Hornby SR 4-6-0 'Sir Sagramore' King Arthur N15 Class R3010X
Designer: R.W. Urie
Entered Service: 1918
Motor: 5 Pole Skew Wound. Loco Drive
Purpose: Express Passenger
Wheel Configuration: 4-6-0
Special Features: Extensive Detail, NEM Couplings
The N15 Class introduced in 1918 was also known as the King Arthur Class because the locomotives were named after persons and places associated with the legend of King Arthur and the Round Table. This Class of 2 cylinder 4-6-0 passenger steam locomotives proved to be one of the most successful during the Post Grouping Era of 1928 1948, with 74 locomotives being built during this time.
The whole Class was built in a total of six batches. Robert W. Urie designed the Arthurs with the first two batches being built at the London & South Western Railways Eastleigh Works between 1918 19 and 1922 23. Carrying the characteristics of Uries stove pipe chimney, Drummond style of cab and inspired by the shape of the H15, the first batches of locomotives became known as Urie Arthurs.
Upon assuming the position of C. M. E. of the Southern Railway, Richard E. L. Maunsell built a third batch of ten locomotives at the Eastleigh Works and these became known as the Eastleigh Arthurs. Maunsells batch incorporated a small number of significant modifications including changes in the draft, valve gear, chimney, blastpipe and an overall increase in boiler pressure that significantly improved the performance.
In 1924 two more batches were ordered from the Scottish based North British Locomotive Company. These 30 locomotives, referred to as Scottish Arthurs were built to the Southern Railways new composite loading gauge and were connected to eight wheel bogie tenders, which had a 5,000 imperial gallon capacity.
The last batch of 15 locomotives were built at Eastleigh between 1926 27 and adopted a six wheel 3,500 imperial gallon tender. Despite the order the batch was never completed with the last locomotive being replaced by the prototype of the Lord Nelson Class of locomotives.
Having proved to be one of the greatest designs of its day, the King Arthur Class combined reliability with impressive performance. However, the introduction of electrification plus the Lord Nelson Class and ultimately the Bulleid Pacifics locomotives all hastened the N15s departure with the entire Class being withdrawn by 1962. Only one of the Class, No. 30777, Sir Lamiel is preserved.
Locomotive no. 771, Sir Sagramore was built by the North British Locomotive Company and outshopped in June 1925 and was fitted with smoke deflectors in October 1928. Sir Sagramore was a Maunsell Scottish Arthur and was coupled to a Urie 8 wheel bogie tender in July 1932. The locomotive spent its formative years based at Battersea but in later years Sir Sagramore was stationed at Dover, Nine Elms and eventually Bournemouth from where in February 1961 it was withdrawn from service and eventually scrapped.
This exquisitely detailed Hornby model is powered by a 5 pole skew wound motor and is paired with an 8 wheel bogie tender in which houses a connecting socket for a DCC Decoder.
A Brief History
Introduced back in 1925, the King Arthurs represented Maunsell's refinement on Urie's earlier locomotives. Just 29 members of the class including Sir Sagramore were built at the North British Locomotive Works in Glasgow and they became known as the "Scottish Arthurs". They were fitted with modified cabs to fit the Eastern section loading guage, and were attached to eight-wheeled tenders. The class proved themselves over many years and your writer has fond memories of them working the picturesque Guildford - Redhill route in the 1960s. Interestingly, Mallory's writings about the legend of King Arthur are some of the earliest and most endearing stories in English literature, where Arthur at his death is described as "once and future king" who will indeed come again. Nice if the same could be said about the engines too!