31-910 LB&SCR H1 Atlantic 39 ‘La France’ LB&SCR Lined Umber
H1 Class Atlantic 4-4-2 No 39 ‘La France’ LBSCR
Built: 1911 – 1912
Built for: LB&SCR (absorbed by the SR)
Designed by: Douglas E. Marsh
• Hinged tender fall-plate
• Adjustable tender draw-bar length
• Opening fire-box door
• Accessory pack includes route indicator discs
• Representation of the inside valve gear
The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway H1 class was a 4-4-2 steam locomotive designed for express passenger work. They were designed by D. E. Marsh and built by Messrs Kitson & Co. in 1905 and 1906.
No 39 was named La France from Jun 1913 to Jan 1926, following its use on the train for a State visit of the French President; this was the only Brighton Atlantic to carry a name in LBSCR days. During 1925 and 1926 the H1 class were gradually replaced on the London-Brighton express trains by the “King Arthur” and “River” classes, but there was still plenty of work for them on other express services, including the boat trains connecting with the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry service. At the same time they were all named after geographical features of the south coast.
Following the cessation of the cross-channel ferries after 1940, due to hostilities, the class was left with reduced duties and several were put into store or else moved to miscellaneous duties in southern England. The first members of the class were withdrawn in 1944.
In July 1947 No. 2039 was experimentally rebuilt with sleeve valves by Oliver Bulleid as a mobile test bed in preparation for his Leader class locomotives. It was never returned to its original state and in common with the remainder of the class had been withdrawn by 1951. None have survived.