Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway: Locomotives
Note: This is a sub-section of the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway
A write up and general arrangement of the 1914 built engines can be found in the edition of: The Engineer 1914/04/24
7F 2-8-0 Engine.
While joint owned, the matter of locomotive policy on the S&DJR was left entirely to the Midland Railway. It became apparent that there was need for a powerful goods locomotive to cope with the line's steep gradients. Up until this point the Midland railway imposed a ‘small locomotive policy’ meaning in many cases trains were double headed to cope with demand, but this was deemed unacceptable for the S&D. Therefore, James Clayton who at the time working at Derby, was given free rein to design a large 2-8-0 locomotive that would satisfy these needs.
The result appeared in march of 1914, as the S&DJR 7F. It utilised the same boiler as was on the rebuilt Midland Compound locomotives. 6 were constructed by the Midland Railway in 1914, with a further 5 constructed by Robert Stephenson and Co in 1925, with minor differences in the later batch including a switch to left hand drive and a larger boiler.
The locomotives proved a success, though none were ever built for use outside of the S&DJR. They passed into LMS hands at grouping and all survived into BR ownership, the first being withdrawn in 1959, after a 45-year lifespan. 2 are currently in preservation, one with the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust, and the other based at the North Norfolk Railway.
Sources of Information