Locomotives built for War
or modified for War use

USA 0-6-0STs


Notes on british locomotives on active service. Locomotive Mag., 1919, 25, 35-6. 5 illustrations
During WW1 about 700 locomotives belonging to the railways of the United Kingdom were sent overseas to the various areas of operation for the use of the Railway Operating, Department. Readers on active service sent us at times notes of various locomotives that had come under their notice, but, for obvious reasons, the information could not be published. Now that the various restrictions had been withdrawn, we are able to publish photographs, taken in France, of some of the engines and also an interesting snapshot of two Belgian locomotives at Willesden, en route for heavy repairs at Crewe Works. Practically all the locomotives sent overseas were of the goods or mixed traffic classes. We have the numbers of 111 L. & N.W.R. engines in France, eighty-five being of the 0-6-0 type and twenty-six 0-8-0. The G.W.R. sent about sixty 0-6-0 tender engines, to France, as well as several to Salonica, and the latter were provided with large cabs and sunshades. Twelve of the new 2-6-0 mixed traffic engines were despatched as they were finished off at Swindon (Nos. 5320 up) and were reported to have done excellent work. Sixteen G.C.R. 0-8-0 and seventeen 0-6-0 were sent out in 1916, and these were followed by two hundred and ninety-five of the 2-8-0 superheaters, built to Mr. Robinson's designs by the North British Locomotive Co., Robert Stephenson & Co., Naysmith, Wilson & Co., and Kitson & Co. The North Eastern supplied over forty engines mostly of the 0-8-0 type, and we understand two were sunk in a torpedoed ship. The G.N.R. sent overseas about a dozen 0-6-0 goods engines and lent a few 0-8-0 mineral engines to the N.E. Ry. The S.E. & C.R. were the first to send engines to France, these being five 0-6-0 Kirtley side tanks, which were used for shunting at Boulogne from the early days of the war. Forty-three goods engines were taken from the G.E.R. stock, and about seventy or eighty from the Midland. Of the L. and Y. 0-6-0 goods engines about thirty went to France, but we learn that several 0-8-0 compounds were at Salonica. Several 0-6-2 radial tanks were furnished by the L.B. & S.C. Ry. for France. Thirty L. & S.W.R. goods engines (built by Neilson) were sent to Egypt and Palestine, and four of these went down in the Arabic. A few also were sent to Mesopotamia. Several trains of North London carriages were in service at Salonica. Amongst the first engines taken over by the R.O.D. were fifteen of the fine 4-6-4 tanks built by Beyer, Peacock & Co. for the Dutch State Rys. A few Glasgow-built 4-6-0 tender engines intended for the Transcontinental Ry. of Australia were diverted for service in France also. Of the Scotch railways the North British and the Caledonian seem to have been the only lines to have supplied engines, several 0-6-0 of both lines being reported. The Caledonian sent forty, and it is worth noting their numbers have been filled up in the C.R. list. The N.B.R. sent at least a dozen 0-6-0. The Baldwin Co. built seventy 2-8-0 tender engines,

Aves, William. The Railway Operating Division on the Western Front: the Royal Engineers in France and Belgium 1915-1919. . Donington: Shaun Tyas, 2009. 208pp.
Reviewed by Grahame Boyes in J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc, 2011 (210) [52-3]: This book fills an important gap by concentrating on the ROD's 'broad' (i.e. standard) gauge operations, rather than the tactical narrow-gauge lines that have received most attention. Although the first Railway Company of Royal Engineers landed in France within days of the onset of war, its role was to repair the railway infrastructure; operation of the railways was still the responsibility of the national railways. The ROD, employing largely volunteer professional railwaymen from Britain and the empire, was not formed until 1915, when it was agreed that the British army should take over railway operations supporting the British Expeditionary 52 Force. Part 1 of the book (100 pages) describes the strategic roles of the standard gauge railways, including the new lines and operational facilities that had to be built to serve the 120-mile British front and the variety of traffics and train that they handled. These included trains of troops and their horses from and to the ports; ambulance trains and 'sick horse specials'; supply trains of food and equipment; considerable movements of materials for building and repairing railways and roads and, under cover of darkness, the deployment of rail-mounted heavy guns and tanks. Chapters on the ROD's 50 locomotive depots and workshops introduce Part 2, the 80 pages of which are devoted to the histories of the 1534 ROD engines that served on this front. The focus on locomotives will appeal to many, but others will wish for more information on the volumes of traffic and the intensity of train working. The book is attractively produced, with a very interesting selection of photos.
Simpson, L.S. Railway operating in France. J, Instn Loco. Engrs., 1922, 12, 697-728. (Paper No. 128)
Read in Argentina: Author describes how he returned to Britain to serve during WW1 in the Railway Operating Division. On pp 699 and 700 he encountered Colonel Cecil Paget who directed him to repair 35 Belgian locomotives and noted on page 701 that Paget had a precise knowledge of the French language. The repair work was performed in a sugar factory (the source of some wonder to the speaker) at Pont d'Ardres, but work had to be transferred when the beet crop was harvested. Also served at Candas, Amiens and Hazebrouck. At the last named he experienced a major ammunition explosion on 21 July 1917 involving 10-12,000 tons of ammunition. On page 707 he recorded a visit made by R.E.L.Maunsell and by C.J. Bowen Cooke. He visited the shops at Borre with Col. Paget. He worked under Colonel George T. Glover, then of the NER, but later released to become CME of the GNR(I) page 718.  He was interviewed by Geddes and paper notes several aspects of his invovement in France. He visited the Gaza Railway in Palestine with Col. McLellan of Merz & McLellan to report on its state and at the end of WW1 he was requested to assess damage to railways in Belgium. Notes on train ferries.
Stanier, W.A. discussion on Burrows, M.G. and Wallace, A.L. Experience with the steel fireboxes of the Southern Region Pacific locomotives. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1958, 48, 281-2. (Paper No. 584)
Noted the poor performance of the steel fireboxes fitted to the ROD locomotives as experienced on the GWR and wondered whether wide fireboxes were better suited to being constructed from steel.

ROD 2-8-0 (Robinson 8K design for GCR)
Modified with steel fireboxes and Westinghouse in place of steam brake

Herbert, T.M. Locomotive firebox conditions: gas compositions and temperatures close to copper plates. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs, 1928, 115, 985-1006
Part of a collaborative profamme between LMS, LNER and SR and British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association Included tests on ROD 2-8-0s working from Mexborough with very poor water and another working in Scotland.
R.S. McNaught. ROD memories. Rly Wld, 1969, 30, 114-17.
Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. Locomotives of the LNER. Part 6B. Tender engines—classes O1 to P2. 1983.
Considers this variant of the Robinson 8K, LNER O4 class as part of it
Reed, Brian. ROD 2-8-0s. [Locomotive Profile No. 21]
Pp 193-216 (February 1972): centre spread (col. drawing: s & f els). 9 tables. illus. selected to be informative rather than decorative. Densely packed informative text.
J.W.P. Rowledge, The Robinson 2-8-0s. Part 1. Rly Wld, 1969, 30, 172-6.
J.W.P. Rowledge. The Robinson 2-8-0s. Part 2. Rly Wld, 1969, 30, 198-205.
The ROD and Robinson 2-8-0s—-a postscript: a selection of readers' letters amplifying the articles in the March, April and May issues. Rly Wld, 1969, 30, 368-70



In 1919 the LNWR purchased from the government thirty 2-8-0s which had been ordered for service with the Railway Operating Division on the Western Front during World War I. All except one were built by the North British Locomotive Co. and in fact came to the LNWR as new engines, since the war ended before they could be sent to France. They were classified as 'MM', the name being derived from the Ministry of Munitions which had ordered them, and lead to the adoption of the nickname 'Military Marys' by LNWR enginemen. When the engines were first obtained, they were given numbers in the LNWR ordinary stock list but the purchase was held up and in September 1919 they were numbered in the 2800 series along with 151 other engines of the class on loan. In November 1920 the purchase was completed and they received fresh numbers in the ordinary stock list. The Westinghouse pump provided brake power on the engine and so was in constant use when the engine was working; it was not something for use on the Continent only.

Essery, R.J. and David Jenkinson An illustrated History of LMS locomotives. Volume One: General review and locomotive liveries. 1981. page 90.
The ex-ROD engines (LMS 9616-65) were acquired by the LNWR and LMS before and after the grouping. Of the LNWR acquisitions (9616-45), many did not enter service until too late to receive their allotted LNWR series numbers. The LMS did not seem very enthusiastic about these engines, in spite of their relative newness, and scrapping commenced in 1928. In 1931,28 of the residual 31 survivors were renumbered 9455-82 to avoid clashing with the numbers of the new Fowler 0-8-0s. All had gone by 1932 and it is interesting to contrast the fate of these engines on the LMS with their considerable success on the LNER and GWR systems. To be fair to them, however, they were faced with extensive LMS route restrictions, being prohibited from virtually the whole of the ex-L YR and ex-MR lines.

RCTS Locomotives of the Great Western Railway. Part 10.pp. K269-75.
Covers the Great Western purchases of surplus ROD engines

Talbot, Edward. The London & North Western Railway eight-coupled goods engines.
Chapter 10 of this excellent book covers the LNWR purchases

Topham, W.L. The running man's ideal locomotive. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1946, 36, 3-29. Disc.: 29-91. (Paper No. 456)
Many failures were experienced with GCR ROD type due to lack of belling and welding in steam pipe connections. The ashpan received specific condemnation as the trailing coupled axle was completely surrounded..

LNWR 0-8-0 G class

Twenty six of G class served with ROD: see section on LNWR locomotives (part 3) references to Plates 376/7 (Talbot Illustrated history)

0-6-2T (N1 class from GNR)

Two Ivatt 0-6-2Ts (Nos. 1587 and 1590) were purchased by the War Office for incorporation into armoured trains formed at Crewe with components from the GWR, CR as well as from the GNR. The locomotives were fitted with armour plating and the trains were known as HMT Norna and HMT Alice. In 1923 the locomotives were sold back to the LNER. Groves (3A) pp. 93-4. Talbot Pictorial tribute to Crewe Works PLATE 114


L class (from NER)
The RCTS Locomotives of  the LNER Part 8B and Hoole Illustrated history of NER locomotives (pp. 133-5) No. 544 illustrated is shown as modified (with No. 545) for hauling large rail-mounted guns during WW1 when fitted with condensing apparatus and an extra Westinghouse pump for lifting water from streams. According to the RCTS No. 544 protected the entrance to the Tees from the Middlesbrough side and No. 545 was at Hartley in Northumberland. Other Hoole illus: No. 553 Gateshead official; No. 551 in green livery; and No. 544 at Ferryhill on 23 March 1923 after removal of condensing apparatus and one Westinghouse pump.

