Dugald Drummond designed the successful T9 Class 4-4-0
locomotive for express passenger work on the London and South Western
Railway (LSWR), using the experience he gained from the less than
perfect C8 Class and by incorporating large fireboxes and Stephenson
link valve gear.
The first 50 of the Class were confidently ordered straight from the
drawing board and constructed between 1899 and 1900. 20 were built at
the LSWR's own workshop at Nine Elms in London and 30 were built by D bs
& Company in Glasgow, all supplied with six-wheel tenders.
In all a total of 66 Class T9s were built, a further 15 were
outshopped from the Nine Elms Workshop between 1900 and 1901. These
locomotives incorporated some modifications which included a wider cab,
revised wheel splashers and the fitting of cross-water tubes inside the
firebox, along with the connection of the Drummond 'watercart'
eight-wheel tender for longer running. The previous batches were later
retrofitted with the same modifications.
The 66th and final T9 was built by D bs & Co, in 1901 for the Glasgow Exhibition of that year.
Built specifically for the highly competitive express train services
from Plymouth to London, they quickly came into their own, popular with
their crews, their high turn of speed soon earned them the nickname of
the 'Greyhounds'. The comparatively short frames and light axle weight
suited the tighter curves of lines on the west country routes.
Robert Urie, successor to Dugald Drummond, continued to make further modifications and improvements until 1929.
After initial service with the London & South Western Railway,
they passed to the Southern Railway when the railways were regrouped in
1923. In 1948 they passed to the newly formed British Railways and many
remained in service until 1963.
In 1949, 13 of the T9s were converted
to 'oil burning' but the experiment was not a success and all 13 were
withdrawn from service.
The only survivor of the Class, No. 30120, was returned to steam in
2008 wearing early British Railways livery and is now serving on the
Bodmin and Wenford Railway.
The locomotive represented here, No. 708, was one of the batch of 30 built by D bs in 1899.