WD Austerity 2-10-0

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WD Austerity 2-10-0
War Department 90775 - geograph.org.uk - 1480794.jpg
90775 on the North Norfolk Railway. Despite having the appearance of a British Railways locomotive, the highest numbered BR engine was 90774, and this example was repatriated from Greece.
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
DesignerR. A. Riddles
BuilderNorth British Locomotive Company
Serial number25436–25535, 25596–25645
Build date1943–1945
Total produced150
 • Whyte2-10-0
 • UIC1′E h2
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Leading dia.2 ft 9 in (838 mm)
Driver dia.4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Length67 ft 6 14 in (20.58 m) over buffers
Axle load13 long tons 9 cwt (30,100 lb or 13.7 t)
Adhesive weight67 long tons 3 cwt (150,400 lb or 68.2 t) full
Loco weight78 long tons 6 cwt (175,400 lb or 79.6 t) full
Tender weight55 long tons 10 cwt (124,300 lb or 56.4 t) full
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity9 long tons 0 cwt (20,200 lb or 9.1 t)
Water cap5,000 imp gal (23,000 L; 6,000 US gal)
 • Firegrate area
40 sq ft (3.7 m2)
Boiler pressure225 lbf/in2 (1.55 MPa)
Heating surface:
 • Tubes
1,170 sq ft (109 m2)
 • Flues589 sq ft (54.7 m2)
 • Firebox192 sq ft (17.8 m2)
 • Heating area423 sq ft (39.3 m2)
CylindersTwo, outside
Cylinder size19 in × 28 in (483 mm × 711 mm)
Valve gearWalschaerts
Valve type10-inch (250 mm) piston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort34,215 lbf (152.20 kN)
OperatorsWD » NS, BR, SEK, CFS
Power classBR: 8F
DispositionFour preserved, remainder scrapped

The War Department (WD) "Austerity" 2-10-0 is a type of heavy freight steam locomotive that was introduced during the Second World War in 1943.


The Austerity 2-10-0 was based on the Austerity 2-8-0, and was designed to have interchangeable parts by R.A. Riddles. It had the same power output as the 2-8-0 but a lighter axle load, making it suitable for secondary lines.


It had a parallel boiler and round-topped firebox. While the 2-8-0 had a narrow firebox, the 2-10-0 had a wide firebox placed above the driving wheels. This arrangement was common in the United States (e.g. the USRA 0-8-0) but unusual in Britain, where wide fireboxes were usually used only where there was a trailing bogie, e.g. in 4-4-2 and 4-6-2 types. These were the first 2-10-0 locomotives to work in Great Britain, and the first major class of ten-coupled engines — they had been preceded by two 0-10-0 locomotives; the Great Eastern Railway's Decapod and the Midland Railway's Lickey Banker. The 2-10-0 wheel arrangement was later used by Riddles when he designed the BR standard class 9F. This, too, had a wide firebox placed above the driving wheels.


Two batches were built by the North British Locomotive Company, the first batch of 100 introduced in 1943/1944 and the second batch of 50 in 1945. Their WD Nos were 3650–3749 (later 73650–73749), and 73750–73799.

20 of the first batch were sent to the Middle East. During running-in they worked in Britain, but their length made them unsuitable. Most saw service with the British Army in France after D-Day.

Post-war service[edit]

After the war the 150 locomotives were distributed as follows, the majority going to the Netherlands:

No. of engines Country Company Class
103 Netherlands Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) NS 5000 class
25 Great Britain British Railways (BR) BR ex-WD Austerity 2-10-0
16 Greece Hellenic State Railways (SEK) SEK Class Λβ
4 Syria Chemins de Fer Syriens (CFS) CFS Class 150.6


In 1946, the Netherlands bought those in continental Europe. They formed the NS 5000 class, and were numbered 5001-103. They had a short working life, the last being withdrawn in 1952.