Hatcher p. 64 states that a Manning Wardle 0-4-0ST was used to haul an armoured train on the Marsden Railway during WW1.

Narrow gauge railways
Extensive use was made of tramways (light railways) which used troops, horse and mules to haul munitions to forward positions. The French had developed locomotive worked light railways to serve their fixed artillery firing sites and these systems developed into complex networks of lines which were even capable of coping in th later stages of the War with a more mobile form of warfare. They are mainly associated with the Western Front, but were also exploted to a lesser extent in Italy, Salonika, Egypt and Palestine.

Davies, W.J.K. Light railways of the First World War: a history of tactical rail communication on the British Fronts, 1914-18. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1966. 196pp. 58 illus. on plates, 35 diagrs (including many maps).
"At their greatest extent, during the months immediately preceding the German offensive of March 1918, the light railways were operating, on average, over 745 miles of 60cm-gauge track and carrying about 186,750 tons a week, besides large numbers of troops." Main locomotive types described were: Hudson outside-cylinder 0-6-0WTs supplied by R. Hudson Ltd and manufactured by Hudswell Clarke. The locomotives were known as "Hudsons". Twenty five similar locomotives were supplied by Andrew Barclay (order placed in August 1916. These types were considered as "shunting locomotives", but were followed by "main-line" locomotives supplied by Hunslet: 4-6-0Ts with outside-cylinders and valve gear.These were 2ft 6in gauge. Davies considers that these were popular with their crews and "were strongly-built, powerful, reliable and comparatively stable". A total of 155 were supplied. The Baldwin 4-6-0Ts of class 10-12-D were the most numerous: 495 being supplied to British War Office orders. These were supplied very quickly, but were crudely built. Davies argues that these were not pannier tanks. Later locomotives had flangeless centre driving wheels with wide treads and built-in traversing jacks to assist rerailing. Finally, 100 2-6-2Ts were ordered from ALCO and supplied from the Cooke Locomotive Works, leading to the type being known as "Cookes". The Baldwins tended to operate chimney-first, which called for triangles for turning, whereas the 2-6-2Ta could operate in reverse. Davies also considers two types of French military equipment which were sometimes operated by British troops. These were the 60cm articulated 0-4-4-0Ts of the Pêchot-Bourdon type. 100 locomotives were supplied by the North British Locomotive Co., plus a further 280 from Baldwin. Kerr Stuart supplied 100 0-6-0Ts which were broadly similar to Decauville products and it is probable that these were constructed to French drawings. Davies includes diagrams (side and front elevations) for all the types mentioned excluding the French designs. Reviewed by HS in Rly Wld, 1967, 28, 357.

Narrow gauge military railway locomotives on the Western Front. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1920, 26, 120-2.
Hunslet 4-6-0Ts for 60cm lines. Built with condensing apparatus. Supplied to design of Rendel, Palmer & Tritton.

This section includes four distinct categories of locomotive, namely:

  1. Locomotives built by the Ministry of Supply for the War Department, mainly for overseas military operations. Some were later absorbed into LNER and British Railways stocks. There were 2-10-0 and 2-8-0 classes designed by Riddles and a standard Hunslet 0-6-0ST.
  2. Locomotives acquired from the main-line companies for military service at home or overseas. These frequently required some modification. Notable amongst these were the LMS 8F 2-8-0s and the Robinson 2-8-0s used during WW1.
  3. Modifications to locomotives of the main-line companies to meet war time conditions.
  4. United States locomotives constructed for service in Europe. Some worked for a short time in Britain, and a few tank engines were eventually acquired by the Southern Railway. The main type was the S160 2-8-0: these worked for some months in Britain, but not without incident as there were several boiler explosions (see Hewison).

Kalla-Bishop, P.M. Locomotives at war: army reminiscences of the Second World War. [1980].
Military railways at Martin Mill (serving artillery for Cross-Channel shelling), Longmoor, Melbourne, Shropshire & Montgomeryshire, and briefly service in Northern Ireland, and lengthier service in North Africa and in Italy. Many observations on USA 0-6-0Ts, S160 2-8-0s and on Dean Goods. Coincidentally, the writer describes some extraordinary motive power employed on the Shropshire & Montgomeryshre Railway including LNWR 0-4-0STs Nos. 3014 and 3015, and 2-4-2Ts Nos. 6632 and 6691 which were highly unsuitable for working permanent way trains (but maybe this was deliberate on a training railway). J15 Nos. 7835 and 7541 (ex-film stars at Denham Studios) were also in service). Dean Goods treated separately..
Locomotives for war service overseas.. Locomotive Mag., 1945, 51, 32
By the end of March 1945 the last 200 of well over 1,000 British and American heavy freight locomotives will be withdrawn from service on British railways and sent overseas. The withdrawal of engines from the railways commenced early in the war, when a considerable number were shipped to France in support of the first British Expeditionary Force. Many of these were lost after Dunkirk. A further- 143 were later sent to the Near East, where they are operating in Syria and Persia. Others have gone to Palestine and North Africa. The first engine to enter El Alamein after its recapture was of L.M.S. design, whilst G.W.R. locomotives have been seen hauling supplies along the North African railways to Tunis. LNER. engines were working in Egypt and on the Haifa-Beirut-Tripoli line. Military requirements in the Middle East in 1941/2 called for a number of diesel-electric locomotives, 16 of which were supplied by the LMS. In all, 23 LMS. diesel engines had gone overseas. The latest available figures show that 138 locomotives, including eight diesels, had been lost overseas. In 1942 400 American 2-8-0 heavy freight engines were loaned to the British railways to deal with the enormous quantities of additional traffic consequent upon the US. Army being stationed in this country. These engines, which were made ready at Eastleigh and Ebbw Vale works, have now all been withdrawn and were in service on the Continent. Spare parts which accompanied them ran into thousands. Towards the end of 1942 the War Office agreed to lend the railways 450 specially designed 2-8-0 Austerity locomotives, the first of which went into service in January, 1943. Others followed in fairly rapid succession as they were completed by manufacturers, Progress. of the Allied Armies in Europe made it imperative that these engines too should be withdrawn from service in this country and, sent overseas, and already 250 had been released by the railways and shipped to France and Belgium; 100 more were sent overseas during February and the remaining 100 are to go during March. Arrangements were made for these to reach the ports for shipment at the rate of over 20 a week. Prior to going abroad the whole of the "Austerity" locomotives have undergone extensive overhaul in British railway works, where they have been refitted and reconditioned to ensure their running at least 25,000 miles trouble free. These final preparations have been carried out in the railway workshops at Ashford , Cowlairs, Crewe, Darlington, Derby, Doncaster, Eastleigh, Gorton and Stratford.

Ministry of Supply locomotives

Two tender designs were built under the direction of R.A. Riddles.

2-10-0: 1944
This design incorporated a wide firebox. A few of the class were acquired for use on the Scottish Region (mainly in the Motherwell and Grangemouth areas), and the design had considerable bearing on the selection of the 2-10-0 type by British Railways. Several have been preserved, and having a light axle-load are useful on "preserved railways", such as the North Norfolk Railway, where the type provides a magnificent spectacle, especially with express headlamps: "90775" produces a delightful amount of smoke and noises which can be heard far and wide across the Sheringham area..

British-built Austerity 2-10-0 locomotive. Rly Gaz., 1944, 80, 468-70. illus., diagr. (s. el.), 3 tables.
BRITISH-BUILT Austerity 2-10-0 locomotive. Rly Gaz., 1944, 81, 597-602 + folding plate. 7 illus., 3 diagrs. (incl. s. el.), plan.
Includes sectionalized diagrams.
BRITISH-BUILT Austerity 2-10-0 locomotive. Rly Mag., 1944, 90, 222-5. 2 illus., diagr. (s. el.), table.
Cook, A.F. Ministry of Supply Austerity 2-10-0 engines. J. Stephenson Loco. Soc., 1944, 20, 47. illus. (line drawing : s. el.)
MINISTRY of Supply 2-10-0 locomotive. Engineering, 1944. 158, 4; 10. 4 illus., diagr. (s. el.)
TEN-COUPLED locomotives again. Rly Gaz., 1944, 80, 461.
Editorial comment.
The 2-10-0 Austerity locomotive. Engineer. 1944, 177, 367. 2 illus.


1948 exchange trials.

Allen, C.J.. The locomotive exchanges, 1870-1948. [1950].

