ETS Ex-USATC S100 Class 0-6-0 Tank Locomotives
Ex-USATC S100 class 0-6-0 tank was another WW2 locomotive that was designed for shunting duties to support the allied invasion of Europe. Nicknamed the ‘Yankee Class’ these ungainly and very un-British looking short wheeled based locomotives were extremely powerful and proved ideal for working in restricted areas. A total of 450 locomotives were sanctioned for construction and sub-contracted to three US locomotive builders before a single prototype was built – the first arriving ‘from across the pond’ in July 1942. In 1943 the USATC built 382 S100 0-6-0 tank locomotives which were shipped to the UK. During and immediately after WW2 some 400 of the class were deployed in as far flung places as North Africa, the Middle East but most mainly in Europe from Britain, France, Greece, Hungary, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the former Yugoslavia where many were to become part of national railway fleets.
After the invasion of the continent in June 1944 some 42 of the Yankee Class remained in open air storage at Newbury Racecourse station. In 1946 15 little used Yankee Class locomotives (14 for traffic and one for spares) were acquired by Southern Railway to replace ageing ex LSWR B4 0-4-0, D1 and E1 class tanks at the end of their working lives for operation in Southampton Docks. The purchase of the American built locomotives was considerably cheaper than building new stock but significant modifications were required for them to run on Southern metals. Bulleid approved the adaptation for use in Britain where they proved to be extremely useful as they were able to haul heavy freight trains and full length passenger trains in the harbour area. The fourteen-strong fleet of operational engines were numbered in the series 61 to 74; after the formation of British Railways in January 1948, ‘’30000’’ was added to these numbers. Some of these locomotives found their way into industrial usage including the National Coal Board, Longmoor Military Railway and the British Motoring Corporation (BMC) Austin Motors.
In 1963/64 six examples of the class were painted in BR lined green and due to the unrelenting withdrawal of steam locomotives in the mid-1960s suddenly found favour across wider tracts of BR(S) metals. As they remained in use until the end of steam in the south of England in 1967 they were regularly associated with railtour organisers. Several Yankee Class locomotives have survived into preservation: No: 30064 at the Bluebell (which is featured as one of the ETS production models), No: 30065 at the Kent and East Sussex and No: 30072 at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railways. In addition, two European built locomotives which differed slightly from the original US constructions – no: 30075 formally a Yugoslavian locomotive built in 1960 and no: 30076 built in 1954 and acquired from Bosnia Herzegovina in 2006 – have been restored and presented as Yankee Class designations.
This classic looking small but diminutive locomotive will be manufactured by Prague based ETS. It will be available later this year for both two and three rail running and will be produced in three liveries: Southern Railway black, BR(S) black early crest and BR(S) lined green.