Added April 2023
B2 no 320 ‘Rastrick’.
B4 no 64 ‘Norfolk’.
In 1892 most of the express passenger services were hauled by members of the 0-4-2 ‘Gladstone’ class. They generally gave good performance, and there was no urgent need to replace them. The London-Portsmouth expresses however, were hauled by Stroudley designed class G singles, much disliked by Billinton. He therefore produced a design for a small 4-4-0 tender engine.
An initial batch of 11 were built at Brighton, and although just about adequate for the lightly loaded Portsmouth services, they proved to be hopelessly inadequate for the heavier Brighton trains. Nevertheless, a further 14 were constructed between 1896 and 97.
They were very elegant engines but were generally disliked by the enginemen, who called them (amongst other less polite names) ‘grasshoppers’ because of their unsteady riding.
No 320 ‘Rastrick’ was outshopped in 1896, was converted to B2X in 1910, and was withdrawn in 1930, with a creditable 1,313,622 miles travelled.
The model started life as an attempt to kit-bash a London Road models B4 (which had been given to me many years ago), but we didn’t do our research well-enough - virtually every dimension of the B2 is different from the B4. The loco body is almost entirely scratchbuilt, using only the white-metal and brass castings.
To be completed.....