British Railways efficiency tests

British Railways. War Department 2-10-0 and 2-8-0 freight locomotives London, British Transport Commission, 1953. [5], 7, [55] sheets. 6 illus., 71 diagrs. (incl. 2 s. & f. els.), 3 tables. (Performance and efficiency tests with live steam injector. Bulletin No. 7),

Retrospective and critical

Bond, R.C. discussion on Burrows, M.G. and Wallace, A.L. Experience with the steel fireboxes of the Southern Region Pacific locomotives. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1958, 48, 282-3. (Paper No. 584)
Noted the importance of water quality and treatment. The 25 WD 2-10-0s in Scotland had arch tubes and had given very satisfactory service, but the Class 5 4-6-0s fitted with steel fireboxes had not been entirely satisafctory.
British ten-coupled locomotives Rly Gaz., 1944, 81, 592-3.
Comment on good service in operation on the LMS.
Fairless, T. Recent locomotive designs a comparison between the British-built Austerity 2-10-0, American-built Austerity 2-8-0 and proposed 2-10-0 locomotive for the Central Uruguay Railway. Rly Gaz., 1945, 83, 241+. 2 diagrs., table.
Harvey, D.W. Bill Harvey's 60 years of steam. 1986.
Pages 108-9: noted that the Flanery flexible stays initialy caused confusion as one fitter thought that the dull thud when struck indicated failure. The rubbing blocks between engine and tender tended to collapse from impacts from heavy loose-coupled trains.
Pollock, D.R. and White, D.E., compilers. The 2-8-0 & 2-10-0 locomotives of the War Department, 1939-1945: Stanier L.M.S. type 2-8-0; British Austerity 2-8-0; British Austerity 2-10-0; Robinson L.N.E.R. class O4 2-8-0. Rly Obsr., 1946, 16 Supplement No.5.
In addition to describing the design, this work notes the war time activities of the locomotives, in detail.
Poultney, E.C. British Railways freight locomotive tests. Rly Gaz., 1954, 101, 346-8; 374-6. 2 illus., 19 diagrs., 5 tables.
An analysis of the official test bulletin (see above).
Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. Locomotives of the LNER. Part 6B. Tender engines—classes O1 to P2. 1983.
Pp. 147-51 includes some information relevant to the work of the 2-10-0 type on LNER lines during WW2. They did not receive an LNER classification. Rowledge better known for his work on LMS and Irish locomotives contributed to this Part.
Rogers, H.C.B. Last steam locomotive engineer: R.A. Riddles, C.B.E. 1970.
This source is important as it appears that Rogers had the full cooperation of Riddles: herewith the relevant section (page
The War Office were extremely pleased with the new engine, so much so that they asked Riddles to produce a locomotive which should have the same tractive effort as the Austerity but with only 13½ ton axle load instead of 15½. This was a problem. Riddles first thought of a 2-8-2, but he felt that he would lose adhesion and decided that a 2-10-0 was the right answer, and that it should have a bigger boiler with a wide firebox. To enable it to run through a 4½ chain curve, he decided that the centre coupled wheels should be flangeless and those on each side have flanges of reduced thickness. This caused some trepidation at the North British Locomotive Company, but Riddles insisted. He had curves laid out and calculated that with a wider wheel tread all would be well. The first of the engines to be turned out was taken to St Rollox shed, and was just about to go through a sharp curve when a ganger, who happened to be there, ran up waving his arms and protesting that the engine could not go through as the curve was much too sharp. But it went through all right without even the usual 'grind' of a 2-8-0. Riddles says that they had got, in effect, the equivalent of an articulated engine, because, with the slight flexing of the frames, the 2-10-0 was very easy on curves.
After the War, when the LMS was asked to take over some of these 2-10-0s, the Civil Engineers objected to using them until they could test the 'throw-over' on a 1 in 8 curve at a station platform. The argument about this went on for some time, and Riddles believes that there was difficulty in finding such a condition. He got tired of waiting and telephoned General McMullen and asked him if he would make a test at Longmoor, where he knew there was a 1 in 8 crossing in the station. This was a Saturday morning, and by the Monday he had received a highly satisfactory chart of the complete test. He presented this to the Chief Engineer, who then agreed to the engines being used.
The demand for the 2-10-0 arose because the 2-8-0 was not considered suitable for the haulage of very long and heavy trains over light, improvised, or imperfect track. As compared with the 2-8-0, the 2-10-0 had a considerably longer boiler and with the wide firebox the grate area was increased to 40 square feet. A rocking grate was provided. Riddles decided on a more orthodox lagging of the boiler because of the extremes of temperature to which it might be subjected. Underneath the steel clothing plates were asbestos mattresses, laid against the boiler barrel and firebox.
Riddles' 2-10-0 class, the first of which was completed by the North British Locomotive Company in June 1944, was undoubtedly one of the masterpieces of British locomotive engineering. Major General D.J. McMullen, Director of Transportation, wrote to Riddles on February 15, 1945 saying that he had just come back from a visit to the British Liberation Army and had to let him know how excellently the Austerities and 2-10-0s were doing. 'Everyone', he wrote, 'loves the 2-10-0. It is quite the best freight engine ever turned out in Great Britain and does well on even Belgian "duff", which is more like porridge than coal. The 2-8-0s have trouble for steaming on this muck alone, but if they can get 25 per cent of Dutch lump coal mixed with it they do all right'. He added that it was amazing to trundle along on a 2-8-0 Austerity only three miles from the German front line. In Nijmegen station the shell bursts in the battle area could be seen from the footplate, 'So your products are well up into the fighting area, often ahead of the medium artillery positions'. On January 4, 1946 McMullen wrote again to Riddles saying, 'I have yet to see in Europe anything to touch your 2-10-0, weight for weight'. A total of 150 of these engines were built, all by the North British Locomotive Company.
Riddles had returned to the L M S by the time the first of the 2-10-0s began to appear. Stanier was still CME (though he retired early in 1944), and one Saturday he walked into Riddles' office. 'Bad luck, Robert,' he said. Riddles was at that moment being told by Walters, from the Ministry, that seven or eight of the 2-10-0s had been stopped at Peterborough with broken stays in the firebox. He asked Stanier how he knew as he had only just got the information himself. Stanier replied that it had been given out over the 'tin can'. This was the name given to the daily telephone conference, held under the authority of the then Railway Executive, between operating officers of all railways and at which were reported and discussed arrangements for traffic control, untoward incidences, etc. Riddles says:
'Stanier was not malicious—in fact I do not think he could be but I knew that many others did not like my having produced new designs. I replied lightheartedly (without, of course, intending it unkindly), "It reminds me of the crisis with the Class Fives and their broken stays". We said no more, but, in spite of my assumed lightheartedness, I was very worried. It was a Saturday, so I was back early at my home in Watford and immediately got out my car and drove off to Peterborough. Just as I arrived at Peterborough station, to enquire the whereabouts of the running shed, I saw coming round the corner Tom Lawson, the North British Works Superintendent. He had a broad grin on his face when he saw me. "What is it Tom?" I asked. "The bloody fools have been tapping the flexible stays!" he replied. I breathed a sigh of relief, and how we both enjoyed it! But no correction was announced over the "tin can"!' (Normally, when stays are tapped with a hammer they give a ring if they are sound and a dull thud if they are not. But flexible stays, being linked together, also respond to a tap with a dull thud.) The Directorate of Royal Engineer Equipment controlled all locomotive manufacture, and this included Beyer Garratt locomotives for Commonwealth countries, Colonial territories, and the lines of communication of the forces operating in Assam and Burma. Many other requirements were met by using or adapting existing types of, for instance, both steam and diesel shunters.
Rowledge, J.W.P. Austerity 2-8-0s & 2-10-0s. London: Ian Allan, 1987. 144pp.
Author is extremely reliable and contributed to RCTS work (above). The 2-10-0s were all built by North British Locomotive Company and had a more limited sphere of activity, both overseas and in Britain. Before the end of WW2 they were used quite extensively on the LNER both in Scotland and in East Anglia. prior to most going to Europe. On p. 43 there is an evocative picture of No. 73704 on a leave train consisting of LNER coaches at Breda on 11 July 1945. This type had a long association with the Longmoor Military Railway. The type worked in Syria and in Greece where they lasted for a long time after WW2. Some worked in Holland and in Germany. On page 36 it is noted that the tenders were prone to derail when running tender-first. On British Railways they were mainly asociuated with workings from Motherwell, Kingmoor, and to a more limited extent from Grangemouth..
Rowledge, J.W.P. Heavy goods engines of the War Department. Vol. 3 Austerity 2-8-0 and 2-10-0. Poole: Springmead, 1978. 64pp.
Ottley 10491
Thomson, W.  Discussion on Burrows, M.G. and Wallace, A.L. Experience with the steel fireboxes of the Southern Region Pacific locomotives. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1958, 48, 297-8. (Paper No. 584)
The steel fireboxes fitted to the WD 2-10-0s were remarkably free from trouble and that the firebox stays lasted for fifteen years.

Tourret, R. War Department locomotives. Abingdon: Author. 1976. 82pp.
Ottley 10488
Vaughan, Adrian. The heart of the Great Western. Peterborough: Silver Link, 1994.
Relates how Charlie Turner (page 56) found these to be "fine engines", when they were enountered during WW2 in France and Germany.
Whalley, P.S. The work of their craft. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1946, 36, 401-29. 28 illus., 8 diagrs., map (Presidential Address).
Includes some comments on the British Austerity designs, but it is mainly concerned with the United States "Liberation" type.

Numbers and names

NORTH British 2-10-0 locomotives Rly Gaz., 1945, 83, 278.
The last engine to be built was named North British.
Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. British Railways renumbering of class 8 2-8-0 and 2-10-0 W.D. locomotives. Rly Obsr, 1949, 19, Supplement No. 3. 6 p.

In its original form this design was simple to the point of crudeness. All refinements were eliminated to ensure reliability under military operating conditions.

The "AUSTERITY" locomotives. Engineer, 1942, 174, 448. diagr. (s. el.)
BRITISH "Austerity" locomotives. Rly Gaz., 1943, 78.101.2 illus.
Handing over ceremony at the North British Locomotive Co.
BRITISH-BUILT "Austerity" 2-8-0 type tender locomotive. Rly Gaz., 1943, 79, 253-8 + folding plate. 7 illus., diagrs., 5 tables.
Includes sectionalized diagrams.
Cook, A.F. Ministry of Supply "Austerity" 2-8-0 locomotive. J. Stephenson Loco. Soc., 1944, 20, 35-7. illus. (line drawing: s.el.)
Ministry of Supply "Austerity" locomotive. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1942, 48, 202. diagr. (s. el.)
Ministry of Supply 2-8-0 tender locomotive. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1944, 50, 9. illus.
No. 7199 supplied by North British Locomotive Co.
Ministry of Supply "Austerity" locomotives. Rly Gaz., 1942, 77, 492-3. illus., diagr. (s. el.)
NEW locomotives for War work. Rly Mag., 1943, 89, 44-5. illus. diagr. (s. el.)
[WAR Department 2-8-0] . Rly Gaz., 1943, 78, 116. illus., diagr. (s. el.).


1948 exchange trials.

Allen, C.J.. The locomotive exchanges, 1870-1948. [1950].

