Below is an article by Mike Urban in the Brighton Buzz talking about his finds when trawling through some railway archives …….(yes, that’s what passes for fun around these parts), we came across this photo of a rather splendid little locomotive carrying the number 667 and the name, ‘Brixton’.
The photo is undated but a swift bit of internet research revealed that it is a Class A1 0-6-0 locomotive which entered service for the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) in August 1874, and was originally numbered 67.
The A1 locomotives – 50 were built in total – carried the names of the London boroughs or other areas of local importance on the routes they were built to operate, so other engine names included Brighton, Millwall, Peckham, Gipsyhill, Wandle, Tooting and Clapham.
[Preserved A1 class Loco No 55, Stepney in 2010 (c) ]
Designed by William Stroudley (1833-1889) – one of Britain’s most famous steam locomotive engineers – the engine class later acquire the nickname of “Terriers” on account of the distinctive ‘bark’ of their exhaust beats.
Such was their reliability and adaptability that some examples survived in active use until as late as the 1960s [see modern footage here].
[Sister loco Number 40, Brighton, 1907 (c)]
Astonishingly, twenty per cent of the locomotives built still survive today, with eight being purchased privately for preservation, and two other examples being donated by British Railways to the Canadian Railway Museum and the National Railway Museum.
Sadly, there was no such happy ending for the little Brixton loco. It was sold for £500 to the London and South Western Railway in March 1903, withdrawn from service in December 1936 and then scrapped at the Ashford works in Kent.
You can read more about LB&SCR A1 class locos here, if so inclined.Brixton, Locomotive, Victorian