R30281 LMS, Class 8F, 2-8-0, No. 8310 – Era 3
The Stanier designed LMS Class 8F was many things, it was one of the most widespread 2-8-0 locomotive ever used in Britain, it was a war hero, an expat, but maybe more importantly it was a dependable servant of the freight industry. 852 examples of the class were built over an eleven years of construction with an example being built in almost every locomotive works around the UK.
This is quite unusual as a competing rail company would not wish to allocate valuable shed time to a competitors locomotive however the locomotive was chosen by the war department to be the standard freight engine of the war effort. This led to their construction on every part of the UK network, as at a time of war even the fiercest national competitors would need to put their differences aside to work towards the common goal of peace.
Examples of the 8F locomotive could, at their geographical peak, could be found in the UK as well as Italy, Turkey, Iran, Palestine, Israel and Egypt. 225 examples would find themselves in service overseas initially in Egypt and Iran before those locomotives were disseminated around the Middle East and parts of Europe as and where demand dictated. Most of these locomotives would not return to the UK and would continue to be used in revenue earning service well after the withdrawal of steam on the UK network.
Overseas examples would go on to be withdrawn in the 1970s and 80s, with most examples being scrapped. Back home in the UK, the last examples would be withdrawn at the end of steam on BR in 1968, a large number have been preserved. Two Class 8Fs represent a rare sight in the world of diving, going down with the SS Thistlegrom.
These locomotives are clearly visible on the seafloor with the ship, becoming a major tourist attraction in recent years. Locomotive 8310 was outshopped into LMS service in December of 1943, too late to enter war service as the stock shipped overseas ceased in January of 1942. The locomotive would be in service for 24 years before being withdrawn on the 30th December 1967.
The locomotive would then be stored for a short while before being scrapped before the end of the following year after a fairly unremarkable yet devoted service life. The 8F model is presented in its imposing black livery, perhaps more understated than its prowess would deserve. The model is fitted with tender pickups as well as an 21 pin DCC socket allowing the model to be operated on a digital layout if required.