The L.B.S.C.R “L” class of 4-6-4 tank locomotives were designed by L.B. Billinton. Baltic 
being the European name for the 4-6-4 wheel arrangement. Only seven locomotives were 
built and they were used for express passengers service between Brighton and London and 
were all worked based at Brighton loco shed and worked only by Brighton Enginemen.
After the introduction of electrification of the London to Brighton line in 1933. These 
locomotives were then employed on working express trains between London to Eastbourne 
and still crewed by Brighton Enginemen. With the electrification of the East coast in 1935 
these locomotives were made redundant owing to the limited route availability and therefore 
they were sent to Eastleigh Loco works to be modified into N15x class locomotives and spent the next 20 years working semi-fast services on the South Western services from London Waterloo. 


Driver Charlie Peters Trails Driver, Mr Gatson the Foreman Painter & Bob Bolton Fitter.


1914 - 1935 

In the early days of the Baltics, each one had its own driver,

No.327, “Charles C Macrae” was in charge of Driver Ted Purseralso tried out all the other Baltic tank engines when they were new.

Ted later became a locomotive inspector.

No.328, Driver Fred Streeter, a driver of very short stature and his fireman Osborne.
These two engines had the driver's name painted up in the cab. By the time the second batch appeared Nos 329-333, after the First World War, the practice of "one engine, one driver" had been discontinued, and no more names appeared in the cabs.

The following drivers, however, kept fairly well to the engines mentioned, though it is possible other drivers handled them when their "regulars" had a rest day or were on sick leave.

No.329, “Stephenson” was allocated to Drivers Arthur Rodgers, Freddie Groves and Jack Yeates.

No.330, was allocated to Driver Fred Christmas, and his fireman was Fred Marchant and later on Reg Moore. Fred Hutchings

No.331, was allocated when new to Driver Charlie Grainger and fireman G. Burtenshaw.

No.332, was allocated to Driver Arthur Huntley, Harry Hoare and fireman Jack Monet.

No.333, “Remembrance” when new, was given to Harry Funnell; and his fireman was Horace/Harry FleetIt was alshandled by Fred Horsman and his fireman, S. Clark.

These drivers were the “regular” enginemen who drove this engine. The Drivers Harry Challen & Fred Wilson taking over on rest days and probably assisting on other locos as well.


This extract features the Brighton Baltic Tank Enginemen from 1914-33 and the enginemen 
that worked on these locomotives. The information has been extracted from a book called 
The Brighton Baltics by A.C. Perryman.

The author as tried to finanyone of the old drivers whhandlethese machines itheir tanengine daysbuat the time of writing this article they had departefrom this worldHowever he did, howeverfind one whhad fired them in their heyday. The author would only identify the engineman by his first name Jim. This was due that at the time of writing the engineman was still alive.

Jim started his career as a cleaner with the old L.B.&S.C.R. early in 1914 and within a few 
months the Great Wawas to burst upon usThe effect of this at Brighton Running Shed
where he worked, was, to use his own words "round the clock manning", and he found 
himself transferreto the office as a sort of generamessengeboy. His duty was from 7.30 
p.m. until 8.00 a.m. the following morning. Jim was-a passed fireman by 1916, but there was not always a loco available for him and then he would be confined to the yard, cleaning, or footplate duty in the yard. Pay for this was 3/3d. per day! If he managed to pass the yard 
signal, anget out on the running road, he qualified for "firing pay which put it up to 3/9d. 
per day. A top link fireman was paid 4/6d. per day, and a top link driver 8/per day. "Days” 
then were about 10 hours.

The Baltics apparently were not too populawith thdriversnot because they wernot up to theijob. Thithey did very wellbunot vereconomically. The offichad workeou
coal allowance for eacclassand drivers werepaid 1d. Per cwtfor all they could savout of this figure.

Iwould depend, of course, owhat sort of duty yowere onbu5Ibs. per milwas not uncommon! Needless tsay, Baltic driverdid not figure verhigh up on the coal bonus sheetsAll sorts of dodges were used ttry to boost this, and Jim remembers his drivestopping their engine level with a wagoof coal in Victoria yardJim was sent up on the wagon and instructed tpasas many large lumps oveas he couldIt was large stuff and jollgood coaapparently. It was destinefor one of thLondon HotelsAnyway, they helpethemselveto enough to make a difference tthe amount officiallburnt on the journey. 

Brighton Loco Inspector Ted Purser 

On thBalticsthcab floor-boards tended to shrink a bit in service, with thheat, so that 
coal dust fell through thejoints, on to the framing belowOn thfastesections Jim says th
draught cominthroughwas very unpleasantand brought somcoal dust with it

FreChristmas decided he'd dsomethinabout itand managed to "acquire" several of th
afore-mentioned carpets.Thesthe creplacestrategically over the boarjoints an
conditions were greatlimproved. Not for long however! An eagle-eyed loco inspecto
spotted them, and asked a lot oawkwarquestionconcerning their origin! Thresult wa
that they lost their firsclass carpets, anhad treverto bare boardagain! 


Top Link driver Fred Christmas and fireman Ray/Reg Moore early 1920s

Fred Christmas started in February 1883

Jim also haa turn o329 Stephenson witArthur Rodgers. This lattemawas a rea
fireman killer”, the onldriver he was ever with, who woulhave the regulator right ove
othe second valve, goindowfroBalcombe Tunnel to Horley. Jim swears that they mushave donninetdowthere! Rodgers liked Jim's firingand asked him if he woulliktbhiregular firemaand he would get him transferred to 329. As Jim was unable to put thshovel downuntil thecleared BalcombTunnegoin"up"hdeclinethe offer! Jim says tha329 was fittewitvalves of the "trickpattern and whestarting away froEast Croydonunder thbridge, with down train, Arthur Rodgers would open the regulator wide, many times hittinhim with the otheend of thhandle! 329 would then momentarily “Seback intthtrain" befortakinit away without trace oslipping. At this time, othBrightonthe first class compartmenthad a luscarpet othe floorwitthe Company’s initialin monograformworked into thpattern.

Fireman Osborne leaning out of the cab on the 8:03 Brighton - Victoria in August 1919.

Wit56 1/tons on the couplewheelsand 22" 28" cylinders thBaltics could get awa
rapidly with heavtrain and Jim saythat somdriverconsidered thesuperior to the 
"King Arthurs" in this respectThey were also very smooth ridinmachines, vastly superior 
to th"Arthurs"AontimJim was posted to "King Arthur" No.797andsayit so shoo
him up that hwas laid up for 3 months. He asked tbposted back on Balticupo
returninto dutyHe considerall locowith no carrying wheelunder the cab tbe roug

Driver Charlie Granger, Fireman G. Burtenshaw Ted Purser Locomotive Inspector.

Outside Brighton M.P.D



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