The A12 locomotives of the London and South Western Railway were built between the years 1887 and 1895 to the design of William Adams. Ninety of the locomotives were built; numbered 527-556 (built at Nine Elms Works); 607-646 (Neilson and Company (although officially known as O4 class); 597-606 and 647-656 (Nine Elms), they were unusual for their time. The wheelbase type (0-4-2) was being built by few of the other railway companies and were soon being phased out (the Great Northern Railway had 150 such locomotives). They bore the nickname ‘Jubilees’, because the first batch appeared in the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign. The engines were quite different from any that had yet been seen on a British railway, except for the L&BSCR’s ‘Gladstone’ class and were mainly used for heavy excursions and troop train movements, fast goods services to the west of England, Weymouth and Southampton and passenger train services in north and central Devon. They were also a first for the L&SWR in being provided with cast brass number plates rather than the individual numbers that had been used previously. These handsome plates, with their red background and highly polished state, continued throughout Adams’ and Beattie’s days, though were discarded when Drummond came on the scene. [Engraved by C. Trent for The Railway Engineer].