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London Tilbury & Southend Railway

(Note: Numbers in brackets refer to specific references)

This small company was originally closely associated with the Eastern Counties Railway, which became the Great Eastern) but became independent is stages from the 1860's to the 1880's. The London Tillbury and Southend Railway operated an intensive passenger service from its Fenchurch Street terminus in London into the Thames estuary area. The line obtained its own 4-4-2 locomotives in 1880, known as the Tilbury Tanks these replaced ECR locos on all its services. The LTSR used electric lighting on its passenger stock, which was generally well thought of. Originally running between Forrest Gate, where it joined the ECR to Southend and Tilbury. It operated from a London terminus at Fenchurch Street and had branches feeding Thames Haven and Romford-Grays with a later extension to Shoeburyness. Commuter traffic from the East London suburbs and Southend made a substantial contribution to receipts and the opening of the docks at Tilbury in the 1880's brought considerable goods and boat-train passenger traffic to the line. The line was purchased by the Midland Railway in 1912, on the promise of electrification which was never implemented. The Port of London Authority was planning a major expansion of Tilbury docks and this was probably the main interest of the Midland Railway at the time. The Midland tried some of their 0-6-2 'flatiron' passenger tank engines on the LTSR but these were soon transferred back to the north. I gather that the Midland did not re-paint the LTSR rolling stock in their own colours, but when the lines of the former LTSR became part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923 the engines at least were repainted in LMS maroon. The 4-4-2 express tank engines of the LTSR, always smartly turned out, were excellent performers and the LMS ordered additional engines to the same design in the later 1920s.

LTSR goods stock was painted grey with white markings. The only details I have come from an articles in Railway Modeller XX 2000 which show an open wagon in the company livery

Coaching stock was varnished teak, brake coaches had vermilion ends. The loco liveries were many and varied, one of the easier options is all over green with orange boiler bands and white lining on the tank and coal bunker sides.


The London, Tilbury & Southend Railway by H. D. Welch - Oakwood - 1951. a slim illustrated guide to the line.


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