British Railways efficiency tests

British Railways. War Department 2-10-0 and 2-8-0 freight locomotives London, British Transport Commission, 1953. [5], 7, [55] sheets. 6 illus., 71 diagrs. (incl. 2 s. & f. els.), 3 tables. (Performance and efficiency tests with live steam injector. Bulletin No. 7),

Retrospective and critical

Beavor, E.S. Steam was my calling. 1974 pp. 83-4.
Slipping: describes how at Staveley in 1952, the examining fitter there came to him with the expression of a man who has just seen a flying saucer, and announced "You'll hardly believe this, but I've found an 'Austerity' with a set of flanges on the outside of the coupled wheels as well as on the inside". Normally this would have gone well beyond the limits of my credulity, but examiner Walt Airey was a serious, long-service type, .whose remarks were in no way inclined to imagination. So I went along with him to investigate. Sure enough this WD 2-8-0 had been slipping to such an extent, in trying to drag a heavy train out of a colliery yard, that it had produced the equivalent of some years of normal wear on the wheel treads. Evidently the driver had been using sand continuously on wet, greasy rails, and this had acted as a very effective grinding paste. As a result, all the coupled wheels had a crude kind of 'flange', between ¼in and ½in deep on the outside of the treads, in addition to the normal flanges being cut correspondingly deep.
Blundell, J. communication on Topham's The running man's ideal locomotive. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1946, 36, 68-71
The water valve control of some W.D. locomotives was so designed that the whole rodding up to the actual handle bracket had to be stripped to change the plug cock which was seized owing to being bulged by frost. Dismounting alone took a fitter forty minutes.
Bond, R.C. Organisation and control of locomotive repairs on British Railways. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1953, 43, 175-216. Disc. : 217-65. (Paper No. 520).
Quotes mileages achieved between repairs.
Bulleid, O.V.S. discussion on Shields, T.H.: The evolution of locomotive valve gears. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1943, 33, 368. (Paper No. 443).
Pp. 454-6: "As a matter of interest, he had compared the valve events of the first "austerity" engine built on the Southern Railway with those of the second "austerity" locomotive, produced by the Ministry of Supply. The Southern Railway engine used the Stephenson gear; the Ministry of Supply used the Walschaerts. When one looked at the figures, one had to admit that it was quite immaterial whether one used the one or the other; the events' were both good, both engines did the work for which they were designed, and both stood up to their job. The Stephenson gear did not cause any trouble with lubrication. It was piston ring trouble rather than gear trouble which was generally experienced.
Cox, E.S. British Railways standard steam locomotives. 1966.
Page 24 et seq. Cox summarises the background activities which led up to the Austerity 2-8-0 design.
Essery, Bob. LMS Garratts. Steam Wld, 2009 (263), 28-39.
Annual mileage statistics quoted for LMR Austrities for 1950: 19,121 miles.
Hardy, R.H.N. Steam in the blood
Again I decided to see for myself and one evening set off with White for Neasden on the 6.4spm from Woodford. Again I did the hard work and there was no doubt that 3188, our engine on this trip, would not steam in the best of conditions. The oscillation between engine and tender at speed brought a constant stream of coal on to the footplate, making it impossible to keep things clean, and I was tired out when eventually I got back home at about four in the morning. I was even more so when I set out for the depot after breakfast to sort things out with Joe Goode and Bill Jeynes, respectively chargeman fitter and boilermaker, who came to see me each morning at nine o'clock and stood in front of my desk like Tweedledum and Tweedledee answering questions that I hoped sounded more confident and incisive than I felt they were. And thus began the battle of the "jimmies".
Some of the WD engines still had their original numbers, such as No 785I4, while those that had been through the Faverdale shops had received new numbers—63186, 63188, and 90046. Generally speaking those which had passed through the shops had a large blastpipe top, of either 51/8in or 5¼in diameter. Whatever the size, however, the steaming was very bad. On the other hand, some of the older engines with the WD numbers were fitted with a form of "jimmy", three studs fixed to a ring which in turn was fitted to the blastpipe top. The studs restricted the blastpipe orifice and sharpened the blast so that the boiler steamed freely. Now it was expressly forbidden to fit any such device, and so I was faced with a difficult situation. Time was being lost day after day on the Neasden service through shortage of steam. I knew perfectly that to obtain authority to alter the design would take months, and I decided that the only quick solution-for we were there to run trains to time-was to make and fit a razor across the blastpipe of the engines with the large tops, bolting it securely in place. As a result, time- keeping became exemplary, but our boilermaker chargeman went about with a long face, feeling that the boilers were being forced and tube leakage accentuated. On the contrary, I felt very strongly that if the blastpipe tops were too large, the "jimmy" simply had the effect of making the boiler do its stuff.
However, our firemen never liked the WD flame-scoop, and the firehole mouthpiece that fell into the fire at the slightest touch. Bill Jeynes had plenty to say, too, about cold air on his tubeplates, so we devised a method of fixing the mouthpieces and altering the set of the flame-scoop. I could stand in my office and look across the front of the shed and if I saw a WD 2-8-0 about to go out without a flame-scoop in place, I would dive out of the front door and up on to the footplate to remonstrate (to put it mildly) with the crew. Maybe they cursed me, but we got those old "carts" to steam, to do their work, and to run to time, and we eased the terrible leaking of the tubes that was a constant worry to all concerned. And provided we took the "jimmies" out when the engines went to the works for overhaul, everybody was happy. Certainly we reduced the number of discarded   flame-scoops dumped at the far end of the triangle and in the station yard, and that in itself was a major triumph.
Pollock, D.R. and White, D.E., compilers. The 2-8-0 & 2-10-0 locomotives of the War Department, 1939-1945: Stanier L.M.S. type 2-8-0; British Austerity 2-8-0; British Austerity 2-10-0; Robinson L.N.E.R. class O4 2-8-0. Rly Obsr., 1946, 16 Supplement No.5.
Powell, A.J. Living with London Midland locomotives. 1977.
Chapter 10: The strong pull:
Any review of freight locomotive power would be singularly incomplete without some mention of the WD 2-8-0s, or 'Austerities'. I make no apology for mentioning these engines in the company of LMS designs, because apart from the features introduced by Mr Riddles to facilitate production under wartime conditions they were as LMS-bred as anything from the Derby drawing-boards. In fact, a number of LMS draughtsmen were seconded to North British for the design work. The starting point was, of course, the Stanier 2-8-0, with as many castings as possible eliminated, with coupled wheels designed to be suitable for cast iron (though in practice iron was abandoned quite early in favour of cast steel) and a round-top firebox on a parallel boiler barrel. Mechanical lubrication was eliminated in the interests of economy, and another feature introduced with this in mind was the absence of a smoke box ring to the barrel, resulting in a smokebox smaller in diameter than the boiler clothing. In a number of respects the design improved on the LMS model. The Midland brake valve was discarded for a 'Dreadnought' valve with separate graduable steam brake valve. The exhaust steam injector and Midland live steam injector were replaced by two 'Monitor' injectors — really first-class devices. The LMS reversing rod from the cab a flat-section rod with a lot of 'whip', which needed a steadying bracket, was passed over for a stiff tubular rod. They were built for a short life and a gay one during the war, but that life was so short under wartime conditions, and there was so much sound potential in them, that there was no thought of scrapping them after hostilities ceased. Altogether some 733 2-8-0s and 25 2-10-0s were bought by the LNER and BR on behalf of several Regions, and put into heavy freight service after overhaul, enabling scrapping of much old power to be undertaken.
During 1949, while I was at Railway Executive headquarters at 222 Marylebone Road, the first distillation of experience with the 'Austerities' took place, and this led to a lengthy list of proposed modifications. Some arose from complaints through trade union channels, some were based on (bitter) maintenance experience and a few from other sources. They were of various degrees of priority: some were done at next works repair, while some never did get done because a satisfactory solution to the problem could not be devised within acceptable cost limits. The top priority jobs included the fitting of sliding side windows and gangway doors to the somewhat spartan cabs, the restaying of the smokebox tubeplate and firebox doorplate in the upper areas to eliminate the original plate gusset stays which gave trouble, and the replacement of the water gauges by either LM or BR standard fittings. The original water gauges were absolute fiends: if the left-hand glass broke, it was almost impossible to shut off the cocks unless you were wearing asbestos gloves, so badly were the handles placed close to hot stea.m pipes, etc. In addition, the crosshead gudgeon pins had a nasty habit of falling out — they were not nutted, but held in by a triangular plate secured by three very inadequate studs. As they were shopped the crossheads were bored out and fitted with LM-type gudgeon pins, fitted in the body of the cross head on two seatings of a continuous taper, and nutted. and cottered on the outside — which stopped that little game. Other items need to be outlined. Enginemen had some surprises (and maybe a few injured legs) when, under certain conditions of curvature and cant, the cab fall-plates could dig into the corners of the steel tender platform and then fly up under pressure. Nasty! All the platform corners had to be reprofiled to stop this happening. The tender, too, was distinctly prone to derailment. The four axles were equalised in two pairs, but the equalising beam pins soon became seized and the weight distribution went all to pot. Various palliatives were tried, but the problem was never fully bottomed and cured. It was such a regular occurrence that, for instance, when they were taken into Crewe Works from the South shed, the tenders were solemnly filled with water before starting and emptied on arrival in the works.
Being built for an austerity age, the mechanical lubricators of the Stanier engines were replaced by oil boxes to feed the axleboxes (via a telescopic pipe arrangement that was nearly as crude as on the LNW engines) and a sight feed lubricator for cylinders and valves. There was a degree of hot box trouble as a result of displacement and fracture of the oil pipes, and on occasion the oil boxes themselves did not get the attention they warranted (there were four quite big ones on each side for the coupled boxes). The real answer was to fit mechanical lubricators delivering straight into the underkeeps, but the cost was reckoned to be prohibitive. A few were fitted with a small Wakefield 'Fountain' type lubricator in the cab for the boxes, but this was only partly successful. Consideration was given latterly to putting hoses from the original oilboxes to the underkeeps, but I do not think this ever came to fruition. There was a stupid little difficulty on the 'Detroit' cylinder lubricator, too. The filling plug was screwed into a renewable seating, the idea being that its constant use should not wear or strip the threads in the main body prematurely. Fine in theory; but in practice the seating always unscrewed with the plug. We tried all sorts of ways of fixing that seating — set screws, brazing, the lot — but it always came out with the plug after a few days.
On the credit side there was quite a lot to be said in their favour. Unkempt they generally looked, but they were rugged and reliable. The steaming was satisfactory from the start, but after a visit to the Rugby test plant which led to the fitting of slightly smaller blastpipe caps it was as near perfect as could be. There were two really good live steam injectors on them, very reliable at all times. The Laird crossheads, with bolted-on slipper, were a joy for the maintenance staff —they could have the slipper out, remetal it and have it back, without need for machining if they had the proper chills, in an hour. And while the tender, with its narrow bunker, did not give the same degree of cab protection as the Stanier 4,000 gallon design, the bunker was perhaps a little better at feeding coal when part-empty, thanks to the steeper inclination at the sides. Also the 5,000 gallon capacity (with no scoop) could be a godsend. But, once again, they experienced all the shuttling trouble from total absence of reciprocating balance. It seemed particularly bad on the 'Austerities', to the point that the engine and tender drag-boxes behind the intermediate buffing blocks distorted quite seriously, and had to be stiffened up with additional gussets. We also tried to stiffen up the intermediate buffers by was he ring up the springs, but this was of strictly limited effectiveness. But on some of the Central Division banks, such as coming down from Copy Pit, I think if you could have fitted a straight Image chute from shovelling plate to fire hole the engine would have fired itself! ...
There was just one engine of the class that did not suffer this shuttling malady - No 90527, which had been experimentally modified, by riveting steel plates on the outside of the cast balance weights, to balance 40% of the reciprocating masses — the maximum that clearances would permit. I rode on her throughout one night on the 10.40pm Class E freight (not less than four wagons vacuum-braked) from Aintree to Copley Hill, a test if ever there was one — 7miles down from Todmorden, and 3miles down from Morley Tunnel (steep), as well as all sorts of short bits between. But on none of these banks, even at speeds up to 45mph, and using the graduable steam brake valve to steady the train rather than get assistance from the fitted head, could we get her to shuttle. The various engine men involved were quite incredulous, thinking that something wonderful had been done to the intermediate drawgear to effect such an improvement (in fact, nothing had been done to it at all). She was completely cured, but it took a long time to persuade the CME that he should do anything more. Finally, he took No 90527 on some official, instrumented tests. And the finding? She was no better than other Austerities and it had not really mitigated her shuttling. We were utterly dismayed - it could only have happened by getting the wrong engine by mistake. So nothing more was heard of it and they shuttled into Valhalla. They will be remembered for their chunky bark, the gentle knock of their motion, and the many times one or two pairs of tender wheels were disengaged from the ballast.