British Railways[edit]

After the war, the British Railways (BR) bought twenty-five locomotives. These were initially numbered 73774-73798 but later re-numbered 90750-74. They were mostly operated by BR's Scottish Region on heavy freight trains and were all withdrawn between 1961 and 1962.


Sixteen of the twenty Middle East locomotives went to Greece, where they formed Class Λβ of the Hellenic State Railways, numbered Λβ951 to Λβ966.


The remaining 4 Middle East locomotives remained in Syria and operated on the Chemins de Fer Syriens (CFS). These engines formed the CFS Class 150.6.

Further WD services[edit]

In the 1952 WD renumbering scheme, the two remaining in WD service (at the Longmoor Military Railway), Nos. 73651 and 73797, were renumbered 600 and 601 respectively. The also received names: 600 Gordon and 601 Kitchener.


LMR 600 Gordon has survived and has been steamed on the Severn Valley Railway, though as of 2018 it is out of service, cosmetically restored and on display in the Engine House.

Two more have been repatriated from Greece. One has been numbered 90775, one higher than the last BR engine, and has carried the name Sturdee[1] (as WD/LMR No. 601 before being numbered 90775) and is operational on North Norfolk Railway where it has now been renamed The Royal Norfolk Regiment as of 2017[2]. The other is WD No. (7)3672 which has been named Dame Vera Lynn. The loco is currently Beginning overhaul in a headshunt at Grosmont, NYMR.

The 4th one in preservation WD 73755 (NS 5085) survives in the Dutch Railway Museum (Nederlands Spoorwegmuseum) in Utrecht. It carried the nameplate Longmoor, after the Royal Engineer's base at Longmoor, with the coat of arms of the Royal Engineers above.

Six locomotives remain in various states in Greece with Λβ962 and Λβ964 operating mainline tours on the Drama to Xanthi line. Other locomotives remain in poor states stored awaiting further use.

Numbers Name Location
(7)3651 600 Gordon On display in the Engine House, Severn Valley Railway, England
(7)3652 Λβ951 90775* The Royal Norfolk Regiment* Operational, North Norfolk Railway, Norfolk, England
(7)3656 Λβ955 Dumped, Thessaloniki, Greece.[3]
(7)3672 Λβ960 Dame Vera Lynn* Undergoing overhaul at Grosmont North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Yorkshire, England
(7)3674 Λβ961 Dumped at an unknown location in Greece.[4]
(7)3677 Λβ962 Stored Drama. Was operational on the Drama to Xanthi line in Greece.[5]
(7)3682 Λβ964 Stored in Thessaloniki depot. Was operational on the Drama to Xanthi line in Greece, and used for static filming in 2015.[6]
(7)3684 Λβ966 Was Dumped, Thessaloniki, Greece.[7]
(7)3699 Λβ958 Stored derelict at Tithorea, Greece.[8]
73755 5085 Longmoor Nederlands Spoorwegmuseum, Utrecht, Netherlands

* Name or number applied after preservation

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ after Doveton Sturdee
  2. ^ Bale, David (9 September 2017). "Hundreds gather to gaze in awe as the age of steam returns to north Norfolk". Eastern Daily Press. Archived from the original on 9 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  3. ^ http://www.steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=20132
  4. ^ http://www.steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=20133
  5. ^ http://www.steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=20134
  6. ^ http://www.steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=20135
  7. ^ http://www.steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=20136
  8. ^ http://www.steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=27204

Further reading[edit]

  • Boddy, M. G.; Brown, W. A.; Neve, E.; Yeadon, W. B. (November 1983). Fry, E. V. (ed.). Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., Part 6B: Tender Engines—Classes O1 to P2. Kenilworth: RCTS. ISBN 0-901115-54-1.
  • Tourret, R. (1995). Allied Military Locomotives of the Second World War. Abingdon, Oxon: Tourret Publishing. ISBN 0-905878-06-X.
  • Rowledge, J. W. P. Heavy Goods Engines of the War Department: Vol. 3 – Austerity 2-8-0 and 2-10-0.

External links[edit]