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British Rail standard class 9F
Great Britain | 1954 | 251 produced
No. 92196 at York
No. 92196 at York
flickr/stratfordman72

The class 9F goods locomotive was built from 1954 as the last and most powerful of the standardized steam locomotives from British Railways. This was ordered when extensive electrification of the British railway network was still considered realistic and powerful steam locomotives were needed for the transitional period. After Robert Riddles had already developed the 2-10-0 wheel arrangement war locomotives for the War Department, he also developed the 9F. This wheel arrangement was chosen because of the greater adhesive weight after initially wanting to develop a locomotive with a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement.

No. 92151 in July 1961 in front of the “Pines Express” at Haresfield, Gloucestershire
No. 92151 in July 1961 in front of the “Pines Express” at Haresfield, Gloucestershire
Ben Brooksbank / Down 'Pines Express' passing Haresfield station.

A goal in the development was to realize the greatest possible power, taking into account the British loading gauge and a relatively low axle load. The five coupled axles were able to negotiate curves by designing the wheels of the middle coupled axle without a wheel flange and by providing the wheels of the second and fourth axle with weakened wheel flanges. It was soon found that the locomotives with this axle arrangement ran very well at higher speeds, despite the fact that the coupling wheels were only five feet in diameter and they had two cylinders. In the course of production, the output was further increased with a double chimney. Adaptations such as a Franco-Crosti boiler and mechanical stoker were less successful and were not used in large numbers.

No. 92203 “Black Prince” in 2010 at Toddington
No. 92203 “Black Prince” in 2010 at Toddington
Tony Hisgett / Black Prince 6

Like many more powerful British goods steam locomotives, the 9F also had to be used to pull express trains in heavy excursion traffic, especially on weekends. There are credible reports of runs where the locos hit just over 90 mph. A total of 251 examples were made by March 1960. Number 92220 “Evening Star” was the last steam locomotive built for British Railways and was also the 999th standard steam locomotive. This example was not decommissioned even after the steam ban in 1968 and was used without interruption for excursions until the 1980s. Today it is a static exhibit, while eight more of its sisters, which were retired until 1968, were also preserved and some are still running today. One of these, No. 92203 “Black Prince”, pulled the heaviest train in Great Britain ever hauled by a steam locomotive in 1982 at 2,178 tons.

Variantwith tender BR1Cwith tender BR1Fwith tender BR1G
General
Built1954-1960
ManufacturerCrewe, Swindon
Axle config2-10-0 (Decapod) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length66 ft 2 in
Wheelbase30 ft 2 in
Fixed wheelbase21 ft 8 in
Total wheelbase55 ft 11 in
Service weight194,200 lbs
Adhesive weight173,600 lbs
Total weight313,500 lbs318,000 lbs311,800 lbs
Axle load34,720 lbs
Water capacity5,674 us gal6,755 us gal6,005 us gal
Fuel capacity20,160 lbs (coal)15,680 lbs (coal)
Power
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power2,000 hp (1,491 kW)
Optimal speed32 mph
Starting effort39,667 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter60 in
Boiler pressure250 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 20 x 28 in
Boiler
Grate area40.2 sq ft
Firebox area179 sq ft
Tube heating area1,836 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,015 sq ft
Superheater area535.2 sq ft
Total heating area2,550.2 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
freight
Robert Arthur Riddles
last changed: 04/2022
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