The “King Arthurs”

The N15 Class were originally built by the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) as a 2 cylinder 4-6-0 express passenger locomotive. They were designed by Robert W Urie and represented a refinement of the H15 class. There were 3 different sub classes and were constructed from 1918 to 1927. The first batch were built for the LSWR to haul express trains to the south coastal ports and further afield to Exeter. After the Lord Nelson class they were the biggest 4-6-0 passenger locomotives on the Southern Railway.

The construction of the first Batch would later become known as the Urie Arthurs. The construction was delayed until mid-1918 due to wartime control of war materials. They were built in two engine batches at Eastleigh Works between 1918-1919 and 1922-1923. This marked a milestone in being the LSWR’s first knew class of locomotive since 1914. The prototype, No 736, entered service in 1918 on 31st August.

In 1923 the “Grouping Act” came into effect which would see many of the 120 different railway companies merged in to what became known as the “Big 4”. This saw the LSWR become part of the Southern Railway.

The publicity department of the Southern Railway gave the N15s names associated with the Arthurian Legend, this saw the class becoming known as King Arthurs. Richard Maunsell, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Southern Railway, modified the Urie design and increased the number of locomotives to 74.

Maunsell’s modifications were proved through trials with No. 442 in 1924 and showed that by altering the steam circuit, drafting arrangements and valve travel, better performance could be achieved. The new locomotives were built between Eastleigh and Glasgow. This lead to each batch being known as “Eastleigh Arthurs” and “Scotch Arthurs”.

In 1926 the “King Arthurs” became the first batch of steam locomotives to be fitted with smoke deflectors following a number of experiments. The class continued to operate under British Railways before being retired at the end of 1962.

The tables below shows the entire list of King Arthur’s to be built. At the bottom of the page is a condensed table showing the withdrawals of the class.

Urie Arthurs

BR No.SR No.NameBuilderBuiltWithdrawnNotes
30736736ExcaliburLSWR, EastleighAug-18Nov-56Lemaître exhaust
30737737King UtherLSWR, EastleighOct-18Jun-56Lemaître exhaust
30738738King PellinoreLSWR, EastleighDec-18Mar-58 
30739739King LeodegranceLSWR, EastleighFeb-19May-57 
30740740MerlinLSWR, EastleighApr-19Dec-55Deliberately involved in crash staged for film at Longmoor Military Railway
30741741Joyous GardLSWR, EastleighApr-19Feb-56Lemaître exhaust
30742742CamelotLSWR, EastleighJun-19Feb-57 
30743743LyonnesseLSWR, EastleighAug-19Oct-55 
30744744Maid of AstolatLSWR, EastleighSep-19Jan-56 
30745745TintagelLSWR, EastleighNov-19Feb-56 
30746746PendragonLSWR, EastleighJun-22Oct-55 
30747747ElaineLSWR, EastleighJul-22Oct-56 
30748748VivienLSWR, EastleighAug-22Sep-57 
30749749IseultLSWR, EastleighSep-22Jun-57 
30750750Morgan le FayLSWR, EastleighOct-22Jul-57 
30751751EtarreLSWR, EastleighNov-22Jun-57 
30752752LinetteLSWR, EastleighDec-22Dec-55Lemaître exhaust
30753753MelisandeLSWR, EastleighJan-23Mar-57 
30754754The Green KnightLSWR, EastleighFeb-23Feb-53 
30755755The Red KnightLSWR, EastleighMar-23May-57Lemaître exhaust

