The SR USA class
were ex-United States Army Transportation Corps S100 Class steam locomotives
purchased by the Southern Railway
after the end of the Second World War
Thirteen out of the Southern's 15 locomotives (14 for traffic plus one for spares) were built at the Vulcan Iron Works
in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
in 1942 to the design specifications of the USATC by Col. Howard G. Hill
. The remaining two were built by H. K. Porter, Inc
. Bradley, D.L.: Locomotives of the Southern Railway: Part 1.
(Railway Correspondence and Travel Society: London, 1975) ISBN 0-86093-5930 Overall, 382 of the class had been ordered from Davenport Locomotive Works
of Davenport, Iowa
, H. K. Porter and Vulcan Iron Works. Longworth, Hugh: British Railway Steam Locomotives: 1948-1968
(Oxford Publishing Company: Oxford, 2005) ISBN 0-901115-30-4 They were shipped to Great Britain in 1943 and stored awaiting the invasion of Mainland Europe
, after which many were shipped to Europe, but others, including those purchased, had hardly been used and were lying around in dumps awaiting disposal.
The key to their success, after being acquired by the Southern Railway, was their short wheelbase, which was able to negotiate the tight curves found at Southampton Docks
. They were also powerful, able to haul heavy freight trains as well as full-length passenger trains in the harbour... Read More