The London & South Western Railway A12 Class locomotives were (much like the T3) a William Adams design. Built between 1887 & 1895 to a rather unconventional design of a 0-4-2. This arrangement was used with other railways such as the LBSCR B1s & the GNR, but never proved popular which is surprising considering how Victorian they look but don’t let the elegant looks deceive you, it is actually built with goods traffic in mind but was classed as a mixed traffic so they could be seen on mixed freight as well as stopping passenger trains. They bore the nickname “Jubilees” due to the first batch appearing in the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign.
Over 90 examples of this class were built from two different works. Fifty were built at the LSWR workshop “Nine Elms” while the other forty were built by Neilson & Co in Glasgow. Prior to 1887, Adams had sourced all his locomotives for the LSWR from outside contractors but the A12s marked the first locomotives to be built primarily by the LSWR at their own workshop.
In service they were mainly used for heavy excursions & troop train movements, fast goods services to the west of England, Weymouth & Southampton but could be seen on passenger services in Devon. They were well liked by LSWR footplate crews & performed very well doing such until SR ownership.
In 1923, all 90 were absorbed into the Southern Railway, were little changed in their working life. But as with most Victorian locomotives, withdrawals would start in 1928. However, four locomotives managed to escape the scrapping torch (only just) in 1939 due to the increased demand for locomotives following the outbreak of war in September 1939. But Unfortunately, even this couldn’t save them in the end with all four being withdrawn in 1948, making it only a few months into British Railways Ownership with only one making it to 1951 (abet by Departmental use & still in SR livery).
While not the most well known of LSWR locomotives or perhaps being the prettiest, one must given credit to Adams for making a stunner of a machine.