Poultney, E.C. British Railways freight locomotive tests. Rly Gaz., 1954, 101, 346-8; 374-6. 2 iflus., 19 diagrs., 5 tables.
An examination of British Railways Bulletin No. 7 (see above).
Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. Locomotives of the LNER. Part 6B. Tender engines—classes O1 to P2. 1983.
The type was classified as O7 by the LNER and considerable numbers were purchased by the Company prior to Nationalization. The boilers, especially the fireboxes were considered to be below standard by Darlington and were subject to extensive modification.
Riddles, R.A. discussion on Koffman, J.L. Dynamic braking of steam, diesel and gas turbine locomotives. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1951, 41, 490-536. Disc.: 537. (Paper 505)
Explained Sillcox’s trouble (the paper had opened with an extensive quotation from L.K. Sillcox's Mastering momentum. New York, 1940). It had little to do with the heavy braking found with heavy stock in America; but was primarily due to the the American use of chilled cast iron wheels. When working for the Ministry of Supply he thought that if chilled cast iron wheels could be used successfully with the heavy rolling stock in America Britain could probably take advantage of the rapid production achievable with chilled cast iron wheels, and they  were fitted to the tenders of the “austerity" locomotives only to find that although he reduced the brake percentage to make sure that they were not applied too hard, the practice was to put the brake on by the steam brake, screw the hand brake down, release the steam brake and run down the gradients with the hand brake not only screwed on but put on with the steam pressure, and they had all the trouble of cracks and galls on the tyres. This to such an extent that they changed all the wheels to steel, after which there had been no further trouble.
Rogers, H.C.B. Last steam locomotive engineer: R.A. Riddles, C.B.E. 1970.
This source is important as it appears that Rogers had the full cooperation of Riddles: herewith the relevant section (page 118 et seq): Now Riddles was to attempt another rush job in conjunction with the North British Locomotive Company and again to assay a locomotive straight off the drawing board (refers back to Royal Scot)... The Chairman of the North British Locomotive Company, with whom Riddles was to deal so much, was W. Lorimer, the son of Sir William. Each week for many weeks on end Riddles travelled to Glasgow on the Friday night. There he spent Saturday in the North British Locomotive Company Drawing Office and Sunday with James Black the Technical Director. He says that he drew the Drawing Office staff and the Works together in a manner never experienced, even in the North British Locomotive Company. If a component was designed which was difficult to manufacture the design was altered.
The Austerity engine had some relation to the LMS 2-8-0 because the outline scheme had been got out by F.G. Carrier, a draughtsman who was section leader in the development and design branch of the Derby drawing office. (Carrier was, indeed, largely responsible for what Stanier's and Riddles' engines looked like.) For ease of manufacture Riddles had chosen a parallel boiler with a round top firebox, rather than the intricate and expensive Churchward pattern of taper boiler with Belpaire firebox. He almost eliminated steel castings, cutting down the 22 tons needed for the LMS 2-8-0 to only 2½. Cast iron replaced steel castings for all except the driving wheel centres. The leading truck wheels were rolled in one piece, and the tender wheels were chilled cast iron. But here Riddles slipped up. He had seen heavy freight wagons in the USA with these sort of wheels and observed how badly they behaved when over-braked. He had arranged for the percentage of brake leverage to be lowered on the tender to avoid this, but he had not allowed for the prevalent practice of drivers, when descending, a bank with loose-coupled stock, to apply the steam brake fully, screw down the tender hand brake, and then release the steam brake. This had most unfortunate results, for the tender wheels were badly damaged. Fortunately this happened in the early days and there was time to substitute rolled forged wheels. (He heard afterwards that the Chairman of one of the Railway Companies had said that the leading truck wheels were cast iron!) Another trouble was that a slight 'fore-and-aft' movement caused the built-up draw bar buffer between engine and tender to collapse, but stronger control springs remedied this. It was apparent that hostile and critical eyes were watching his engine, but he did not bother too much because he was sure that he was on the right lines.
With vivid memories of the trouble he had experienced with crossheads on the LMS Pacifics, Riddles chose the Laird pattern with twin bars above the piston rod (which were also much cheaper to manufacture). As stated earlier, he dispensed with boiler lagging and used air insulation only between the boiler and steel clothing sheets. There were two outside cylinders, 19 inches by 28 inches, driving the third pair of coupled wheels, which were 4 feet 8½ inches... The valve gear was Walschaerts and, of course, outside. The boiler pressure was 225 lbs. per square inch, the grate area was 28.6 square feet, and the weight of the engine in working order was 72 tons, of which 62 tons were available for adhesion. Cab and footplate arrangements were simplified as far as possible.
Riddles never approved of undue emphasis on thermal efficiency. The basis of his engines was a boiler which would meet all the demands made of it. He says, 'Whether or not they would burn a pound or two more a mile than a more sophisticated engine, I regarded as the unrealistic preoccupation of the theorist, because in practice a good driver and fireman could save pounds if given a free-steaming engine.'
Riddles anticipated a great deal of criticism of the Austerities and he remembered that his old friend Charles S. Lake, Editor of The Railway Engineer, had once said to him that the first thing that anybody noticed about an engine was the chimney. If, therefore, one wished to deflect criticism, the best way to do it was to design a ridiculous chimney. The critics would then concentrate on that and forget about the rest of the engine. So Riddles put an absurdly small dumpy chimney on his engine which was three inches lower than the rest of the boiler mountings. In diverting criticism from the more controversial points of the design, the results were highly gratifying. Nevertheless, he was too much of an artist for the chimney to be really ugly, and the Austerity, unlike Bulleid's dreadful looking 0-6-0 for the Southern Railway, was a handsome engine. (This chimney had an unexpected bonus because when Riddles designed the later and larger 2-10-0s for the War Department it was just right for the most exacting restrictions of the British loading gauge.)
Riddles awaited the appearance of the Austerity locomotive with a certain natural anxiety. On November 23, 1942 he wrote toW. Lorimer, Chairman of the North British Locomotive Company, asking him to do all in his power to get the first engine out by the end of the year at the latest and if possible before Christmas. He added:
'I think you are aware of the antagonism of the Chief Mechanical Engineers to this engine, and our one hope of getting it running on the British Railways is to produce it at a time when they are desperately in need of power and will be forced to take it in hand. When this has been done, I am quite sure that the locomotive itself will prove so effective in service that all their criticisms will be overriden and it should be accepted with joy by the operators'. He went on to say that the first American locomotive was arriving in a few days and there was a big 'poohbah' to greet it, in which he was joining, mainly as a return for the welcome given to the 'Coronation Scot'. But he did not want the shade of its arrival to last too long and obscure the impact of the home-made Austerity.
Lorimer replied on November 25th, saying that since he had received. Riddles' letter he had been in discussion with those of his staff concerned in the matter; but he did not think there was any possibility of steaming the first Austerity engine that year. He said that there had been difficulties over supplies, material, labour, and existing contracts.
But it was not long after the end of the year, because the first of the Austerity 2-8-0 locomotives was handed over at the North British Locomotive Company's Works on Saturday January 16, 1943. It was inspected by Sir Andrew Duncan, Minister of Supply, and among those present were Sir William Douglas, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Supply, Sir Geoffrey Burton, Director General of Mechanical Equipment, Riddles, W. Lorimer, and J. Black. The engine had been built in five months from the date of placing the order, and after all the parts had been delivered it had been assembled in ten days. The speed with which it was built was, in fact, a record for the North British Locomotive Company. The previous record had been five months from the time the designs had been received. According to the Glasgow Herald, William M'Pherson, the driver, said, 'This is the first time I have had a cushioned seat for my work, and altogether I have never handled a better engine'.
Production of the Austerities was rapid, because, owing to the simplicity of the design and the use of more readily available materials, thousands of man-hours were saved and time lost waiting for parts was drastically cut. Whereas the LMS 2-8-0s were being built at the rate of two to two and a half a week, the Austerities were turned out more than twice as fast, for from five to six were produced each week, and with the help of other manufacturers this rate eventually rose to seven. And, as a result of Riddles' visits, week-end after week-end, to Glasgow, and although the engines were produced straight off the drawing board, there were no teething troubles, apart from the quickly remedied errors over the tender wheels and draw bar buffer. It is only necessary to remember the Royal Scots to appreciate what a triumph of design this was. But it was an anxious time, fol' the engines to be built without prototypes or trial were eventually to number, not 70 like the Royal Scots, but no less than 935—second only to Ramsbottom's DX goods as the largest class of British locomotives ever built. 'The decision to do this', Riddles says, 'required courage, because there were so many critics of my policy who were only awaiting a chance to "pounce".' (Of the 935, 545 were built by the North British Locomotive Company and 390 by the Vulcan Foundry.) Since these engines were turned out in advance of military needs, no less than 450 were lent to the Railway Companies, and did excellent service before they were withdrawn for shipment from October 1944 onwards. Of these 350 ran on the LNER, 50 on the LMSR, and 50 on the SR. The LNER got their first engine in February 1943, and it made its first run from a Glasgow goods yard on a freight train on the West Highland line.
Rowledge, J.W.P. Austerity 2-8-0s & 2-10-0s. London: Ian Allan, 1987. 144pp.
Author is extremely reliable and contributed to RCTS work (above): covers design, development, builders (NBL and Vulcan); loans to mainline companies during WW2; notably the LNER, but all four companies had some allocated (even the Southern Railway), military service in France, the Netherlands and Belgium, the Middle East, notably Syria, and the Far East, Hong Kong. Locomotives were acquired by both the Netherlands where modifications in the form of smoke deflectors and taller chimneys were made, and in Sweden, In the Netherlands they were known as Dakotas. In Sweden the locomotives were fitted with totally enclosed cabs and cut-back tenders with only six wheels. On page 36 it is noted that the tenders were prone to derail when running tender-first. Locomotives returned to Britain: some were sold to the LNER and became class O7 where some received numbers beginning 3000 and some had the British Railways prefix 6 added. Many ran for a long time with their 77XXX numbers. Rowledge does not attempt to list all the variations, but the photographs illustrate some of the variety: for instance No. 3165 with WD on tender and 21st Army shield at Neasden on 14 August 1947 and in E3119 in Scotland. No. 3152 is shown as fitted for oil-burning in 1947; 63077 at Wormit on 4 June 1949 and 63118 near Hitchin on 28 May 1949.. Many ran for a time with their air compressors still in place.
Rowledge, J.W.P. Heavy goods engines of the War Department. Vol. 3 Austerity 2-8-0 and 2-10-0. Poole: Springmead, 1978. 64pp.
Ottley 10491
Taylor, Charles. Fore & aft: balanced running trials for the 'WD' 2-8-0s. Steam Wld, 1991 (54), 6-11.
Running trials on scheduled freight workings between Aintree and Leeds via Rose Grove and Copy Pit using No. 90527 which had been modified to give 40% balance in an endeavour to reduce the severe oscillation which limited their use. The writer worked at Crewe and the experimental modification of 1951 was Experiment M/C/L/1413. Footplate observations showed that the experiment was a success, but this did not lead to further locomotives being modified.
Tourret, R. War Department locomotives. Abingdon: Author. 1976. 82pp.
Ottley 10488
Vaughan, Adrian. The heart of the Great Western. Peterborough: Silver Link, 1994.
Relates how Charlie Turner (page 56) found these to be crude and uncomfortable when encountered in France and Germany and were not tolerated by US WW2 drivers.
Venning, Roger. Taunton in January 1947. Gt Western Rly J., 2004, 7, 52-3.
Illus. of 70843 and 77161 both with air compressors, latter with smoke deflector in front of chimney.
Whalley, P.S. The work of their craft. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1946, 36, 401-29. 28 illus., 8 diagrs., map (Presidential Address).

