UNRRA 2-8-0 Locomotives in Great_Britain

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class Liberation (Locobase 1303)

Data from [], an English-language website of Polish Standard Gauge Locomotives by Tomasz Galka (last accessed 3 March 2006) and a Czech-language site ([], accessed 4 March 2006) from which Locobase was able to extract data such as the piston-valve size. See also Gustav Reder (Michael Reynolds, trans), The world of steam locomotives (New York: Putnam, 1974), pl 411 (d)).

This Consolidation was produced to assist postwar rehabilitation of continental railroads. The design was based on specifications drafted by a Technical Advisory Committee for Inland Transport (TACIT). According to Reder, the requirements were: "tractive effort between 39,600 and 49,700 lb, boiler with large grate between 39 and 48 sq ft [3.62 to 4.46 sq m], axle weight below 18 tons (16,329 kg), sharpest curve to be taken 100 yards (109 m) and compliance with the Berne International Loading Gauge." One look at the specifications as delivered and the reader can see that the axle-loading target was missed by at least half a metric ton.

Other items of note were the 12" (305 mm)-diameter piston valves (adopted because of the rhomboidal steam ports preferred by Continental engineers), Laird crosshead, copper firebox, fully enclosed cab, a Houlson rocking grate, and electric lighting.

Reder notes that the discussions were "complicated". Still, the Liberation Consolidation eventually was built and operated in Czechoslovakia, Luxemburg, Poland, and Yugoslavia.

Moreover, according to a history of the Vulcan Foundry [Built By Vulcan. The Story of Vulcan Works from 1830 to 2002 Prepared by Malcolm Siberry, Publicity Manager, MAN B & W Diesel Ltd, Ruston. Copyright 2000] hosted by [] website (accessed 3 March 2006), the Liberations were "...noted for their free steaming and economical coal consumption."

The account continues:

"The simplicity of design and ease of maintenance catered for the difficulties regarding post-war lack of repair facilities on the Continent. With the exception of proprietary fittings, all the details were designed to metric dimensions and all machined parts were manufactured to international standards for interchangeability."

The class was rated at 80 km/h (50 mph) maximum speed, but on many of the war-ravaged lines their weight proved too great to allow that performance. Galka notes that the Czech 459s were limited to 50 km/h (31 mph) on some of their lines and fragile bridges forced reductions to 30 km/h (20 mph).

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID1303
CountryGreat Britain
Number in Class120
Road Numbers
Number Built120
BuilderVulcan Foundry
Valve GearBaker
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)16.24 / 4.95
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)25.10 / 7.65
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.65
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)55.28 / 16.85
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)40,785 / 18,500
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)163,142 / 74,000
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)191,251 / 86,750
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)154,875 / 70,250
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)346,126 / 157,000
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)68 / 34
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)57.10 / 1450
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)232.10 / 16
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)21.65" x 27.95" / 550x710
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)45,264 / 20531.43
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.60
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)205 - 2.008" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)36 - 5.236" / 133
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)14.44 / 4.40
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)174.85 / 16.25
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)44.12 / 4.10
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2246 / 208.75
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)660 / 61.35
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2906 / 270.10
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume188.60
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation10,240
Same as above plus superheater percentage12,596
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area49,917
Power L116,805
Power MT908.38

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