It’s back to back Model of the Week blog posts! Today we look at another locomotive of War Department origin to help commemorate Remembrance Day. Unfortunately it does not have such a rich history as yesterday’s post on 400 Sir Guy Williams (click here to read), but it is interesting nevertheless!
The Hunslet Austerity was designed and built during the second world war as an “austerity” design. It was a design by Riddles; the man who would become Chief Mechanical Engineer of British Railways. His remit was simple enough – to produce a simple, cheap to build and maintain shunter that could be used both in the UK and overseas. And that’s exactly what he did, borrowing a lot from the standard Hunslet industrial inside-cylinder 0-6-0ST. The class were not designed to last long but be cheap to build. The construction of them required minimal steel castings; with cast iron and welded steel plate used instead were possible. The class were soon found to be reliable and easy to maintain – and they did last.
Built in 1945 as War Department number 71468, this Hunslet Austerity was one of 75 to be purchased by the LNER in 1946 when it became 8062. Only these 75 Hunslet Austerity locomotives should be called “J94”, of which this is one. Many more Hunslet Austerity examples were kept by the military and the design proved popular by industries so continued to be manufactured after the war. In total, between 1943 and 1964; 485 examples were constructed; distributed across industry, the War Department, on continental Europe and the LNER/British Railways J94’s.
In 1948 this locomotive was absorbed into British Railways, who added a “6” to the number, turning it to 68062. British Railways classified the type as 4F, which speaks volumes for their relative power. Withdrawn in 1965, 68062 was scrapped. Two other J94’s survived – 68077 and 68078 whilst the nearly identical remainder of the Hunslet Austerities number an incredible 68 and arguably form the backbone for the UK’s standard gauge preserved railways.
This Hornby model is a reasonable model, if looking a little elderly these days (click here to read the review).
Don’t forget the history of many other locomotive prototypes of the locoyard model fleet can be found by clicking on the “Prototype Info” links on the Loco Models page (click here for more). Thanks for reading!