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Michael Delamar

Why are the J94/WD austerity 0-6-0's Unloved?

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It seems that the British steam enthusiast, doesnt really like the Austerity WD saddle tanks on preserved railways, avoiding them until other locos are running.

 

but why is that?

 

is it because theyre in ficticious liveries? some are dressed up to appear like J94s.

are they just not appealling to look at or ride behind?

is it because they are mainly industrial locos?

is it because real J94s never worked in your area in steam days?

 

there may be no truth in this but its a vibe Ive been getting for a while now amongst enthusiasts, along the lines of "Im not going to that preserved railway when theres only a J94 running".

 

lets not forget that during the early days of preserved railways these locos where stalwarts, but it still seems they where only there until the Barry locos where restored, now many of them languish in sidings on preserved railways.

 

what do you think?

 

do you like them, or would you prefer to visit a preserved railway when something else was running (diesel fans excused here :) )

 

and yes before you all jump on me, I know theres a difference between the J94 and the WD austerities we have lots of, however plenty of people know them as J94s which is why Ive mentioned them together.

 

over to you

 

Mike

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For me I think it was a mix of there being too many of them, I recall the KESR, (which was my local line at the time)in the early eighties nearly every time I visited it was an Austerity. On a number of occasions when I visited other lines an Austerity was running it seemed at the time they were everywhere. the other thing I didn't like was the habit of dressing them up as J94's.

 

Though the ones that I did find interesting were the ones from Corby that had the shortened saddle tank.

 

Looking back I can now appreciate why they were used so much, simple to maintain and by all accounts could take a bit of abuse. Now I can take them or leave them, particularly as when worked hard they do make a reasonable amount of noise from the chimney.

 

Regards

Simon

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Mike

 

I've not come across this particularly - but I'm not surprised - enthusiast interest in industrial locomotives and railways has always been a rather specialised one, save for that brief period between the end of BR steam and the take-off of preservation/the rise of the diesel enthusiast when industrial steam was 'discovered' as something rare and different before it ended. Familiarity is part of it - enthusiasts/preservationists were generally interested in preserving an image of the passenger railway as was and in locomotives. Many had been spotters and small, black, grubby machines weren't interesting - 6 drivers, outside cylinders and a tender were - which is one reason there are so many of those too (and many are hopelessly too large for the purposes to which they are put).*

 

I guess the other element is 'image'. The 'Austerity and Mk 1' was a typical step in the preservation process since the loco's were fairly cheap, reasonably powerful, and tolerant of poor maintenance, and with decent spares availability. There does seem to be a preservationist thing of BR loco's being perceived as 'superior' to industrials, and for long distance passenger service there is undoubtedly something in that, as few industrial loco's were constructed with that in mind. That said, there are an awful lot of loco's preserved and probably rather more than are actually needed to operate the preserved railways that own them... So partly pragmatism, partly snobbery.

 

Adam

 

*NB The longer, hillier, preserved railways do need to additional power and capacity of course, but a 2800 on the South Devon Railway (for example) at Buckfastleigh is silly, no matter how attractive.

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I think part of it is the attitude that exists within some preservationists that if it isn't BR then its not worth 2p so hey presto austerities are made to look like J94s and I believe that the Mid Hants want to convert one of theirs to look like a black motor! :angry: And its not just austerities that are insulted by been made to look like a 'main line' company loco.:( The industrial scene is just as if not more interesting than the 'main line' scene and don't forget that the first steam locos were industrials and they lasted longer than BR steam. (VoR excepted)

Going off topic slightly it seems that some people have the same attitude with steam rollers, so some brass, a longer canopy, a fancy paint job and generally speaking a re wired motor is added as a dynamo, and they are passed off as Showman's Engines.

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I don't like them because I've had to work on them.....!!

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Seeing what the weather is like now makes me shiver, not from the cold, but from memory.

We had one of the old Corby 'Robert Stephenson's' at Swanage, on which I spent a whole week, the first week in 1988,replacing a driving wheel bearing. The work was done in Swanage goods shed where the temperature never rose above freezing, removed the bearing, took it to Sheffield Park for re-whitemetalling, back to Swanage, remachined, refitted (including scrapeing to fit journal).

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interesting thoughts chaps.

 

I like them, theres not really anything I dont dislike, I always think I can see the good in something now matter how rubbish it may be, be it car, train, football team smile.gif

 

 

weve got a photo of me next to a maroon one when I was about 2 years old at Lakeside & haverthwaite so im pretty sure its one of the first steam locos I rode behind smile.gif

 

but when I was planning to visit there last year I wanted to go when the fairburn tanks where running, and Id have been a bit disapointed if it where one of the austerites running.

 

I had the same feeling when planning to visit Peak rail. I think because my main interest is the last few decades of BR steam even though I wasnt around to see it, so when I go to a preserved railway I want to try and get that atmposhere.

 

 

 

on another thought the Dapol j94 was my first detailed loco which I loved, it was a favourite and had weathered up at a time when we I was playing with RTR Hornby locos from the 80s.

 

Mike

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Though the ones that I did find interesting were the ones from Corby that had the shortened saddle tank.

