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WD Austerity 2-8-0

WD Austerity 2-8-0
90733 at Haworth, 15 July2007. Power type Steam Designer R.A. RiddlesBuilder North British and Vulcan Foundry Build date 1943 Total production 935 Configuration2-8-0 Gauge4' 8½" Driver size 4' 8½" Locomotive weight 70 tons 5 cwt Fuel type coal Boiler pressure 225 psi Cylinders2 Cylinder size 19" x 28" Tractive effort34,215 lbf Class8F

The War Department (WD) "Austerity" 2-8-0 is a class of heavy freight steam locomotive that was introduced in 1943 for war service. A total of 935 were built.



The Austerity 2-8-0 was based on the LMS Class 8F, which until that point had been the government's standard design. Various modifications were made to the 8F design by R.A. Riddles including a boiler of simpler construction which was parallel rather than tapered and a round-topped firebox rather than a Belpaire firebox. The firebox was made of steel rather than the rarer and more expensive copper.

The North British Locomotive Company of Glasgow built 545 and the Vulcan Foundry of Newton-le-Willows built 390. North British also built a larger 2-10-0 version.

Most saw service with the British Army in mainland Europe after D-Day.

Post-war service

After the Second World War, 200 were sold to the LNER, who classified them as "Class O7" and numbered them 3000-199. In 1948, 533 more were purchased by the British Transport Commission.

With the creation of British Railways, the 733 locomotives were renumbered into the 90000-90732 series. Only one of these, No. 90732, was named, becoming Vulcan after the Vulcan Foundry where many of the locomotives were built.

Two locomotives saw service with the Longmoor Military Railway in Hampshire, where they received the numbers and names 400 Sir Guy Williams (North British Works No. 25205) and 401 Major General McMullen. In 1946, 12 were exported to the British colony of Hong Kong to work the Kowloon-Canton Railway. Six were scrapped in 1956, but the final two survived until September 1962.

The other 188 locomotives remained in mainland Europe, mostly working in and around the Netherland for Nederlandse Spoorwegen.


One WD 2-8-0 has survived. Vulcan Foundry works No. 5200 was repatriated from Sweden to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. It was SJ number 1931. It was overhauled to its original condition, finished in 2007, which involved building a new cab and tender, become BR "No. 90733". After test runs, 90733 ran its first passenger train on Monday 23rd July 2007.


90537 at Annesley, 17 May 1964.

90418 at Langwith, 1964.

90323 fresh out of Swindon Works, 1954.

77509 being unloaded at Hong Kong

No. of engines Country Company Class Numbers 733 Great BritainBritish Railways(BR) BR ex-WD Austerity 2-8-0 90000-732 181(?) NetherlandsNederlandse Spoorwegen(NS) NS Series 4300II 4301-4537 (with gaps) 12 Hong KongKowloon-Canton Railway(KCR) ? 2 Great BritainLongmoor Military Railway(LMR) 400/1 2 SwedenStatens Järnvägar(SJ) SJ Class G111930/1 5 ???

External links

Categories: 2-8-0 locomotives | War Department locomotives | NBL locomotives | Vulcan Foundry locomotives

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