FOUND on FRONT the
Engines with retractable chimneys and cab-mounted rifles… RICHARD FOSTER details the eclectic range of pre-Grouping locomotives that were used overseas by the Railway Operating Division during the First World War, including a few that might surprise you.
CALEDONIAN RAILWAY ‘294’ 0-6-0
Before the war: Dugald Drummond’s first design for the Caledonian Railway was an 0-6-0 goods locomotive of 1883 that bore a striking resemblance to one that he’d designed for the North British Railway. However, the design was so successful that it was perpetuated by his successors; 244 had been built by 1897. Those built between 1895 and 1897 were to a tweaked McIntosh design. These locomotives were classified ‘711’.
Call-up: The ROD requisitioned 25 ‘294/711s’ in 1917:
Nos. 259/60/94, 310/15/18/19/23/35/37/65/67/74, 403, 517/48/49/53/58, 680/82, 703/05/07/08.
Theatre of operations: Used between Amiens and St Pol and based at Péronne, Doullens and Frévent. A couple made it across the German border, working into Cologne.
Demobilisation: The CR struck the 0-6-0s off its Locomotive Register as soon as the ROD requisitioned them. When the locomotives returned to Scotland they had to be added to the duplicate list, with a ‘1’ prefix to their numbers. Creating further confusion, newly numbered 1703/05 were almost immediately renumbered 1704/06 because ROD 2-8-0s
Nos. 1703/05 had been allocated to the CR.
Simplicity and efficiency were desirable not only for the ROD but also the LMS and BR. No. 57355 was one of the final quartet, withdrawn in November 1963, and had been in service on the Continent.
The GWR’s ‘Dean Goods’ No. 2330 became ROD No. 2330 in 1917, returning from France on April 12 1919. It was withdrawn in July 1931.
Caledonian Railway ‘294’ 0-6-0 No. 57350. This locomotive served in France between November 23 1917 and July 1919 as ROD No. 549. It was withdrawn in November 1961.