I thought those were an earlier Hunslet design and not strictly speaking "austerities".

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I think part of it is the attitude that exists within some preservationists that if it isn't BR then its not worth 2p

 

I'm not trying to be inflammatory but you can't really make me believe that most enthusiasts prefer riding behind some strangely coloured industrial saddle tank to, say, a proper mainline loco (even a smaller type like an 41XXX Ivatt or BR Standard tank). The Austerity tanks have their place in preservation (compact, reasonably powerful and were cheaply available during the genesis of the preservation movement) but I wouldn't be particularly thrilled to visit a preserved line where that was the only motive power for the day. Yet I was quite happy to ride up and down behind the Ivatt at the KWVR last year when it was the only thing running (mid week visit). The Ivatt evoked romantic thoughts of Waterloo and the SR branches in the 60's, whereas an Austerity is just a shunter to me, however competent they may be.

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If you mean these they were later than the austerities and were a RSH design.

 

http://www.spavalley.../SpaUgly_04.htm

 

Arthur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

whilst different from the austerity locos were talking about, I think for arguments sake we could group that into the type of locos mentioned.

its still an industrial tank loco to the enthusiasts who want to see a mainline loco.

 

Mike

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I was fortunate to see many Austerities working in NCB service in NE England and South Wales in the early 70s. The sight and sound of one of Maesteg's allocation propelling a string of loaded wagons up an incline is something never to be forgotten. As others have said, they are strong for their size and more powerful than some smaller ex-BR locos. The IoWSR has made good use of its two Austerities while the Adams O2 is being overhauled - and the O2 is less powerful. Yes, a blue saddle tank does grate a bit with ex-SECR and LSWR coaches, but the Westinghouse pump is authentic and sounds the part. We suspend disbelief all the time with our modelling. Is this really any different?

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I've never come across this before, but it does suprise me. I am always thrilled at the sight of a steam engine, so class is irrelevant if it boils water! :D

 

I can understand the for and against put forward, but with respect, feel that people should accept the austerity/J94 design as a significant part of our British Preservation history - and love them just as much for being the workhorses of the early preservation era.

 

I much look forward to the day "Robert" is steamed at the Great Central Railway :) I may not be local anymore when it happens, but I'll make a special visit up to see 'im.

 

There's one more J94 I would like to see overhauled and returned to steam - Wilbert, of the Dean Forest Railway (named after the Reverend W.Awdry). How this engine has been allowed to fall into disrepair, when it is both important for its namesake and its namesakes work (Wilbert The Forest Engine is one of Christopher Awdry's later books), I would like to know! As the big blue saddletank would surely have been a perfect retort to the "Days out with Thomas" events?

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Horses for Courses: - Austerities are in keeping with the character of small 'Light Railway' type lines such as Kent and East Sussex and industrial based lines such as Middleton Railway, but for the longer 'Mainline' and 'Country Branchline' you need something more...

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I'm not trying to be inflammatory but you can't really make me believe that most enthusiasts prefer riding behind some strangely coloured industrial saddle tank to, say, a proper mainline loco (even a smaller type like an 41XXX Ivatt or BR Standard tank). The Austerity tanks have their place in preservation (compact, reasonably powerful and were cheaply available during the genesis of the preservation movement) but I wouldn't be particularly thrilled to visit a preserved line where that was the only motive power for the day. Yet I was quite happy to ride up and down behind the Ivatt at the KWVR last year when it was the only thing running (mid week visit). The Ivatt evoked romantic thoughts of Waterloo and the SR branches in the 60's, whereas an Austerity is just a shunter to me, however competent they may be.

 

 

Fair point well made. I wasn't trying to make you believe that enthusiasts prefer industrials but, eerrmm I'm not quite sure how to word this reply. Industrial locos have their own history and I for one don't think that their historty should be ignored.

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whilst different from the austerity locos were talking about, I think for arguments sake we could group that into the type of locos mentioned.

its still an industrial tank loco to the enthusiasts who want to see a mainline loco.

 

Mike

 

The Corby RSH tanks had little in common with the Austerities, they became the standard locos on the minerals side at Corby. A near relative was S&L No 24 which was a Hunslet 50550, basically the prototype on which the Austerity was based. The main differences being deeper buffer beams, backhead injectors as opposed to underslung type and one or two minor details. 24 was the first of eight ordered for a project to link Islip Ironworks with the Corby system but the it never came to fruition and the remaining seven were cancelled by S&L.

 

24 remained unique at Corby and no Austerities ever worked followed it, the RSHs proving their worth with several added to stock in the post war years. After a very brief period on the minerals fleet, it was transferred to the works stock at Corby and worked the heavier duties, mainly coke ovens, iron ladles from the blast furnaces to the steelmaking plant and slag disposal. It escaped the cutter and after a period in the care of Corby Model Rly Club, is now on permanent loan to the Rutland Rly Museum.

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each to their own i say, i really like the J94 and character of the industrial saddle tanks especially peckett types which were also used by the GWR. there is a simple and a almost cuteness to their designs especially seeing them in the flesh. Quaiton has a large collect of industrial engines if anyone is interested.

