The BR Standard steam locomotives were an effort to standardize locomotives from the motley collection of older pre-grouping locos. Construction started in 1951. Due to the controversial British Railways' modernisation plan of 1955, where steam traction was abandoned in favour of diesel and electric traction, many of the locomotives' working lives were very short: between 7 and 17 years. Many have been preserved, mainly due to their having been sent to Barry.
The first BR standards were the BR ex-WD Austerity 2-8-0 and BR ex-WD Austerity 2-10-0s. They were given the numbers 90000-732 and 900750-774. They were assigned the boiler types BR10 and BR11, and both had the tender type BR5.
Riddles put his case for continuing to build steam locomotives in his presidential address to the Institution of Locomotive Engineers in November 1950. He compared capital costs to show that steam was cheaper than the alternatives, though he didn't mention productivity differences, except to say fuel costs did not rank very high relative to total costs. For example, a Class 5 cost £16,000, compared to £78,100 for a 1,600 h. p. diesel, £138,700 for a gas turbine, or £37,400 for electric. He calculated the costs per drawbar horse power as £13 6s (steam), £65 (diesel), £69 7s (turbine) and £17 13s (electric). Riddles retired in 1953.
From 1951, BR started to build steam locomotives to its own standard designs, which were largely based on LMS practice but incorporating ideas and modifications from the other constituent companies and America. Their design was overseen by Robert Riddles.
Characteristic features were taper boilers, high running plates, two cylinders and streamlined cabs.
Although more were ordered, 999 BR "Standards" were constructed: the last, 92220 Evening Star, was built in 1960. Most never achieved their potential service life and were withdrawn in working order.
|Class 7 (Britannia)||70000-054||7P6F||4-6-2||55||8||BR1, BR1A, BR1D|
|Class 8 (Duke of Gloucester)||71000||8P||4-6-2||1||1954||8||BR1E until 1957, BR1J thereafter|
|Class 6 (Clan)||72000-009||6P5F||4-6-2||10||1952||8||BR1|
|Class 5||73000-171||5MT||4-6-0||172||1951-57||7||BR1, BR1B, BR1C, BR1F, BR1G, BR1H|
|Class 4 4-6-0||75000-079||4MT||4-6-0||80||1951-57||4||BR2, BR2A|
|Class 4 2-6-0||76000-114||4MT||2-6-0||115||1952-57||4||BR2, BR2A, BR1B|
|Class 4 Tank||80000-154||4MT||2-6-4T||155||1951-57||5||--|
|Class 3 Tank||82000-044||3MT||2-6-2T||45||1951-53||4||--|
|Class 2 Tank||84000-029||2MT||2-6-2T||30||1953-57||3||--|
|Class 9F||92000-250||9F||2-10-0||251||1954-60||9||BR1B, BR1C, BD1F, BR1G|
The tenders used with the Standard locomotives were also new designs. There were different types were due to different coal-to-water ratios, weight restrictions and later improved designs. It was standard practice for there to be fewer tenders than locomotives, as tenders took little time to overhaul compared to locomotives, locomotives entering works for overhaul would tend to lose their tenders to locomotives leaving works after overhaul.
|RA||Used with Classes||Notes|
|BR1||100||7||4250||49.15||8, 7, 6|
|BR1A||5||1952||7||5000||52.50||7||5000-gallon version of BR1|
|BR1C||123||1954-58||9||4725||53.25||5, 7||9-ton version of BR1B|
|BR1D||10||1954||9||4725||54.50||7||BR1C with coal pusher|
|BR1E||1||1954||10||4725||55.50||8||10-ton version of BR1D. Rebuilt to BR1C in 1958|
|BR1G||61||1954-60||7||5000||52.50||5, 9F||BR1A updated with fall plate|
|BR1H||12||1954||7||4250||49.15||5||BR1 updated with fall plate|
|BR1K||3||1958||9||4325||52.35||9F||Fitted with mechanical stokers. Rebuilt to BR1C in 1961|
|BR2||95||1951-54||6||3500||42.15||4 (4-6-0), 4 (2-6-0)|
|BR2A||88||1954-57||6||3500||42.15||4 (4-6-0), 4 (2-6-0), 3||BR2 updated with fall plate|
|BR3||65||1952-56||4||3000||36.85||2||Updated version of LMS equivalent|
A total of 46 standards have survived - of these, 38 were rescued from Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Wales. The BR Standard Locomotive Owner's Group provides co-ordination.
|Class||No. preserved||Percentage preserved||Numbers||Notes|
|8 (Duke of Gloucester)||1||100%||71000||71000 has Caprotti valve gear|
|5MT||5||2.9%||73050/82/96, 73129/56||73129 has Caprotti valve gear|
|2MT 2-6-0||4||6.2%||78018/19/22/59||78059 being rebuilt to a tank version as '84030'|
|4MT 2-6-4T||15||11.6%||80002/64/72/78/79/80/97/98, 80100/04/05/35/36/50/51|
|3MT 2-6-2T||0||0%||-||Replica 82045 under construction|
|2MT 2-6-2T||0||0%||-||One being rebuilt from a standard 2-6-0.|
The new build of the 'Clan' class "Hengist" is progressing, slowly. 72010 is coming along quite quickly and is expected soon.