The Great Central Railway
(GCR) Class 8K 2-8-0
is a class of steam locomotive
designed for heavy freight. Introduced in 1911, and designed by John G. Robinson
, 129 were built by the GCR.
The first of the 8K class was outshopped from the GCR's Gorton workshops in 1911. It was essentially a superheated version of an earlier 0-8-0, the 8A class, with the addition of a pony truck. This both supported the greater front end weight and gave a steadier ride. The 8K was introduced to anticipate the increased traffic from the GCR's vast new docks complex at Immingham in North East Lincolnshire and by June 1914 126 were in traffic.
The GCR Class 8M was similar and in 1922 the GCR rebuilt two Class 8M to Class 8K, taking the total to 131 locomotives.
Robust and straight forward, the 2-8-0's steamed well and proved outstandingly reliable, qualities that commended the design to the Ministry of Munitions. Sir Sam Fay
ensured that they became the standard locomotive during the First World War
as the ROD 2-8-0
, used by the Railway Operating Division
of the Royal Engineers
LNER and BR ownership
The London and North Eastern Railway
(LNER) classified the 8K as part of its LNER Class O4
. The LNER also bought several ROD 2-8-0s
which they added to the O4 Class. Some of the class were converted into LNER Thompson Class O1s
after 1944. The LNER locomotives passed to British Railways
(BR) in 1948.
One of the GCR-built O4s, BR number 63601, is preserved in Great Britain
where it runs on the preserved Great Central Railway
at Loughborough. In addition, there are three more ROD 2-8-0s
not used by the GCR in Australia
, two at the Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum
and one at Richmond Vale Railway Museum