135 Tons of Southern Steam

Written by: TrainSim-James

Robert Urie’s freight-hauling masterpiece, the S15 Class, has arrived for challenging Train Simulator service!

The S15 Class was originally formed from the mind of the London & South Western Railway’s Chief Mechanical Engineer, Robert Urie, as there was a need for a new locomotive to fulfil heavy freight duties in the early 1920s. Urie’s original mixed-traffic H15 design, which helped the LSWR in the midst of the war effort, would serve as the basis for his future locomotives.

With a more modern requirement – that would see a locomotive capable of serving south coast ports and running express dairy trains in and out of London – still in place, Urie changed key aspects of his H15 Class to produce a freight-dedicated locomotive. The result rolled out of Eastleigh Works in February 1920 as the S15 Class, and it was quickly established that this locomotive would be a very successful worker.

The first batch of LSWR’s S15 locomotives was 16-strong and finished production by May 1921. Two years later, the LSWR would be amalgamated into the Southern Railway as part of the Grouping Scheme, creating the “Big Four”. With this, Urie stepped into retirement and left Richard Maunsell to take over as Chief Mechanical Engineer, and with his new position, Maunsell took the opportunity to further develop the quickly proven S15 Class before a second batch was produced, and the resulting modifications were continued to see the class excel in service.

Based across the Southern Railway’s Western Region, from London to coastal ports of Southampton, Weymouth and beyond, the S15 Class was a well-abled freight locomotive that could shift heavy loads, at speed, with relative ease – and would often find itself at the helm of nightly express goods. Surprisingly, despite the specific design, and classification, that make the S15 a freight locomotive, the fleet was also found to be very capable at passenger work when required. This would make the S15s the longest lasting LSWR 4-6-0 engine in service.

The S15 Class held onto regular duties far into the 1960s, with the last being withdrawn in 1966. All 45 locomotives were sent to South Wales for scrap, but thankfully, a total of 7 were rescued and were only 2 of those have yet to be operational in preservation. Akin to being the longest lasting, the S15 is also the most prolific LSWR 4-6-0 to have survived the end of steam, and many enthusiasts get to enjoy a hint of yesteryear behind the powerful S15 Class.

The Southern Railway S15 Class, from Partner Programme developer Bossman Games, features the 4-6-0 locomotive in both Southern Olive Green and Southern Black liveries, both with optional smoke deflectors, accompanied by the Maunsell 8-wheel tender in both liveries. Additionally, Bulleid 59ft Brake Third, 64ft 6in Brake Third, 59ft Composite and 64ft 6in Composite coaches are included in Southern Malachite Green livery.

Three career scenarios are included for the West Somerset Railway route that will put your skills to the test, let you take charge of preserved S15 locos, and get to work hauling some lucky passengers through the sedate and beautiful countryside.

The Southern Railway S15 Class is available now for Train Simulator, head to the Store for more details

The S15 Class, which is available now, comes ready in both Southern Olive Green and Southern Black liveries – both of which are available to drive with and without smoke deflectors (above and below). Through the scenario editor, you can also choose whichever locomotive number you wish, so either period or preserved options are ready for use.

Also included, alongside the S15 Class, are 4 examples of Bulleid coaches in Southern Malachite Green livery; 59ft Brake Third Composite (above), and 64ft 6in Brake Third & Composite (below). The passenger view has you head-out the window, a favourite among many steam enthusiasts.

In the career scenario, ‘Goods Arthur to Minehead’, you start your duty by shunting back onto your consist of Bulleid’s (above), before heading into Bishops Lydeard station, taking on passengers and starting on a damp excursion of the West Somerset Railway (below).

It will be all tender-first in ‘Minehead to Bishops Lydeard’, another passenger trip which takes place under sunnier skies. Before you can set off however, a quick top-up will be required (above). Meanwhile, back under the clouds in ‘Southern Workhorse’, your first task will to be assemble a Malachite passenger train at Bishops Lydeard (below).

Southern’s iconic S15 Class, a master of both freight and passenger, is ready for service in Train Simulator!

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  • Cracking piece of DLC. I thoroughly enjoy it.

  • It’d be cool to see a recreation of the London Victoria to Dover “Golden Arrow” service in Southern steam glory someday in Train Simulator, or maybe Waterloo to Bournemouth and Weymouth.

  • Lovely to see some more Southern Steam coming to the Steam Store, the overlooked member of the big 4 DLC wise. Excellent to see.

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