WD 2-8-0

It's well-known that the Longmoor Military Railway, based firmly in Southern territory near Liss in Hampshire, kept WD 2-8-0s for its own use and its allocation included the celebrity Nº600 Gordon, always resplendent in blue livery. Indeed, Gordon made incursions onto SR metals on 16th April 1966 whilst hauling a railtour in inclement weather.
77047 at Brighton
A very smart Nº77047 photographed outside Brighton works circa 1946.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

The WD 2-8-0s were based on the Stanier 8F 2-8-0s of the LMS and, when built, were designed for short-term use and produced from 1943 for minimum cost, with an originally anticipated working lifespan of just two years! Intended for use overseas, some 935 had been built by the end of the war. During the build-up to D-Day many of the locos were loaned to Britain's railways, after which all bar three were sent abroad. Of these 932 locos some 735 returned to Britain where two were kept by the Army for use at Longmoor, 108 were placed in store and the remainder loaned to Britains's railways (in dire straits by the end of the war) once again.

In 1946 the LNER bought 200 of them from the War Department and a further 533 locomotives were taken over by British Railways in early 1949, some of which had been on loan to the Southern Railway since some time after the end of the war, although exactly when that began seems to be a bit of a mystery, though 1947 has been suggested.

The available notes on the subject suggest that the Southern had, at one time or another, a total of 49 allocated and that they were spread across the three sections indiscriminately. Those notes cover the period 1949 - 1951 when the last one was transferred to the Midland Region of British Railways. It's been suggested that they didn't find the universal favour in the south that they enjoyed north of the Thames simply because the volumes of traffic didn't justify their continued patronage.

The WD's are renowned for their ability to trundle loose coupled goods trains around the country at modest speeds but the Southern allocation enjoyed one claim to fame in that they occasionally took on passenger train workings from which there is photographic evidence of their use in that rôle. Known images show 90552, a Bricklayers Arms based loco, working the 3:28pm Haywards Heath to London Bridge via Horsted Keynes and Oxted on 5th August 1949 in a shot credited to the late Len's of Sutton. Note that it was bearing its BR number by that time. The caption to that picture states that this train was worked by a WD on two other occasions within that month. Also known is a picture by the late S.C.Nash which features 77101 standing at platform 7 at Lewes whilst working an Eastbourne to Brighton ECS service. The rider to that caption states:
"WD 2-8-0's did occasionally appear on passenger trains - in the summer of 1949 they more than once worked the 3.28 p.m. Haywards Heath - London Bridge via East Grinstead".

90466 at Salisbury The WDs were occasional visitors to Salisbury when they were based at St Phillips Marsh.
Nº90466 was photographed there on 31st March 1962.

photograph by Dave Mant

How the WDs are remembered by most: begrimed, careworn and unidentifiable although the leading 7 of the cabside number is just about visible in this shot taken at Feltham Loco during a spotters' club visit. The headcode indicates that the loco is on a light engine working to the shed. The date is probably late 1948 or early 1949 as there is not yet any vestige of the embryo BR in sight on this or any of the other negatives on the associated film strips.

photograph: W.J.Wyse/Mike Morant collection

WD 2-8-0 Dirty light engine
WD 2-8-0 Feltham general view A windswept and wintry general view across Feltham Loco towards the impressive coaling plant greeted this group of young spotters who, at the moment this photo was taken, had at least five WD 2-8-0s in their sights with two of them close to the coaling plant.

photograph: W.J.Wyse/Mike Morant collection

An unusually clean WD, Nº77259 at Brighton in late April 1948 having just undergone a Heavy Intermediate Repair in Brighton Works.

Also of interest in this photo is the very brief glimpse of the coach on the right. This is Bulleid's so called inspection saloon but in fact a sleeping car for SR officers numbered in service stock as 100s. Profile and length (64ft 6in) was similar to his normal loco hauled carriages. But, experimentally, built of plywood.

photograph: Mike Morant collection


Technical Details

Driving Wheel:
Pony Wheel:
Cylinders (2):
Boiler Pressure:
Water Capacity:
Coal capacity:
Tractive Effort:
BR Power Classification:
Ministry of Supply
Feb 1943
4 ft 8½ in
3 ft 2 in
63 ft 6 in
L 70 tons 5 cwt, T 55 tons 10 cwt
19 in x 28 in
225 lb sq in
5,000 gals
9 tons
34,215 lbs
The allocations table displayed hereunder has been derived from data supplied to SEmG's e-list in the past. If any viewer has addenda and/or errata to report then please contact the SEmG Webmaster.
BR No. WD No. 31 Aug 1948 May 1949 May 1950 May 1951
90107 77007 § Brighton Hither Green Hither Green
90127 77030 § Feltham Hither Green Hither Green
90164 77180 § Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms
90181 77205 § Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms ---
90194 77226 § Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms
90213 77256 § Bricklayers Arms Hither Green Hither Green
90216 77259 § Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms
90226 77311 § Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms
90234 77321 § Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms
90247 77340 § Brighton Brighton Hither Green
90254 77355 § Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms
90257 77359 § Feltham Feltham ---
90267 77379 § Feltham Feltham Hither Green
90308 77444 § Feltham Feltham ---
90317 70811 § Redhill Redhill Redhill
90332 70853 § Hither Green Hither Green ---
90345 70878 § Bricklayers Arms Brighton ---
90347 77270 § Brighton Brighton ---
90354 77286 § Brighton Brighton Redhill
90360 77296 § Redhill Redhill Redhill
90375 78569 § Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms Redhill
90389 78596 § Hither Green Hither Green Hither Green
90390 78597 § Hither Green Hither Green Hither Green
90408 78531 § Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms
90523 77052 § Feltham Feltham ---
90527 77056 § Feltham Feltham ---
90530 77059 § Feltham Feltham ---
90533 77062 § Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms
90543 77074 § Feltham Feltham ---
90552 77086 § Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms
90556 77090 § Hither Green Hither Green Hither Green
90558 77094 § Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms
90562 77098 § Feltham Feltham ---
90564 77101 § Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms
90566 77103 § Hither Green Hither Green Hither Green
90570 77108 § Feltham Feltham Feltham
90578 77122 § Feltham Feltham ---
90604 77150 § Feltham Feltham Feltham
90619 77481 § Bricklayers Arms Bricklayers Arms ---
90622 77485 § Bricklayers Arms Ashford ---
90641 78666 § Redhill Redhill Redhill
90650 78688 § Bricklayers Arms Ashford ---
90655 78705 § Hither Green Hither Green ---
90669 79199 § Hither Green Hither Green Hither Green
90671 79203 § Hither Green Hither Green Hither Green
90675 79207 § Feltham Feltham ---
90678 79210 § Hither Green Hither Green ---
90702 79262 § Hither Green Hither Green Hither Green
90718 79281 § Hither Green Hither Green Hither Green
§ = Listed as loaned to the Southern Region in 1948 ABC, but shed not known.
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