Eastleigh Arthurs

BR No.SR No.NameBuilderBuiltWithdrawnNotes
30448448Sir TristramSR, EastleighMay-25Aug-60 
30449449Sir TorreSR, EastleighJun-25Dec-59 
30450450Sir KaySR, EastleighJun-25Sep-60 
30451451Sir LamorakSR, EastleighJun-25Jun-62Boiler preserved on the Mid-Hants Railway,
30452452Sir MeliagranceSR, EastleighJul-25Aug-59 
30453453King ArthurSR, EastleighFeb-25Jul-61 
30454454Queen GuinevereSR, EastleighMar-25Oct-58 
30455455Sir LancelotSR, EastleighMar-25Apr-59 
30456456Sir GalahadSR, EastleighApr-25May-60 
30457457Sir BedivereSR, EastleighApr-25May-61 
30793793Sir OntzlakeSR, EastleighMar-26Sep-62 
30794794Sir Ector de MarisSR, EastleighMar-26Aug-60 
30795795Sir DinadanSR, EastleighApr-26Aug-62 
30796796Sir Dodinas le SavageSR, EastleighApr-26Mar-62 
30797797Sir Blamor de GanisSR, EastleighJun-26May-59 
30798798Sir HectimereSR, EastleighJun-26Jun-62 
30799799Sir IronsideSR, EastleighJul-26Feb-61Boiler preserved at the Mid-Hants Railway, fitted on S15 506 and steamed.
30800800Sir Meleaus de LileSR, EastleighSep-26Sep-61 
30801801Sir Meliot de LogresSR, EastleighOct-26Apr-59 
30802802Sir DurnoreSR, EastleighOct-26Jul-61 
30803803Sir Harry le Fise LakeSR, EastleighNov-26Sep-61 
30804804Sir Cador of CornwallSR, EastleighDec-26Feb-62 
30805805Sir ConstantineSR, EastleighJan-27Jun-59 
30806806Sir GalleronSR, EastleighJan-27Apr-61Suffered bomb damage from a V-1 flying bomb on August 16, 1944, but was later repaired.

Scotch Arthurs

BR No.SR No.NameBuilderBuiltWithdrawnNotes
30763763Sir Bors de GanisNorth British Loco 23209May-25Oct-60 
30764764Sir GawainNorth British Loco 23210May-25Jul-61 
30765765Sir GarethNorth British Loco 23211May-25Sep-62 
30766766Sir GeraintNorth British Loco 23212May-25Dec-58 
30767767Sir ValenceNorth British Loco 23213May-25Jun-59 
30768768Sir BalinNorth British Loco 23214May-25Nov-61 
30769769Sir BalanNorth British Loco 23215Jun-25Mar-60 
30770770Sir PrianiusNorth British Loco 23216Jun-25Nov-62This locomotive was the subject of a spelling mistake, as the Knight of the same name in the book Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory was Sir Priamus.
30771771Sir SagramoreNorth British Loco 23217Jun-25Feb-61 
30772772Sir PercivaleNorth British Loco 23218Jun-25Sep-61 
30773773Sir LavaineNorth British Loco 23219Jun-25Feb-62 
30774774Sir GaherisNorth British Loco 23220Jun-25Jan-60 
30775775Sir AgravaineNorth British Loco 23221Jun-25Feb-60 
30776776Sir GalagarsNorth British Loco 23222Jun-25Jan-59 
30777777Sir LamielNorth British Loco 23223Jun-25Oct-61Preserved as part of the National Collection, back on mainline railtours after work done on firebox stays. Operational base is the Great Central Railway (preserved).
30778778Sir PelleasNorth British Loco 23224Jul-25May-59 
30779779Sir ColgrevanceNorth British Loco 23225Jul-25Jul-59 
30780780Sir PersantNorth British Loco 23226Jul-25Jul-59 
30781781Sir AglovaleNorth British Loco 23227Aug-25May-62 
30782782Sir BrianNorth British Loco 23228Jul-25Sep-62 
30783783Sir GillemereNorth British Loco 23279Aug-25Mar-61 
30784784Sir NerovensNorth British Loco 23280Sep-25Oct-59 
30785785Sir Mador de la PorteNorth British Loco 23281Sep-25Oct-59 
30786786Sir LionelNorth British Loco 23282Sep-25Aug-59 
30787787Sir MenadeukeNorth British Loco 23283Sep-25Feb-59 
30788788Sir Urre of the MountNorth British Loco 23284Sep-25Feb-62 
30789789Sir GuyNorth British Loco 23285Sep-25Dec-59 
30790790Sir VilliarsNorth British Loco 23286Sep-25Nov-61 
30791791Sir UwaineNorth British Loco 23287Sep-25May-60 
30792792Sir Hervis de RevelNorth British Loco 23288Sep-25Feb-59 

Withdrawals

YearQuantity in Service at year startNo. Withdrawn in YearTotal No. WithdrawnLocomotive Numbers
1953741130754
19547301
1955734530740/43/46/52
19566961130736/36/41/44/45/47
19576381930739/42/48-51/53/55
19585532230454, 30738/66
195952173930449/52/55, 30767/76/78-80/84-87/89/92/97, 30801/05
19603594830448/50/56, 30763/69/74/75/91/94
196126146230453/57, 30764/68/71/72/77/83/90/99, 30800/02/03/06
196212127430451, 30765/40/43/81/82/88/93/95/96/98, 30804