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To those of us 'of an age' an 'industrial loco' is exactly that and always will be, and the 'Austerity' style design is none too interesting because it came along and just like the all-conquering diesel it sounded the death knell for plenty of truly interesting, much older, inductrial locos

 

The other problem them is that they are not and never were passenger branchline engines so - again for those of us of an age - they do little or nothing to recreate any sort of feeling for what has passed (not that many preservation type railways can do that anyway).

 

But they had the advantage of being available cheap, usually in something approaching working order, and cheap to operate even if they were not exactly the best thing to ride on when working a passenger train - after all they were designed to shunt at low speed on tight curves, not run at 20+mph.

 

So somewhere like Middleton they fill the bill, on the longer railways they're not at all ideal because of their design characteristcs and on the short lines they just don't look right IF you're looking for 'railway atmosphere'. But lots of punters just want a steam train, preferably in a pretty or distinctive colour, and don't care much beyond that as long as it's got a fire and makes smoke and steam etc. So they do have a place, but probably not for lots of enthusiasts.

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For me it's a simple case of "familiarity breeds contempt". I don't actually dislike Austerities but have seen so many on my visits to preserved lines that they just don't interest me any more. Give me a common ex-BR preserved loco (Jinty/57XX/Ivatt 2MT) any day, big saddle tanks just don't look right to me on passenger trains!

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Guest Phil

I'm not trying to be inflammatory but you can't really make me believe that most enthusiasts prefer riding behind some strangely coloured industrial saddle tank to, say, a proper mainline loco (even a smaller type like an 41XXX Ivatt or BR Standard tank). The Austerity tanks have their place in preservation (compact, reasonably powerful and were cheaply available during the genesis of the preservation movement) but I wouldn't be particularly thrilled to visit a preserved line where that was the only motive power for the day. Yet I was quite happy to ride up and down behind the Ivatt at the KWVR last year when it was the only thing running (mid week visit). The Ivatt evoked romantic thoughts of Waterloo and the SR branches in the 60's, whereas an Austerity is just a shunter to me, however competent they may be.

 

Fair point well made. I wasn't trying to make you believe that enthusiasts prefer industrials but, eerrmm I'm not quite sure how to word this reply. Industrial locos have their own history and I for one don't think that their historty should be ignored.

 

 

I have to admit that up until a couple of years ago industrial locos were very much second class citizens to me and to a number of my mates who were into railway "haulage". An industrial "kettle" was very low in the life chain.

 

Happy to report that I am a changed man and see these locos as very interesting, probably because I am researching history in South Staffordshire where a number of these machines spent their lives. It was only really a couple of years ago that I recognised the significance of "Wimblebury" - a place just a couple of miles from where I live.

 

I can see both sides of this one - particularly the enthusiast who dismisses anything that is not BR or "big four" - I did !!! I recall the disappointment when our eight coach rake of Mk1s was hauled by "60" from Aviemore to Boat of Garten, when I would have preferred the Black Five 5025 or the Mickey Mouse 46512.

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Well I tell you what. If anyone hs a spare one running around anywhere I would love one at Middleton! Especialy a real Leeds built one. Other than a short visit by Whiston, we have not had one at Middleton. I see them as an important part of railway history (along with all the other forgotten industrials) not only whilst they were working earning money, but in preservation history. Not many railways can claim to have started with an ex-mainline loco, most started with industrials. Although again, Middleton is an exception to this, in that we actually started with an ex mainline loco (LMS 7051)followed by 68153 as our first steam loco. What did we then do with them? We ran commercial freight trains and turned them alomst into "industrials".

 

Andy

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Horses for Courses: - Austerities are in keeping with the character of small 'Light Railway' type lines such as Kent and East Sussex and industrial based lines such as Middleton Railway, but for the longer 'Mainline' and 'Country Branchline' you need something more...

 

 

The other problem them is that they are not and never were passenger branchline engines so - again for those of us of an age - they do little or nothing to recreate any sort of feeling for what has passed (not that many preservation type railways can do that anyway).

 

But they had the advantage of being available cheap, usually in something approaching working order, and cheap to operate even if they were not exactly the best thing to ride on when working a passenger train - after all they were designed to shunt at low speed on tight curves, not run at 20+mph.

 

The A4s, Kings and Britainias often seen (and loved) on preserved railways aren't branchline locos either and so are just as inaccurate as a J94/Austerity. How often did Bridgenorth see Kings? How often Rawtenstall a Princess?

 

True, industrial/freight 0-6-0s wouldn't have had much to do with passenger work but then I'm guessing many of the larger "freight only" locos didn't spend much time on carriages in pre BR and BR days but do now in preservation.

 

What's more fun, a 4-6-2 barely making any effort with 6 Mk1 coaches trundling along at 20mph or a J94 actually putting some hard work in on the same load?

 

Give me the smaller locos any day!

 

Happy modelling.

 

Steven B.

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I'm firmly in the camp of, it boils water so I love it.

As a matter of interest, what if Thomas had been one of these and not the side tank loco?

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