British Railway History Item
BR Class Riddles British Railways Standard Class 3 2-6-2 Tank
Built 1952-55. Designed by Robert A. Riddles.
Total Number Built 45.
Introduced April 1952. Designed at Swindon. Classification 3MT.
Number Series 82000-82044.
Built at British Railway's Swindon Works.
No Lot Nos. yet available.
The class was derived from the Great Western Railway Class 4500 2-6-2 Tank.
When in 1949 the new British Railways design board sat down to plan for a modern locomotive fleet, one of the considerations taken into account was the need for a light weight tank loco having an axle weight of some 16 tons. This was required to cover the then duties amongst others over lightly laid branch lines. After much deliberation the board drew up the general specification to cover what was to become the BR Class 3 82000 2-6-2 tank.
This design was unlike the other BR tanks a brand new design, the 80000's and 84000's being based on existing ex LMS locomotives already in use. The main design work was carried out at Swindon using a modified Swindon No 2 boiler operating at 200ibs/ins and outside cylinders and valve gear derived from the LMS class 4 locomotives. Much use was made in construction using methods learnt from the building of the WD Austerities during the War; in particular was the large use of fabrication and wielding.
With the first being out shopped in April 1952, with apart from a large gap between 1952/54 due to the national steel shortage the final member of the class to be built No 82044 was out shopped in August 1955. All though there were plans to produce a class of some sixty-three locomotives the infamous modernization plan of 1955 killed off the other orders, the class were allocated to in the main the Western and Southern Regions with the North Eastern and the Midland having only a few. In the main they were a welcome change at some depots where there were enough of them for the crews to get used to them, at other sheds they were largely given light duties such as shed pilot and pick up freight duties.
The Western Region men apart from the Cambrian didn't take too well to them, (possibly because they didn't have a copper cap and were left hand drive!) but where they were given a chance to prove them selves, they proved to be strong loco's having a regular working of seven or eight coach trains over the Cambrian Coast route even being used on pilot duties over Talerddig bank.
The 82000 were ideal branch line engines having a light axle weight and being a modern design, the only draw back was that they only had a 1500 gallon water capacity and a 3.ton coal capacity this being increased to 3.3/4 on the later batches from No 82030 onwards. Unfortunately by the time most of the class had been built the bridges that were restricted to 16.5 tons were largely uprated thus these lines were able to take the larger 80000 tanks. None the less the 82000 were to prove them selves capable loco's and replaced older engines in particular on the Southern branches in the West country.
As steam was phased out in various regions the 82000's allocation gradually dwindled with the Southern scooping up most at Nine Elms, with at one time Nine Elms having some fourteen out of a remaining class of thirty-two. Where they were used on Carriage duties, trip working. The one regular 82000 turn was the Kensington-Olympia to Clapham Jct working which remained a 82000 turn right up to the end of there life.
Withdrawal started in February 1964 with No's 82002/8/43 from Exmouth Jct, Taunton and Bristol (Barrow Road). The end finally came when the curtain fell on Southern steam on the 9th of July 1967, with the last two No's 82019 & 82029 being withdrawn from the stock list. With 82029 having worked the 7.18am Waterloo-Salisbury on the 8th July (both engines being noted in store at Salisbury shed on 29th July.)
The bulk of the 82000's would appear to have been cut up by either Birds commercial motors or J Cashmores, although some made it to one or two other yards for scrapping none made it to Woodhams Bro's yard at Barry. Ironically there was a plan to save a least one 82000 at the end of Southern steam, unfortunately this fell through when no suitable home could be found to keep her, had this happened there would now be an 82000 tank earning it's keep on a some preserved line somewhere in this country. Although 82003/31/14 lasted in J Cashmores yard until October 1968 at which date the class became extinct.
The first three locos withdrawn were 82002, 82008 and 82043 on 29 February 1964 from Exmouth Junction, Taunton and Bristol Barrow Road Sheds respectively.
The last two locos withdrawn were 82019 and 82029 on 9 July 1967 from Nine Elms shed.
None are preserved, however:
"The 82045 Locomotive Group" plan to build a full size BR Standard Class 3MT 2-6-2 tank engine.
Motive Power Details
Weight: Loco 73 tons 10 cwt
Driving Wheel: 5' 3"
Boil Press: 200lb/sq in Su
Cylinders: Two 17?" x 26" (outside)
Valve Gear: Walschaerts (piston valves)
TE: 21,490 lb
Class Total: 45
Allocation and Withdrawal Details
Last Updated : Monday 5th May 2003 13:21