The locomotive was designed to be simple to produce in large numbers. The War Department used these locos abroad as well as in this country - examples were still to be found in Greece in the early 1980s. Despite having a design life of only ten years - examples survived in this country until 1966. Information from John A Thickitt: This Class provided a distinctive loud and rhythmic clanking sound from the driving wheels when the engine was coasting. Because this engine carries a British Railways number, the date will be post 1948. No. 90682 was based at Normanton in West Yorkshire until at least November 1966. (information from Ian Allan Locoshed book - 1966). This was the most numerous class of 'Austerity' locomotive operated by British Railways. The 'Austerity' (AKA 'WD') class were heavy-freight engines'. Their most frequent duties involved the haulage of coal in loose-coupled, unbraked wagons. This scene in the photograph was typical: an engine trundling along hauling a rake of loose-coupled, unbraked mineral-waggons, either loaded with coal or 'empties' back to the colliery. By the mid-1960's the North Midlands had become one of the strongholds for this class.
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