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.

Steam Railway (UK) - - ‘GREAT WAR’ MALLETS -


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.

Sur­vivors: None.


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.

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