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U.S.A. 0-6-0T

photograph: Mike Morant collection

A smart looking USA Class Nº 67 photographed in Southampton Docks

These ungainly and very un-British looking locomotives came to the Southern Railway, where they performed sterling service, as a result of WWII.

In 1942 the United States Army Transportation Corps had these shunting tanks and the class S-160 2-8-0 heavy goods locomotives built by various American builders for use in post-invasion Europe. As these locomotives were shipped to England, some were stored and some used in the build up to D-Day. The 0-6-0 tanks were powerful and, due to their short coupled wheelbase, able to manoueuvre in tight areas.

Southampton Docks had been well served by the Drummond B4 tanks for many years, supplemented by ex-LBSCR D1, then E1, tanks, but by the end of the war a number of new boilers were required. Prior to the war Eastleigh Works had quoted a figure of £865 per boiler but by 1945 this figure had inflated to £1,580 - plus an eighteen month delay! Because of this Bulleid was forced to look for a suitable replacement, and he found it amongst the dumped British and US War Department tanks. He rejected the former on account of their 11 foot wheelbase, inside cylinders and poor condition but found the US built locos in far better condition as few had actually been used since their trial runs, with one never having been steamed at all! They also had a 10 foot wheelbase and outside cylinders so on 29 April 1946 NºWD4326 (much later 30074) was taken into Eastleigh Works for attention. It ran trials at Southampton for several months after which it and 13 more were purchased, plus one more (WD1261) to be a source of spare parts. The operational locomotives became SR numbers 61-74, although 74 never carried its Southern Railway number as it ran as 4236 until November 1948. Prior to entering service such items as steam heating, vacuum ejectors, sliding cab windows, additional lamp irons and new cylinder drain cocks had to be added. In addition, a lot more modifications became necessary once the locomotives started to enter traffic. Large roof-top ventilators were fitted, British regulators (as built they had US-style pull-out ones), three rectangular cab-front lookout windows, extended coal bunkers (increasing capacity from 26cwt to 30cwt), separate steam and vacuum brake controls and wooden tip-up seats. Because of this it wasn't until November 1947 that they were all at work.

Despite being sterling performers, the locomotives themselves deteriorated rapidly. Their wartime steel fireboxes in particular wore out rapidly, partly due to the hard water at Southampton, as a result of which several were either laid aside or restricted to light duties for a time from March 1951, their places being taken by the E1 class that they had themselves replaced! New steel fireboxes were eventually fitted whilst several had new cylinders provided, those on 30061 coming from the "spare" 1261 as late as November 1961 whilst the boiler from this loco had been fitted to 30063 in January 1951. From 1957 many of the class were fitted with radio telephones, turbo generators and aerials to enable more efficient use of them around the docks. Initially a very unpopular innovation with the loco crew, it became more accepted when they realized they were now able to remind control when their turn was coming to an end and a relief crew had to be provided!

One was withdrawn and six were transferred to departmental stock in 1962, to be replaced by class 07 diesel shunters at Southampton, whilst the remainder were withdrawn between 1964 and 1967.

Their successful use by the Southern Railway is also quoted as one of the reasons that Swindon "leaned" heavily on their design when developing the 15xx pannier tanks.

Link to Railway Roundabout - Southampton Docks

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  • Three
    "Yank Tanks"
    Three "Yank Tanks" in three liveries! First is Nº4326, yet to be repainted and renumbered as Nº30074, the second (in BR livery) appears to be Nº30067 whilst the third (in Southern livery) may well be Nº63. If this is the case then it would suggest that the photograph was taken between June and October 1948.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • DS236
    Looking a lot smarter than the sourroundings, NºDS236 at Eastleigh during 1963.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 30072
    Nº30072 inside the shed at Guildford on 10th April 1965.
    Photograph by Ray Soper.
  • 30072
    Nº30072 outside the shed at Guildford on 10th April 1965.
    Photograph by Keith Harwood.
  • 30069
    Nº30069 at Eastleigh, 20th February 1966 still exhibiting the old "cycling lion" crest.
    Photograph by Ray Soper.
  • DS233
    Looking smarter in departmental service, DS233 at Eastleigh on 20th February 1966.
    Photograph by Ray Soper.
  • DS235
    "Yank Tank" NºDS235.
    Photograph: Mike Morant collection.
  • 30072
    Merton Park
    Nº30072 leaves Merton Park for Wimbledon with the "Four Counties" SCTS rail tour on a very misty 9th October 1966.
    Photograph by Mike Morant.
  • 30072
    Nº30072 once again, back on shed at Guildford.
    Photograph by Mike Morant.
  • 30072
    The bitter end! Nº30072 photographed at Salisbury on 9th July 1967 - the last day of Southern steam.
    On her tank is chalked:
    9th July 1967"
    Signed by "LITTLE JIM"
    On her cab side it has:
    Photograph by Dave Mant.
  • 30072
    During the 1970s the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway painted many of their ex-BR locomotives in various non-prototypical paint schemes. An American inspired brown, black and silver scheme was chosen for Nº30072 and she was fitted with a bell and silver smokebox door. This view was taken in Haworth Yard.
    Photograph by Michael Taylor.
  • DS238
    Railfest 2004
    The Kent and East Sussex Railway's USA tank, portrayed as NºDS238, was one of the exhibits at Railfest 2004 in York. She is seen here on a rather gloomy 3rd June 2004.
    Photograph by Colin Duff.

Technical Details

Introduced by SR:
Driving Wheel:
Water Capacity:
Cylinders (2):
Boiler Pressure:
Tractive Effort:
Coal Capacity:
Power Classification:
December 1946
4 ft 6 ins
29 ft 8 ins
46 tons 10 cwt
1,200 US gals
16½ in x 24 in
210 lb sq in
21,600 lb
1 ton 10 cwt


WD Nº Builder Built SR Nº BR Nº DS Nº In service Final modification To DS Withdrawn
1264 Porter 1942 61 30061 DS233 Nov 1947 Nov 1947 Oct 1962 Mar 1967
1277 Vulcan 1942 62 30062 DS234 May 1947 Sep 1948 Dec 1962 Mar 1967
1284 Vulcan 1942 63 30063 - Oct 1947 Oct 1947 - May 1962
1959 Vulcan 1943 64 s64 - 30064 - Jun 1947 Jan 1948 - Jul 1967
1968 Vulcan 1943 65 30065 DS237 Nov 1947 Nov 1947 Nov 1963 Sep 1967
1279 Vulcan 1942 66 30066 DS235 May 1947 May 1948 Mar 1963 Aug 1965
1282 Vulcan 1942 67 30067 - May 1947 Jun 1948 - Jul 1967
1971 Vulcan 1943 68 30068 - Oct 1947 Oct 1947 - Mar 1964
1952 Vulcan 1943 69 30069 - Nov 1947 Nov 1947 - Jul 1967
1960 Vulcan 1943 70 30070 DS238 Apr 1947 Jan 1948 Aug 1963 Sep 1967
1966 Vulcan 1943 71 30071 - Nov 1947 Nov 1947 - Jul 1967
1973 Vulcan 1943 72 30072 - Apr 1947 Jul 1948 - Jul 1967
1974 Vulcan 1943 73 s73 - 30073 - Jun 1947 Mar 1948 - Dec 1966
4326 Vulcan 1943 74 # 30074 DS236 May 1946 Nov 1948 Apr 1963 Aug 1965
1261 Porter 1942 ## - - - - - -

Worked as 4326 from 18th May 1946 to 16th Oct 1948 and never carried SR number.
Not taken into stock but was dismantled for spares.

This page was last updated 7 July 2020

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