London celebrations

London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Terrier locomotives celebrate 150 years of service

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the commissioning of the first London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) Class A1 locomotive, popularly known as the Terrier.

The popular Burrows were originally designed to carry commuter trains on the heavily congested South and South East London lines, which included routes to London Bridge, London Victoria and on the London Railway. East London under the River Thames through the Brunel-designed Thames Tunnel.

Six locomotives were built for these services in 1872. They seemed to be ideal for the purpose, and another 44 were built between 1874 and 1880.

To mark the anniversary, a heritage railway group and The Terrier Trust are working together to organize a program of events, so that surviving examples of this little locomotive can be enjoyed throughout the year. The first events of the program have just been announced.

Credit: John Faulkner

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway (IoWSR) is home to burrows Newport and Fresh water. Fresh water is currently under review, but Newport is operational. Newport will be presented during the Island Heritage Train Days in May, June and August. September 17-18 will be the IoWSR Fall Gala, celebrating the Ventnor West Spur. We hope that Fresh water will return to steam during this event.

two burrows, Poplar and knowleare based on the Kent & East Sussex Railway (K&ESR) at Tenterden in Kent. Poplar was one of the original 1872 engines, and the railway worked with its owners, The Terrier Trust, to return the engine to service for its 150th anniversary.

Poplar The first public appearance is scheduled at K&ESR throughout the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend from June 2-5, 2022. The railway is also working with The Terrier Trust and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on an educational program innovative for schools in the inner-urban area after which the engine was named; we hope that Poplar will be able to visit East London during the year.

The other Terrier of the Terrier Trust, knowle, was returned to service in 2021 by the K&ESR. He has since visited several other heritage lines but will return to Kent to race alongside Poplar for the Jubilee weekend celebrations.

You can find out more about Knowle by visiting the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway here.

burrows Fenchurch and stepney are based at the Bluebell Railway, which is hosting a Terrier gala July 29-31. Fenchurchwhich was the first Terrier to enter service in 1872 and which is currently in the final stages of overhaul, should feature. stepney will be on static public display during the gala.

As part of the celebration program, operational Terrier locomotives will visit other heritage railways. A website providing the latest news on the Terrier 150 celebrations, the current schedule of planned events and details of the ten surviving Terriers is online at

Steve Backhouse, Managing Director of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, said: “We are delighted to be working with our friends from other heritage railways to support the Burrow 150 celebrations. These much loved locomotives have played a key role on Isle of Wight Railways and we look forward to them playing a leading role in 2022.”

Shaun Dewey, managing director of Kent & East Sussex Railway, said: “We are very much looking forward to seeing Poplar returned to service on the Kent & East Sussex Railway and celebrating its 150th anniversary. It will be a fitting tribute to the skills of all our staff and contractors who have worked so hard to secure the future of these locomotives on the Kent & East Sussex Railway, for the enjoyment and education of all.

Tom White, Chairman of the Terrier Trust CIO, said: “Survival for 150 years can only be considered a miracle. Stroudley’s design for a commuter tank engine that not only had good acceleration but was light, powerful for its size, and reliable, proved highly successful and 50 were built. Although displaced from commuter work by larger locomotives in 1900, many were redeployed and proved equally effective on branch lines.

Decades after the scrapping of other locomotives built in the 1870s, the Terriers remained in daily service on British railways until 1963 on the Hayling Island branch, as no other locomotive met the restrictions of strict weights on the lines they had created. Today, 20% of the class survive and attract large audiences wherever they appear. We all look forward to the many 150th anniversary celebrations planned throughout 2022 to celebrate this Victorian miracle. »