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USATC S-160 2-8-0s

United States Army Transport Corps

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During the Second World War the United States Army Transport Corps (USATC) were called upon to provide a heavy freight steam locomotive for use in Europe and Africa. Many of the locomotives were to be stockpiled in Britain in the lead up to the D-Day invasion of Europe, and some were to be loaned to British railway companies to help with the war effort.  The result was the type S-160 2-8-0 (or 1'D if you prefer) conforming to the British loading gauge. The designer was Major J. W. Marsh of the US Army Corps of Engineers. 
  
 
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USATC 1628 at an unknown location in Britain. These locomotives incorporated a number of features that were not common in Britain at that time, such as a large enclosed cab area, an air gap for maintenance purposes between the wheels and the boiler, and a sand container on top of the boiler in order that the heat would keep the sand dry. Some of the features were not widespread in Britain, such as the Westinghouse brake pump by the smokebox door and the eight-wheel tender (which was based upon a First World War design for the US Army for use in Europe).
 
This locomotive was reported on 3rd August 1943 as in transit from the USA to Britain as one of two built by Alco that were aboard the "Extavia". The other loco was USATC 1632. Photograph Edward Talbot collection.
    
     
  Unusual features of the S-160 2-8-0s that are not immediately obvious include the use of bar frames, instead of frames made from solid sheets of steel, and a boiler water level readout that relied up on a sample reading being taken, instead of the British gauge glass.  This latter feature led British footplate crews to sometimes wrongly assume the water level indication was the current one, and sadly that resulted in horrific boiler explosions.    
     
  
 
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This collection of USATC S160 2-8-0s was stored at Penrhos Junction in South Wales pending shipment "Far Side" following the D-Day invasion of Europe.  They were of strategic importance and were kept under armed guard.
   
       
  Report Dates     
  
Ships Carrying S-160 Locomotives to Britain
 
 
  15th February 1943     S.S. 'Laurits Svenson' 2  locos.  Due Swansea on or about 24 Feb.  
  15th February 1943     S.S. 'Pacific Enterprise' 4 locos.  Due Cardiff on or about 24 Feb  
  15th February 1943     'Empire Kamal' 2 locos.  Due Mersey on or about 06 Mar  
  15th February 1943      'Salabangka' 2 locos.  Due Cardiff on or about 06 Mar.  
  8th March 1943     'Aalsum' 2 locos.  Due Glasgow on or about 15 Mar for Cowlairs shed.  
  8th March 1943     'Montevideo' 4 locos.  Due Liverpool on or about 15 Mar, 3 for Wolverhampton shops, 1 for Gorton shops.  
  8th March 1943     'Noesaniwi' 4 locos.  Due Cardiff on or about 15 Mar for Ebbw Jnc shed.  
  8th March 1943     'Silver Laurel' 2 locos.  Due London on or about 15 Mar for Stratford shed.  
  16th March 1943     'Abraham Lincoln' 2 locos.  Due Cardiff on or about 23 Mar.  
  16th March 1943     'Southern Princess' 4 locos.  Due Glasgow on or about 23 Mar.  
       

 
 
Rail Album for railway and other photographs
The front end of a USATC S160 2-8-0 at Ropley on the Mid-Hants Railway in 1985. This locomotive was built by Alco at Schenectady in New York state in 1944 as works number 71533. Following renovation and painting into Longmoor Military Railway colours she carried the number 701 and the name "Franklin D Roosevelt".
 

     
  Locomotive 1604 attended a hand-over ceremony at Paddington station on 11th December 1942, when it entered service in Britain. Attached to the smokebox were the flags of the USA and Britain. During the ceremony Lord Leathers, Minister of War Transport, formally accepted the locomotive from Colonel N. A. Ryan, Chief of Transportation, US Army.
 
According to Railway Executive Committee records USATC number 1836 was handed to the GWR at Banbury on 23rd January 1943, presumably at the steam locomotive depot. This was followed by the handover at Banbury of 1619 on the 25th, 1616 on the 26th and 1835 on the 28th. USATC 1623  was then handed over at 2.30 on 30th January 1943 at an unspecified location.. 
 
     

    
 
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This S-160 was acquired by the Longmoor Military Railway in 1945 and ran as WD 93257 "Carl R Gray Jr" (reportedly at one time named "Maj-Gen Carl R Gray Jr"). It was built by Alco at Schenectady in New York state in 1944 as works number 71512. Behind the tender is one of the GWR Dean Goods 0-6-0s taken over by the War Department.
 
         
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A Baldwin Locomotive Works official photograph of USATC S-160 number 2626. 

   
     
  On 19th March 1943 the GWR directed that USATC S-160 locomotives being landed at Cardiff Docks would be sent to GWR Newport, Ebbw Junction shed.  Those arriving at Birkenhead Docks were to be despatched to GWR Wolverhampton Stafford Road.  
     
  
   
 
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USATC S-160 number 5820 in preservation in Howarth shed on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in 1985. This locomotive was built by Lima in Ohio in 1945 as works number 8758. 
     
  REC Operating Committee Minute 3747 of 29th January 1943
 
27 S-160 locomotives had arrived in Britain and were temporary in use by the GWR.
 
 
REC Operating Committee Minute 3944 of 26th March 1943
 
Number of USATC S-160 locomotives arrived in Britain had risen to 60, of which 27 were in service.   
   