This design was based on a standard Hunslet industrial locomotive. The LNER purchased 75 engines at the end of the war (classified them as J94) and the National Coal Board adopted it for colliery working.

AUSTERITY tank locomotive: Ministry of Supply. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1943, 49, 34-5. illus.
Cook, A.F. Ministry of Supply "Austerity" 0-6-0 saddle tank locomotives. J. Stephenson Loco. Soc., 1944, 20, 28. illus. (line drawing : s. el.)
0-6-0 saddle-tank. "Austerity" locomotive. Engineering, 1943, 155, 155. illus.
SADDLE-TANK "Austerity" locomotive. Rly Gaz., 1943, 78, 146. illus.
A VALUABLE locomotive spare parts list the Hunslet Engine Co. Ltd. has prepared an unusually comprehensive brochure covering details of its 0-6-0 saddle-tank shunting locomotive. Rly Gaz., 1944, 80, 186-9. illus., 5 diagrs., plan, 2 tables.
Extracts from it.

Subsequent build

Austerity 0-6-0 saddle tank, B.R. Loco, Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1952, 58, 147. illus.
Describes them as J94 class which is not strictly true as built for National Coal Board by Hunslet Engine Co. to same dimensions, but with better quality fittings. Order for twelve locomotives in hand and order for further 37 placed by NCB at cost of £350,000. See also feature in Locomotive October 1950.

Retrospective and critical

The AUSTERITY tanks-their origin and operation. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1950, 56, 161-4. 3 illus., diagr. (s. & f. els.), 3 tables.
A very complete account, which includes the origin of the design, performance in service and a stock list.
Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. Locomotives of the LNER. Part 8B. Tank engines—classes J71 to J94. 1971.
Although there was a second impression of this part in 1983 Part 8B is far less developed than Part 6B dealing with the 2-8-0 classes which served in WW2 and the section on the J94 is really quite thin considering that it became an LNER "standard class".
Rogers, H.C.B. Last steam locomotive engineer: R.A. Riddles, C.B.E. 1970. page 124
In response to a War Office request for steam shunting locomotives of the same capacity as the LMS Class 3 Freight 0-6-0 shunting tank engine, Riddles chose the Hunslet standard shunter, a very fine little 0-6-0 saddle tank and much better than the LMS engine cited. But, as in the manufacture of the Austerities, the materials available and the nature of its employment would necessitate extensive modification before it would be suitable for mass war construction. Steel castings and forgings, for instance, would have to be replaced by fabricated parts, the wheels would have to be of cast iron and increased in size, coal and water capacity would have to be increased, brass tubes would have to be replaced by steel, etc. Riddles asked Mr Edgar Alcock, Chairman of the Hunslet Engine Company, to come and see him. This meeting was followed by discussions between the Directorate and Hunslet and Riddles went himself to Leeds to visit the firm. Delivery of the modified locomotives which resulted began at about the same time as the first of the Austerity 2-8-0s made their appearance. Eventually 377 of these shunting engines were built by six different firms.
Tourret, R.and Latham, J.B. The locomotives of the War Department and United States Army. Part No. 31. The standard 0-6-0ST-W.D. numbers 1437-56/62-1536; 5000-5199; 5250-5331. Rly Obsr, 1959, 29, 78-80; 120-2. 5 tables.

Main-line stock acquired for military duties

The principal classes involved were the LMS 8F 2-8-0s, which were the standard military locomotives until the Austerity designs superseded them, and the LNER 04 class and GWR Dean Goods (both of which had served in a similar role during WW1).

8F:1935: Stanier:
The design is considered in greater depth in the section on Stanier's locomotives. Locomotives were constructed within the workshops of the other mainline companies, including Swindon and Brighton.

BRITISH locomotives for the Middle East. Rly Mag., 1942, 88, 20.2 illus.
Modifications for overseas service.
BRITISH rolling stock for service overseas : details of the 240 locomotives and 10,000 covered wagons ordered by the Ministry of Supply for use with the British Expeditionary Force. Rly Gaz., 1940, 72, 83-5. illus., 2 diagrs. (incl. s. el.)
[CAB and front-end illustrations of class 8F as modified for Middle Eastern conditions]. Rly Mag., 1942, 88, 114. 2 illus.
[CLASS 8F : 240 constructed for service in France]. Rly Gaz., 1940, 72, 777. illus., diagr. (s. el.)
Ikeson, W.C. Development of the oil-fired locomotive. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1952, 42, 425-75. Disc.: 475-515. (Paper 516)
Operation of 8F class on the Iraqi State Railways where the Author was CME.
ROLLING stock for the B.E.F.. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1940, 46, 144-5. illus., diagr. (s. el.)
Modifications for French conditions.


Chacksfield, J.E..Ron Jarvis: from Midland Compound to the HST. 2004. .
A great deal of this excellent biography (with one serious reservation) covers (1) Jarvis's interesting WW2 exploits in bringing into service 8F locomotives exported from the United Kingdom for service in neutral Turkey (this work clearly brought together engineering and dipolmatic skills of the highest order: subsequently . He was assisted by Fred Soden, an artisan forman from Crewe. Jarvis's fluency in French was a significatnt attribute; (2) Jarvis was responsible from bringing back 8F locomotives from the Middle East in April/May 1948 (including dangerous Palestine) via the Suez Canal Zone for further service on the LMS/LMR. Interesting illus of SS Belnov with 11o list.
Copsey, John. Swindon's '8Fs'. Great Western Rly J., 2004, 7, (51)165-76.
Those locomotives built at Swindon and used briefly on the GWR before being passed onto the LMS. The locomotive men were not altogether happy with these modern locomotives.
Notes on Stanier "8F" 2-8-0 engines. J. Stephenson Loco. Soc., 1956, 32, 84-8. illus., table.
Pollock, D.R. and White, D.E., compilers. The 2-8-0 & 2-10-0 locomotives of the War Department, 1939-1945: Stanier L.M.S. type 2-8-0; British Austerity 2-8-0; British Austerity 2-10-0; Robinson L.N.E.R. class O4 2-8-0. Rly Obsr., 1946, 16 Supplement No.5.
WAR Department Stanier 2-8-0s. Rly Obsr, 1948, 18, 204-5. table.
Notes on locomotives returned to the United Kingdom.
Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. Locomotives of the LNER. Part 6B. Tender engines—classes O1 to P2. 1983.
Locomotives built at Darlington were classified as LNER class O6 and "LNER" was applied to the tenders. They were handed over to the LMS at the end of WW2.
Rowledge, J.W.P. Heavy goods engines of the War Department. Vol. 2. Stanier 8F 2-8-0. Poole: Springmead, 1977. 64pp.
Ottley 10491
Whalley, P.S. The work of their craft. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1946, 36, 401-29. 28 illus., 8 diagrs., map (Presidential Address).
Considers the 8F class in relation to war service.

