Robinson GCR Class 8K 2-8-0 63601
Coupling up at Loughborough on 20 January 2006, this Railway Operating Division (ROD) 2-8-0 is now in British Railways livery. These were the standard British locomotives during the First World War. Initially the Railway Operating Division of the Royal Engineers, expecting a quick victory, requisitioned various locomotives from various British railway operating companies but as the war dragged on it became apparent that they needed their own standard locomotive. As a result they adopted the GCR Class 8K 2-8-0, designed by J. G. Robinson.
An order for 325 locomotives was placed in February 1917, and followed up by an order for 196 more in 1918 to keep industry going in the aftermath of the war.
Of the hundreds of engines built of the class, this is the only example to remain in the UK. Part of the national collection, it has been stored at numerous sites since withdrawal from service. After many years at Dinting, the engine was moved to the newly refurbished National Railway Museum at York, where a start was made to make the engine presentable. The locomotive has now been restored to full operational condition with help from Main Line Steam Trust and an appeal to the readers of Steam Railway magazine.
Picture added on 20 January 2008