Class E 0-4-2T (1853)

Class E 2-Cylinder Passenger Tank Locomotive
Designed by Giorg Maznicek
Built in 1853 by Robert Stephenson & Co., Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England

At the beginning of the 1850s there was a strong upsurge in local passenger traffic in both urban and rural areas and various types of early engines had to be pressed into service to keep the trains moving. In response to this increased demand, Maznicek designed this powerful 0-4-2 tank engine, of which over 100 were built by Stephenson. Although a great advance over their predecessors in terms of power, their running qualities left quite a lot to be desired, particularly bunker-first, due to a lack of side control on the radial rear axle. A number of experiments was carried out to better this situation and the one that succeeded was to mount the rear axle rigidly in the frame and allow the leading coupled axle spring-controlled sideplay. Many of these fine little machines were still doing good work at the turn of the century, the last few only disappearing just before the start of the First World War.

Text and graphics © Norman Clubb 2012