O4/3: 1917: Robinson
During the First World War the Robinson GCR 1911 design was selected and built as the standard Railway Operating Division's design. A few of the class were re-called for service in the Second World War.

BRITISH locomotives for the Middle East. Rly Mag., 1942, 88, 20. 2 illus.
L.N.E.R. locomotives for overseas. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1941, 47, 256. illus.

Retrospective and critical

McNaught, R.S. The Robinson "R.O.D." 2-8-0s. Trains ill., 1957, 10, 432-8. 10 illus., table.
Pollock, D.R. and White, D.E., compilers. The 2-8-0 & 2-10-0 locomotives of the War Department, 1939-1945: Stanier L.M.S. type 2-8-0; British Austerity 2-8-0; British Austerity 2-10-0; Robinson L.N.E.R. class O4 2-8-0. Rly Obsr., 1946, 16 Supplement No.5.
Postscript on the Robinson 2-8-0s. Trains ill., 1958, 11, 148-51. 4 illus., table.
A summary of the material received as correspondence in response to McNaught's article (above).
Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. Locomotives of the LNER. Part 6B. Tender engines—classes O1 to P2. 1983.
Includes their lesser role during WW2: they had a major role in WW1.
Sherrington, C.E.R. Locomotives of the Railway Operating Division, Royal Engineers, 1916-1919. Part 4. Ministry of Munitions locomotives. Rly Mag., 1932, 71, 425-30. 3 illus.
The Robinson 2-8-0s.
Rowledge, J.W.P. Heavy goods engines of the War Department. Vol. 1. The R.O.D. 2-8-0 and 2-10-0. Poole: Springmead, 1977. 72pp.
Ottley 10491

Dean Goods

Kalla-Bishop, P.M. Locomotives at war: army reminiscences of the Second World War. [1980].
Encountered by author on the Martin Mill Railway where the condensing modified locomotives were set the task of propelling the guns used for Cross-Channel shelling, on the Shropshire & Montgomeryshire where the livery (p. 91) normally considered to be "desert sand" or near khaki had been replaced by a dark green or near camouflage colour. Type was also encountered in Tunisia (WD No. 171).
Vaughan, Adrian. The heart of the Great Western. Peterborough: Silver Link, 1994.
Relates (pp. 53 et seq) how Charlie Turner worked on Dean Goods during WW2 hauling rail-mounted guns on the Kent & East Sussex Railway and on the Elham Valley line.


3F:1924: Fowler (LMS)

Chacksfield, J.E..Ron Jarvis: from Midland Compound to the HST. 2004. .
Jarvis is increasingly known for his WW2 exploits with the 8F class and for returning locomotives from the Canal Zone. He also "found" some of the missing 3F 0-6-0Ts which had gone out with the BEF. Following WW2 these were discovered at Savenay in France and returned to Britain
Tourret, R. The locomotives of the War Department and United States Army. Part No. 10. L.M.S. standard class 3F 0-6-0Ts: W.D. 8-5. Rly Obsr, 1951, 21, 47. table.

J69:1902 : J. Holden (GER/LNER)

Kalla-Bishop, P.M. Locomotives at war: army reminiscences of the Second World War. [1980].
Nos. 7041 (J68) and J69 Nos. 7054, 7056, 7088, 7271, 7344, 7362 and 7388 were at Longmoor in March 1940, but were sent elsewhere from May 1942.: they were renumbered WD 84-91.
Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. Locomotives of the LNER. Part 8A. Tank engines—classes J50 to J70. 1970.
Classes J69 (thirteen locomotives) and a single J68 were used as shunters mainly at Faslane and Cairnryan. They were not handed back to the LNER at the end of WW2.
Tourret, R. The locomotives of the War Department and United States Army. Part No. 17. Ex. L.N.E.R. class J69 0-6-0T's: W.D. 78-91. Rly Obsr, 1953, 23, 24-5. table.


1900: Marsh (LBSCR/SR)

Tourret, R. The locomotives of the War Department and United States Army. Part No.
9. Ex. L.B. & S.C.R. Atlantic tanks W.D. 2400/1. Rly Obsr, 1951, 21,  46-7.


F4: 1884.: T.W.Wordsell/F5:l9ll: S.D. Holden (GER/LNER)
Locomotives of these classes were fitted with armour plating and used on armoured trains for coastal defence work. Following WW2 the locomotives carried brass plates to recognize these duties. If any of the plaques remain it might be a good idea to construct a locomotive to go with such for service on the NNR and to operate services in conjunction with the Muckleburgh Collection. It might even be possible to machine gun Santa on his way to Weybourne.

Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. Locomotives of the LNER. Part 7. Tank engines—classes A5 to H2. 1964.
Classes F4 (fifteen locomotives) and a single F5 were fitted with armour plating and used for coastal defence work.
Tourret, R. The locomotives of the War Department and United States Army. Part No.
5. L.N.E.R. armoured 2-4-2T's : W.D. A-M (and spares). Rly Obsr, 1950, 20, 47. table. Addenda p.273

Modifications of main-line locomotives (to cope with war conditions)
Most references relate to Southern Railway locomotives due to the proximity of the railway to German-occupied France, but several of the LNER B12/3 class were modified slightly to haul ambulance trains throughout Britain. This was because of their air brakes and their light axle-loading..



Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. Locomotives of the LNER. Part 2B. Tender engines—classes B1 to B19. 1975.
See page 63.

Bulleid equipped one locomotive with three chimneys to aid smoke dispersion and avoid detection by enemy aircraft.

Anwell, B.W. An "Arthur" with three chimneys. Trains ill., 1952, 5, 103. illus.

V (Schools):
One of this class was fitted with a tender cab to prevent firebox glare.

Riley, R.C. Locomotive A.R.P. Trains ill., 1952, 5, 322-3. 4 illus.


Some of these Stroudley locomotives were equipped with firefighting apparatus. Others were fitted with vacuum brake apparatus for working in Scotland.

[Former L.B. & S.C.R. 0-4-2Ts fitted with vacuum brake gear for loan to the L.M.S.R. for use in Scotland]. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1941, 47,162.

A LOCOMOTIVE fire engine. Engineer, 1941, 171, 421. illus.
SOUTHERN Railway fire-fighting locomotives. Rly Gaz., 1941,75, 170; 174. 4 illus.

United States locomotives

2-8-0 (S160 sometimes known as Boleros)

American Austerity locomotives for Great Britain. Rly Gaz., 1942, 77, 631. 3 illus.
Handing over ceremony.
American-built "Austerity" locomotives. Rly Gaz., 1942, 77, 580-1. illus., diagr. (s., f. & r. els.)
American-built "Austerity" locomotives. Rly Gaz., 1943, 78, 159; 169. illus., diagr. (s. el.)
American-built "Austerity" locomotives. Rly Mag., 1943, 89, 112. table.
American built 2-8-0 locomotives for Europe. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1943, 49, 2. illus.


Contemporary photographs of them in service in Britain are fairly rare.

USATC (S160) 2-8-0 No. 2138 pulling out of Up Refuge Loop at Hatton with H class freight on 24 July 1943. Locomotive Mag., 2015, 12, 473.
V.R. Webster photograph taken whilst he was on military service in Warwickshire

