Stroudley built the first two experimental C class locos in 1871. Originally numbered
84 & 85, they were fitted with domeless boilers and Adams safety valves. In common
with other Stroudley classes, these gave trouble in service and were replaced by
domes and spring balance safety valves in 1876 and 1877 respectively. The two locomotives
were extensively tested on heavy goods trains from Willow Walk to Brighton, but never
had a good reputation for steaming, attributed to poor boiler circulation. Nevertheless,
the first two of the class were joined by 18 more. Construction of the second batch
during 1873-4 was divided between Kitsons, who provided 12, and Brighton Works who
built a further 6. All had domes and spring balance valves from new.
The C Class were originally numbered 77 - 96. Between 1880 and 1883 they became
401 - 420. One of the prototypes, number 84, became 83 in June 1876 until it received
number 408. The first of the Kitson’s batch took 85 on entering traffic.
The engines were unbraked as built, but the Westinghouse system was added to 406,8,9,10,11,13,15,18-20
between 1884 & 1887. The class had Stroudley outside frame tenders all their lives.
Withdrawals began in 1901 and were complete by 1904.