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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Hatton Bank: gwrhb99

Austerity WD 2-8-0 No 77015 is seen ascending Hatton bank on the goods down line with a class H freight train on 15th May 1948

Austerity WD 2-8-0 No 77015 ascending Hatton bank on the goods down line on 15th May 1948 with a class H train (freight, mineral or ballast train or train of empties carrying through load to destination). The metal hopper wagons probably contain iron ore heading for South Wales via Claverdon and Stratford.

The Austerity WD 2-8-0 class were designed by Robert Riddles in 1942. He was Assistant to William Stanier at the LMS and appointed Deputy Director General of Royal Railway Equipment in 1941. The class was based on the Stanier 8F, but took account of the wartime shortage of materials and manpower with a simpler parallel boiler. Construction started in January 1943 and by May 1945, 935 engines had been built by North British Locomotive Co. and Vulcan Works. Many were used on the continent in the later stages of WW2, but after nationalisation the British Transport Commission purchased 533 engines. They were mainly used for freight and had the nickname ‘Bed Irons’ because of the load clanking noise they produced.