The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway is a railway where Thomas' prototype, the Billington E2-Class 0-6-0T worked on this railway between 1913, his construction year and 1916 during the First World War. It travels from London down to Brighton and the south coast of the United Kingdom on the Southern Railway. The railway was later turned to the Southern Railway in 1923 when the Big Four railway companies formed together across the island nation in the LMS, LNER, SR and GWR.
The Billington E2sEdit
Between 1913 and 1916, these locomotives were built for the railway. Thomas was apparently the very last batch of those built because of his distinctive extended side-tanks, projecting forward over the leading wheels and little downsweeps at each end of his footplate. Billington E2s were built in 1915, the year Australian and British troops failed to land at Gallipoli and were pushed back by Turkish forces out to sea in replacing E1s who were early members of that class. All of them were scrapped. The last five in the ten strongest classes had extended side tanks to give greater water capacities, but all engines had two inside cylinders and driving wheels 4'6" in diameter.
After many years of service, all of the Billington E2s that are both originals and modified were spending their last working years at the harbour in Southampton and they were all scrapped by 1963 except Thomas. The last batch to be scrapped were Nos 31204 and 31209 the latter being the very last pair to be scrapped definitely as steam locomotives forever.