Retrospective and critical

Fairless, T. Recent locomotive designs a comparison between the British-built Austerity 2-10-0, American-built Austerity 2-8-0 and proposed 2-10-0 locomotive for the Central Uruguay Railway. Rly Gaz., 1945, 83, 241+. 2 diagrs., table.
Harvey, D.W. Bill Harvey's 60 years of steam. 1986.
Chapter 9 (p. 100 et seq): very significant observations, including noted on the positive features: the rocking grate and self-cleaning firebox which led to a smaller and more secoure smokebox door. Includes a report made by the Author to G.A. Musgrave on 22 January 1944? which noted problems with bulged arch tubes, te SkatOskalO descaling machine, and the welded boiler tubes, and the Nathan double seatedf type water gauge drain and test cocks. Problems were also encountered with the chilled cast iron wheels on the double bogie tenders due to them overheating when woeking unbraked freight trains in Britain. He also notes the three boiler explosions: one at Honeybourne on the GWR, anoth at Bury St Edmunds in January 1944 and the one in Sudbury Hill Tunnel on 30 Auigust 1944. He inspected the locomotive involved in the last-mentioned and stated: "The view through the firehole of No. 1707 was awe-inspiring. Looking around and upwards the eye was met with a forest of roof and side stay bolts from which the red-hot crown sheet had been wrenched when it could be longer sustain the pressure. The ferocity of the ensuing explosion had then torn it apart,at all four corners, forcing it downwards into a bowl shape at grate level; in appearance it resembled the inside of a gigantic colander. Strangely enough the screw threads in the stay holes had not been stripped, as might have been expected, due perhaps to the plastic condition of the red-hot plate. Another interesting fact that emerged as the plate became polished by the footwear of those making an examination of the firebox, was the appearance of ripples or undulations on its surface, clearly showing that tearing had been momentarily arrested each time a row of stays was encountered". Includes diagrams of the effects of the explosion, and of the cab in is normal state.
Hewison, Christian H.
Locomotive boiler explosions. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1983.
Includes the problems encountered with gauging water levels in the boilers which led to several serious explosions whilst working in Britain.
Horne, G.F. discussion on Sanford, D.W. The relationship between smokebox and boiler proportions (Paper 451). J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1945, 35, 72.
Noted that the US 2-8-0s combined good smokebox vacuum with soft exhaust
Jenkins, David Fraser. John Piper: the forties. London: Philip Watson. 2000. 144pp.
Piper was an Official War Artist; American locomotives awaiting trans-shipment on the fore-shore at Cardiff. Mixed media 1944: original Ferens Art Gallery. Hull City Museums & Art Galleries (thumb-nail above)
Kalla-Bishop, P.M.. Locomotives at war: army reminiscences of the Second World War. [1980].
This extract shows how the Royal Engineers coped with the American locomotives: "Water softening was done in the tenders of the U.S. army 2-8-0s, [by] so many scoops of soda ash and balls of compound per thousand gallons of water. At each water stop the boiler was blown down to clear suspended matter inside the boiler. Valves at the bottom of the two sides of the firebox were opened in turn and steam and water shot out horizontally to a distance of thirty yards or more. A modification to the locomotives was a nipple in the injector delivery pipes to the boiler. In conjunction with boiler stop valves these nipples allowed an effective hot water washout to be given by the injector of one locomotive to a locomotive standing alongside, suitable flexible hose being connected to the nipples. During my time at Mastouta we had injector trouble due to water starvation on occasion. If one softens water in tenders a precipitate collects at the bottom of the tender tank. When I remarked on this as a possible cause of our injector troubles I earned some unpopularity no doubt. Men had to enter the tender tanks and shovel out a foot or so of goo that had been deposited and that was blocking the feed pipes to the injectors.
Another of our troubles with the U.S. army 2~8-0s was that the driving wheel tyres showed a distressing tendency to come off sideways. By performing acrobatic feats on the cab steps one could watch the wheels as they revolved in running; should a tyre be coming off it looked just as if the wheel concerned had developed a violent wobble. On locomotives built for internal use in the United States (and of course on those built for the 'use of the United States army) the tyres were shrunk on to the wheel centres without any retaining ring or means of fastening such as would be provided in European practice. Apparently this was a hangover from the days of railway operation in the wild west. Should a driver (or engineer as he was called) suffer a cracked or loosened tyre in those days he was expected to remove the tyre and work back to civilisation with such wheels as he had left. In later United States practice the train air brake worked on all wheels except those of the locomotive, or it was arranged to work less effectively on the locomotive wheels. The U.S. army 2-8-0 was provided with air brakes for the train and a steam brake for the engine and tender. An American driver would know that he must use the steam brake as little as possible out on the road and rely on the air brake.
Well and good, except that in North Africa fifteen per cent only of the rolling stock was fitted with a continuous brake. To compound this, Algeria and Morocco were air brake territories, while Tunisia favoured the vacuum brake. Trains were made up so that every fifth wagon had a hand brake, with an attendant brakesman on a little platform that might have a shelter if he was lucky. As an aside, this was why the sapper's trade was brakesman rather than guard, although in Tunisia he ducked that particular duty and left it to the Tunisians. Two blasts on the whistle and the brakesman screwed on the brake, one blast and he took it off again. Under these conditions the engine's steam brake had a lot of work to do and the driving wheel tyres tended to get hot and sometimes overheated sufficiently to be loosened and knocked sideways on the wheel centres. The sapper drivers pointed to the heat of the Tunisian summer sun as an additional factor.
The Americans were approached about this loose tyre problem and they gave the ignorant British the benefit of their know-how. An offending wheel was jacked up off the rail slightly, the axle supported and the wheel surrounded by a circular gas pipe pierced with holes every two or three inches. When lit the gas flame played on the tyre tread and brought it up to red heat, the tyre then expanding in relation to the wheel centre. The gas pipe was removed and the offending tyre was forced back into position, the result then being left to cool. The operation was carried out in Tunisia with the locomotive even in steam. This gas pipe carry-on was standard practice in many United States roundhouse backshops, we learnt, where they went so far as to remove the red hot tyre altogether to put a shim round the wheel centre before replacing the tyre. The practice explains perhaps the American predilection for tyreless solid steel wheels such as.were fitted to the tenders of the U.S. army 2-8-0s. All the same, the vertical wheel rim faces of these latter wheels suffered bits of metal spalling off.

Not to worry, said the Americans, or some such phrase, so we did not worry and we got quite used to apparently moth-eaten tender wheel rims.
The U.S. army 2-8-0 was in trouble twice when running in Great Britain because a firebox crown sheet collapsed unexpectedly. There was a similar incident in Tunisia in which a sapper was killed. It was maintained in Great Britain that two valve controls looked alike where they were mounted in the obscurity of the cab roof and that the wrong one was closed in error to shut off the top steam supply to the boiler water gauge. The water gauge then indicated plenty of water in the boiler instead of showing that it was falling to the danger level. Consequently the uncovering of the crown sheet led to its collapse. Influenced by these British reports, the crown sheet collapse in Tunisia was put down to the same cause, that is confusion of valve controls.
Later, 243 of the U.S. army 2-8-0s were handed over to the Italian State Railways. In 1946 and 1947 some twenty more or less explosive crown sheet collapses were suffered in Italy and several men were killed. A fullscale investigation was mounted in consequence. The conclusion was reached that the screw thread of the crown sheet roof stays was too coarse. This resulted in insufficient of the threads engaging with the crown ~heet thickness. Furthermor~ it was shown that the greater part of the stress was suffered by the turn of the engaged screw thread closest to the water space. Deposit of scale round a stay where it entered the crown sheet led to overheating and if this scale was thick enough the temperature rose to such a height that the screw thread deformed and stripped, leading to the stripping of the rest of the threads plus those of adjacent stays. Unsupported by one or more stays, the crown sheet collapsed.
The failures were accentuated in Italy, where the locomotives were oil-fired, with consequent higher temperatures for certain areas of the crown sheet. Maybe the findings of the British and North African incidents could be revised, and certainly we were very lucky not to have more trouble in Tunisia, given the rapidity with which scale formed in the boilers. In Italy the boiler stays used were given a finer screw thread, the boiler pressure was dropped ten per cent or so, extra washout plugs were fitted, and so on.
The above difficulties with the U.S. army 2-8-0s were matters concerning the running sheds principally. The railway met the traffic demands upon it and trains ran as needed with only a few isolated cases of failure out on the line. Other matters led to train running difficulties from time to time as well, often quite foolish incidents. A large coal dump was established near the quays at Bizerta, on a limestone base. When the machine shovels got to the bottom of the dump they scooped up blackened lumps of limestone. One night I was expecting a U.S. army 2-8-0 and train at Mastouta at 20.00 hours. The train had not arrived by 21.30 hours and I went to bed. Next morning I got up and as I was going to breakfast was surprised to see the train just running into the station. At Oued Zarga, the previous station to the east, the locomotive's fire had all but gone out. When the crew set about clearing the accumulated clinker, some had broken to reveal white stone. The driver and fireman had spent the night sorting through the coal in the tender and rejecting the great majority of lumps that turned out to be limestone. The driver remarked to me cheerfully that through all that he had not allowed the locomotive to go off the boil.
There were some minor lubrication troubles with these same 2-8-0s. A lubricator for the crosshead tended to add dust and dirt to the oil. A circular tin which once held fifty cigarettes was just the thing to put over this for protection. On the road the locomotives performed well and the crews appreciated the labour-saving rocking grate and ashpan dumper. All the same, over-enthusiastic use of the rocking grate to shake up the fire led to a greater fire in the ashpan than in the firebox. Dumping the ashpan fire burnt the sleepers if it was done just anywhere, as the C.F.T. authorities had occasion to point out crossly. When driving 1760 for my own amusement I was leaning out of the cab at Medjez el Bab waiting for the right away. The chef de train (a Frenchman) came right up to the cab, blew his silly little whistle in my face, and in his best English said to me '------ off.' So I blew the locomotive whistie, released the brake and opened the regulator, for it seemed hardly the time or place to point out to the chef de train that, whereas he had made his meaning perfectly clear, he was astray sadly in idiom and polite usage.
Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. Locomotives of the LNER. Part 6B. Tender engines—classes O1 to P2. 1983.
Pp. 98-107: includes some information relevant to work on GWR as well as extensive inormation about behaviour on LNER.
Tourret, R. United States Transportation Corps locomotives. Abingdon: Author. 1977. 82pp.
Ottley 10492
Vaughan, Adrian. The heart of the Great Western. Peterborough: Silver Link, 1994.
Relates how Charlie Turner (page 56) found these to be "fine engines" and greatly liked the Westinghouse brake when working in France and Geramny.
Wirkworth, D.W. Difficulties with 'Bolero' engines. Backtrack, 1995, 9, 180-2.
Largely concerned with the specific difficulties encountered with operating the military 2-8-0s supplied from the USA during WW2 on British Railways at that time. The locomotives had only one water gauge and the fusible plugs tended to be of inferior quality. There were several serious accidents due to footplate staff failing to ensure that water levels were maintained in the boiler. See letter by Walker reinforcing writer's comments (page 397). illus.: Four USA 2-8-0s at an SR depot; No 2403 at Swindon Junction; No 2339 passing Reading West junction; No 2054 at Christchurch; The cab of a 'Bolero';


USA class
Some of these locomotives became the standard shunting engine for Southampton Docks and some have been preserved.

American-built 0-6-0 type tank locomotives for use in Great Britain. Rly Gaz., 1942, 77, 418-20. 3 diagrs.(s., f. & r. els.)
American-built 0-6-0 tank loco. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1946, 52, 175. illus.
American-built 0-6-0T shunting engines. J. Stephenson Loco. Soc., 1951, 27, 274-5. illus. p.258.

Retrospective & critical

Baker, S.W. 60 years of Southampton Docks tanks. Rly Wld, 1952,13, 255-6; 273-5 :1953, 14, 17-18; 32-3+. 12 illus., table.
Some of the surplus locomotives were purchased by the Southern Railway for use in Southampton Docks.
Kalla-Bishop, P.M. American-built 0-6-0T shunting engines. J. Stephenson Loco. Soc., 1952, 28, 104-7.
Experience gained when operating the class on the Melbourne Military Railway.
Kalla-Bishop, P.M. Locomotives at war: army reminiscences of the Second World War. [1980].
Pp. 79 et seq: claimed that there was evidence of hasty erection, especially in the locomotives supplied by H.K. Porter. Many locomotives showed ingress of salt water during shipment. The cylinder cocks had to be renewed partly to be capable of  dealing with priming. The rear cab spectackes needed to be raised. The steel footplate was found to be slippery and was covered with timber. The angle-iron guard irons needed to be modified to bring to the correct height above rail level. There were problems with lubrication especially to the large end which had been intended for grease lubrication.
Southampton Docks locomotives. Rly Mag., 1951, 97, 139.
Sprenger, Howard, Kevin Robertson and Clare Sprenger. The Story of the Southern USA Tanks. Southampton: Kestrel Books.

Recent (post 1951)

Hateley, R.K. Locomotives of the Ministry of Defence. London: Industrial Railway Society, 1992. 150pp + 48 plates.
Begins with the renumbering of 1952. "scholarly work"; "highly recommended. Review in Br. Rly J. 1992, (42) 126. It should be noted that the bulk of booklet concerns non-steam motive power..