WD Austerity 2-10-0

WD Austerity 2-10-0

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WD Austerity 2-10-0

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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 USA (e.g. the USRA 0-8-0) but unusual in Britain. In Britain, wide fireboxes were usually used only where there was a trailing axle, e.g. in 4-4-2 and 4-6-2 types. One exception was the GER Decapod.

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 73650–73799.

20 of the first batch were sent to the Middle East. During running-in they worked in Britain, but...
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