"Arrivals at ports in London, East Coast, Glasgow and Manchester to be dealt with by LNE CME"
 
"Arrivals at Birkenhead and South Wales ports to be dealt with by GWR CME"
 
."CMEs may send locos to own shops or sub contract them to another company"
 
     

     
 
Rail Album for railway and other photographs
Diagram of a USATC S-160 steam locomotive.  The letters ETO stood for European Theater of Operations.  Modellers and others may wish to know that there is a much larger, better quality and more detailed diagram in the book "A Pictorial Record of British Railways Standard Steam Locomotives Volume Two" by Edward Talbot.
 

       
  Report Dates     
  
Ships Carrying S-160 Locomotives to Britain
 
 
  16th March 1943     'John Fiske' s 2 locos.  Due Manchester on or about 24 Mar.  
  16th March 1943     'Svend Foyn' 6 locos. Due Liverpool on or about 25 Mar.  
  26th March 1943     'Hoyanger' 2 locos 1827, 1828. Manchester. 03 Apr  
  26th March 1943     'Molda' 4 locos 2057, 1729, 1730, 1731. Liverpool. 03 Apr  
  26th March 1943     'Pacific Shipper' 2 locos 2044, 2045. Manchester. 03 Apr  
  26th March 1943     ('Takhan' ') 3 locos 2048, 2050, 2051. Cardiff. 03 Apr  
  8th April 1943      'Alfred Moore' 2 locos 2244, 2245. Hull. 17 Apr.  
  8th April 1943      'Eliphalet Nott' 2 locos 2039, 2044. Glasgow. 17 Apr.  
  8th April 1943      'Empire Confidence' 4 locos 2052, 2054, 2055, 2056. Cardiff. 17 Apr.  
  8th April 1943      'Heranger' 2 locos 1871, 1872. Liverpool. 17 Apr.  
       

 
 
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USATC 2131 at an unknown location in Britain. The signal beyond the loco's tender suggests the photograph was taken somewhere on the GWR. This locomotive was one of four shipped from the USA to Britain aboard the "Montevideo". On the 14th of May 1943 the vessel was reported due to arrive at Swansea around 23rd May.
Photograph Edward Talbot collection.
 

         
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Rail Album for railway and other photographs
Another view of USATC S-160 number 5820 in preservation in Howarth shed on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in 1985. The locomotive was Lima 8758 of 1945. 
  

     
  REC Operating Committee Minute 4014 of 16th April 1943

"Inspection of US 2-8-0 in blackout conditions took place 15th April 43. Glare from red hot embers in the ashpan would be plainly visible to aircraft at a considerable height, intensified when hauling a load. Would breach blackout regulations in air raid warning 'red' conditions. Decision to fit ashpan screens when engines pass through shops after arrival"
 
     

 
 
Rail Album for railway and other photographs
Longmoor Military Railway 700 under repair at the works of W. G. Bagnall in Stafford on 27th March 1954. This loco was Alco 71512 of 1944 and had previously carried the numbers USATC 3257 and WD 93257.
 

       
  Report Dates     
  
Ships Carrying S-160 Locomotives to Britain
 
 
  8th April 1943      'Pacific Grove' 4 locos 2087, 2909, 2991, (anon). Glasgow. 17 Apr.  
  8th April 1943      'Westland' 2 locos 1875, 1876. Liverpool. 17 Apr.  
  13th April 1943      'Brimanger' 2 locos 2042, 2046. Liverpool.   
  13th April 1943      'Devis' 4 locos 2082, 2084, 2093, 2095. Manchester.  
  13th April 1943      'Fernwood' 4 locos. Liverpool.  
  13th April 1943      'Isaac Sharples' 2 locos 2030, 2033. Hull.  
  13th April 1943      'John Bidwell' 4 locos 1882, 1879, 2090, 1890. Port tbd.  
  13th April 1943      'Jonathan Worth' 2 locos. Liverpool.  
  13th April 1943      'Santos' 2 locos 2085, 2086. Cardiff.  
  13th April 1943      'Villanger' 2 locos 2094, 2097. Glasgow.  
       

    
 
Rail Album for railway and other photographs
USATC 2280 at an unknown location in Britain. The GWR 0-6-0 Pannier Tank behind the loco's tender suggests the photograph was taken somewhere on the GWR. This locomotive was one of four shipped from the USA to Britain aboard the "Molda". On the 6th of August 1943 the vessel was reported due to arrive at Swansea around 14th August.
Photograph Edward Talbot collection.
 

       
  Pony Wheels 2 ft 9 ins  
  Driving Wheels 4 ft 9 ins  
  Cylinders 19 x 26 ins  
  Boiler Pressure 225 lbs / sq in  
  Weight Working 72 tons 10 cwt  
  Tractive Effort 31,490 lbs or 31,500 lbs  
  Wheelbase 23 ft 3 ins  
  Tender Coal 9 tons 0 cwt  
  Tender Water 6,000 gals  
       

    
 
Rail Album for railway and other photographs
USATC 1707 at Stratford. Photograph Edward Talbot collection.
 
 
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