BR Standard Classes
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BR Standard Classes

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.

ex-WD Austerity engines

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.

Background

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).[1] Riddles retired in 1953.

Design

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.

Construction

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 Most never achieved their potential service life and were withdrawn in working order.

Construction was split between the ex-LMS works at Crewe, Derby and Horwich, the ex-LNER works at Darlington and Doncaster, the ex-GWR works at Swindon, and the ex-SR works at Brighton.

Class Numbers Power
class
Wheel
arr.
Quantity
built
Years
built
RA Tenders types
Class 7 (Britannia) 70000-054 7P6F 06424-6-2 55 8 BR1, BR1A, BR1D
Class 8 (Duke of Gloucester) 71000 8P 06424-6-2 1 1954 8 BR1E until 1957, BR1J thereafter
Class 6 (Clan) 72000-009 6P5F 06424-6-2 10 1952 8 BR1
Class 5 73000-171 5MT 06404-6-0 172 1951-57 7 BR1, BR1B, BR1C, BR1F, BR1G, BR1H
Class 4 4-6-0 75000-079 4MT 06404-6-0 80 1951-57 4 BR2, BR2A
Class 4 2-6-0 76000-114 4MT 06202-6-0 115 1952-57 4 BR2, BR2A, BR1B
Class 3 77000-019 3MT 06202-6-0 20 1953 4 BR2A
Class 2 78000-064 2MT 06202-6-0 65 1952-56 3 BR3
Class 4 Tank 80000-154 4MT 0624T2-6-4T 155 1951-57 5 --
Class 3 Tank 82000-044 3MT 0622T2-6-2T 45 1951-53 4 --
Class 2 Tank 84000-029 2MT 0622T2-6-2T 30 1953-57 3 --
Class 9F 92000-250 9F 10202-10-0 251 1954-60 9 BR1B, BR1C, BD1F, BR1G
Total 999 1951-60

Tenders

Std 4 2-6-0 number 76089 with a BR2A tender.

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.

Tender details
Tender
Type
Quantity
built
Years
built
Coal
(long
tons)
Water
(imp.gal.)
Weight
full
(long
tons)
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
BR1B 114 1955-57 7 4725 51.25
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
BR1F 95 1954-58 7 5625 55.25 5, 9F
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
BR1J 1 1958 10 4325 53.70 8
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
Total 773

Preservation

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
7 (Britannia) 2 3.6% 70000/13
8 (Duke of Gloucester) 1 100% 71000 71000 has Caprotti valve gear
6 (Clan) 0 0% -
5MT 5 2.9% 73050/82/96, 73129/56 73129 has Caprotti valve gear
4MT 4-6-0 6 7.5% 75014/27/29/69/78/79
4MT 2-6-0 4 3.5% 76017/77/79/84
3MT 2-6-0 0 0% -
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.
9F 9 3.6% 92134, 92203/07/12/14/19/20/40/45
Total 46 4.6%

New Builds

The new build of the 'Clan' class "Hengist" is progressing, slowly. 72010 is coming along quite quickly and is expected soon.

References

  1. ^ Railway Magazine January 1951 pp. 60-61 Standardisation and Comparative Costs of Motive Power on B.R.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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