Bodiam with a short vintage

Bodiam with a short vintage train - 22 October 2011

The K&ESR has two of the ten still surviving members of this class of 50 small six coupled tank locomotives built by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway between 1872 and 1880. Known to generations of the general public as ‘Terriers' they were known to railwaymen as ‘Rooters'. The former name is the one which has stuck and is thought to have originated from their reputation for outstanding work on the South London line and in the tunnels of the East London line. They had a capacity for hard work far in excess of their diminutive size. Designed by the Brighton Company's Locomotive Engineer, William Stroudley, they were introduced as class A (later A1). Between 1911 and 1947 nearly half the class was rebuilt with improved boilers and longer smokeboxes and were redesignated as class A1X.

No. 3 Bodiam (LB&SCR No. 70; BR No. 32670)

No. 3 Bodiam (LB&SCR No. 70; BR No. 32670)

Built as No. 70 Poplar, this locomotive entered revenue earning service on 4 December 1872. For nearly 30 years it worked suburban trains in the London area. By the turn of the century the Terriers were becoming too small for the many duties they had handled so well, and the LB&SCR decided to reduce their numbers by scrapping. It was quickly discovered, however, that they had a considerable potential on the second hand market. Thus No. 70 was sold to the Rother Valley Railway (later the K&ESR) in May 1901 for £650 and with 664,108 miles to its credit. Brighton Works repainted the locomotive in the blue livery of its new owners and fitted vacuum brakes. As No. 3 Bodiam it well served the K&ESR until 1931 when it was withdrawn together with the line's second Terrier, No. 5 Rolvenden (ex-LB & SCR No 671 Wapping) which had been purchased in 1905. The pair languished rusting on a grassy siding at Rolvenden until, in 1932/33, Rolvenden was cannibalised and various parts used to reconstruct Bodiam and restore it to working order. The name plates were removed at this stage but fortunately survived. In February 1943 its boiler was condemned and one of the A1X pattern, bought from the Southern Railway for £725, was fitted at the Southern Railway's St. Leonards Depot. After nationalisation Bodiam was taken into BR Southern Region stock as No. 32670, although it continued to work the K&ESR, first remaining at Rolvenden and then at St. Leonards. Later, it moved westwards to work the Hayling Island branch. No. 32670 was withdrawn after that branch's closure in November 1963. Once again the locomotive was saved from the scrapheap. It was purchased privately for use on the preserved K&ESR and is now owned jointly by the Railway and the Terrier Trust.

It and ran under its own steam from Eastleigh to Robertsbridge, arriving on 10 April 1964 and was steamed occasionally in the 60's and early 70's. It re-entered revenue earning service on Easter Monday 1974 and for two years was the regular Saturday engine, hauling two coach trains. In September 1977 it was withdrawn because of a wasted tube plate, having been spare engine for some time. It remained on static display until early 1983 when it was stripped down and the boiler removed for repairs. After extensive work it re-entered service in mid-1984 sporting BR 1950s-style lined black livery and carrying its old running number of 32670. Previously it had relied on its vacuum and hand brakes but a steam brake, fitted during overhaul and with the cylinder unobtrusively placed beneath the cab, much improved its stopping power.

The boiler was removed in January 1986 for the foundation ring rivets to be renewed but its condition was found to be worse than anticipated. and the locomotive was again withdrawn from service. After Bodiam had been stored for some years, the Terrier Trust was established in the 1990's with the aim of raising funds to purchase No. 3 from its then owners (who none the less donated generously to the Trust) and enable a new boiler to be obtained. An order for two Terrier boilers was jointly placed by the K&ESR and the Isle of Wight Steam Railway with Israel Newton Ltd of Bradford. It returned to service in 2006 in a verson of its Rother Valley Railway blue livery but was later repainted in BR black. Withdrawn for a further overhaul in January 2017.


Class AIX
Weight 28 tons 5 cwt
Tractive effort 7,650 lbs
Cylinders (2) 13 in. dia x 20 in. stroke
Boiler Pressure 150 lbs.
Tank capacity 500 gallons
Wheels 4 feet 0 ins. diameter.


The Official Website of the Terrier Trust