noon until the end of October. Cheers, Jeremy Clarke

    Date: Sun, 26 Jul 2015 10:06:03 +0000 To:

    1. Hi Jeremy

      Thanks for the heads up I will have to try and pop over one Sunday, especially if I know the H16 is going to be in steam. Is there anyway of knowing in advance what locos are likely to be in use on any given Sunday?

  2. * Southern passenger livery of lined olive green . . . . changed to a plain black livery, in common with all Southern locomotives from 1940 due to wartime constraints *
    This is an accepted fact, but I ponder the cost and necessity of the black paint. If times were tough (and I understand they were) then a repaint and consequent renumbering / renaming would have cost more than a/ doing nothing, or b/ giving them a lick of plain varnish.
    Anyone know why the change to black was made, other than being some sort of dumb idea of a jobsworth somewhere?
    [It happened on other railways too, except the GWR]

    1. Hi Mike

      I can only assume that the cost of obtaining and mixing the colour pigments was indeed higher than just plain black, As you state it was the same on the other railway companies and in fact even on the GWR as only some of the Kings, Castles and Stars retained unlined green during the war (I assume they had some stock of Green at Swindon) so I doubt it was just the case of one jobsworth or multiple jobsworths on each railway company.

      1. You’re right, but I was suggesting that varnish would be cheaper still, retaining original paintwork, if faded etc. Then again, black probably hid a multitude of sins!

  3. Coming from such an experienced modeller as you, your comments on the difficulty and time needed to complete the Jidenco kit of the H16 give me inspiration: I am evidently not the complete duffer that I thought I was, for I have a Jidenco Z class that I have been attacking off and on (rather pathetically, I have to admit) for over 30 years and have still not finished. And I still don’t know how to get that 8-coupled wheelbase to go round a curve of less than about 15 feet radius without binding!
    A great blog – thank you.
    Mike S.

  4. I have a soft spot for the H16s, a big and well proportioned engine. Interestingly they occasionally roamed quite widely and on a variety of services. The reason they wore passenger green in the 30s was that they were commonly used on Waterloo empty stock trains as well as excursions off the west London extension etc.
    Also during the early 20s the LSWR tried them out in the Bournemouth/ Southampton areas on various goods and passenger services as a trial to enlarging the class into a general mixed traffic engine (the South Western Journal covered this several years ago).

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