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USATC S160 Class

China KD6, ÖBB Class 956, ČSD Class 456.1, SNCF Class 140U, SEK Class Θγ (THg), MÁV Class 411, FS Class 736, PKP Tr201 and Tr203, Russia class ШA, Renfe class 553, TCDD 45171 Class, JZ class 37
S160 5197 at Cheddleton, Staffordshire.
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Maj. J. W. Marsh
Builder American Locomotive Company (755),
Baldwin Locomotive Works (712),
Lima Locomotive Works (653)
Build date 1942–1946
Total produced 2120
Configuration 2-8-0
UIC class 1′D h2
Gauge ussg
Leading dia. 2 ft 9 in (838 mm)
Driver dia. 4 ft 9 in (1,448 mm)
Wheelbase 51 ft 7 34 in (15.74 m)
Length 61 ft 0 in (18.59 m), including tender
Adhesive weight 140,000 lb (63,503 kg)
Loco weight 161,000 lb (73,028 kg)
Tender weight 115,500 lb (52,390 kg)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 20,000 lb (9,072 kg)
Water cap 6,500 US gallons (25,000 l; 5,400 imp gal)
 • Firegrate area
41 sq ft (3.8 m2)
Boiler 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) maximum diameter
Boiler pressure 225 lbf/in2 (1.55 MPa)
Heating surface 2,253 sq ft (209.3 m2)
 • Tubes 1,055 sq ft (98.0 m2) (150 in or 3,810 mm long × 2 in or 51 mm diameter)
 • Flues 567 sq ft (52.7 m2) (30 in or 762 mm long × 5.375 in or 137 mm diameter)
 • Firebox 136 sq ft (12.6 m2)
 • Heating area 313 sq ft (29.1 m2)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 19 in × 26 in (482.6 mm × 660.4 mm)
bore x stroke
Valve gear Walschaerts
Valve type 10 inches (254 mm) piston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort 31,490 lbf (140.1 kN)
Class USATC S160 and country derivatives
Official name USATC S160 Class
Locale United States
European Union

The United States Army Transportation Corps S160 Class is a class of 2-8-0 Consolidation steam locomotive designed for use in Europe during World War II for heavy freight work. A total of 2,120 were built and they worked on railroads across the world, including Africa, Asia, all of Europe and South America.


During the 1930s, the United States Army Transportation Corps approved update of a Baldwin Locomotive Works World War I design in contingency for war transportation, to create the S159 Class. During the period of World War Two when America was neutral, the government of Franklin D. Roosevelt approved the Lend-Lease supply to the United Kingdom of the S200 Class, designed specifically to fit into the restricted British loading gauge.[1]

With America's entry to World War Two, the USATC needed a developed design from which to create a volume of locomotive power for the wrecked railways of Europe, which they could use to deploy military hardware and civilian goods. Hence the design created by Maj. J. W. Marsh from the Railway Branch of the Corps of Engineers learnt from both previous locomotives, designed on austerity principles and built using methods which created efficient and fast construction speed over long life,[1] such as axlebox grease lubricators and rolled plates preferred to castings.

With cast frames and cast wheels, the front two driving axles were sprung independently from the rear two driving axles to allow for running on poor quality track. The larger tender layout was derived from the similar design for the WD Austerity 2-8-0, with the coal bunker inset above the water tank to improve visibility when running backwards.

British deployment

800 locomotives were constructed in 1942/3 in thirteen batches, split between ALCO, Baldwin and Lima Locomotive Works. Shipped to South Wales and dispatched from the GWR locomotive depot at Newport, Ebbw Junction, the first 43 locomotives were transferred to the LNER works at Doncaster for completion, and later running in over the East Coast mainline. This started a pattern whereby each of the four British railway companies eventually deployed a total of 400 S160's under the guise of "running in," but factually replacing damaged stock and increasing the capacity of the British railway system to allow for shipping of military pre-invasion equipment and troops. The eventual deployment of S160's were:

  • 174 to the Great Western Railway
  • 168 to the London and North Eastern Railway
  • 50 to the London, Midland and Scottish Railway
  • 6 to the Southern Railway

The second batch of 400 S160's were prepared for storage by USATC personnel at the Great Western's Ebbw Junction locomotive depot in the immediate run-up to D-Day. After the D-Day invasion of Normandy, the locomotives deployed across Britain again began to be collected and be refurbished at Ebbw Junction in preparation for shipment to Europe.

Operational failures

The S160's were designed for quick and efficient building, not long term operations, thus compromises in design led to some difficulties in operations. The axle box grease lubricators were not very efficient, particularly when maintenance procedures lapsed or were delayed for operational war reasons, and so axle boxes often ran hot. Braking was poor for European standards, with a Westinghouse steam brake used for the locomotive,[1] which was woefully insufficient due to the long distance from the driver's valve and the brake cylinder.

The major faults of the S160 were the crown stays in the firebox, coupled with only a single water gauge of an unreliable design, which was prone to blockage, misleading the crew into thinking that the water level was adequate, even though it was becoming dangerously low. The bolts holding the crown stays were found to collapse under heat tension with low water levels and with little warning, resulting in a boiler explosion.[2] In a space of ten months, three UK S160s suffered a collapse of the firebox crown, with the first leading to the death of a GWR fireman on No. 2403 in November 1943.


Judging accurately the actual deployment of 2120 locomotives is difficult, but the following numbers are referenced:[2]


The British locomotives, together with those shipped direct from America were also similarly deployed first with troops reclaiming Europe, and then subsumed throughout European national railways as replacements for their destroyed stock after the war:

  • Austria, ÖBB Class 956 – 30 examples, all scrapped[3]
  • Czechoslovakia, ČSD Class 456.1 – 80 examples, last of them (456.173) withdrawn in 1972 and scrapped the following year
  • France, SNCF Class 140U – 121 examples;
  • Germany – 40 examples briefly used in 1947 in American and British zones, based in Bremen. All sold to Hungary in August 1947;
  • Greece, SEK Class Θγ (THg) – 27 examples received in 1947 (Θγ 521 to 537 and Θγ 551 to 560), plus 25 examples bought from Italian FS railways in 1959 (Θγ 571 to 595);
  • Hungary, MÁV Class 411 – 510 examples, bought at US$100,000 each, of which 484 were put into use and allocated service numbers from 411.001 onwards, and 26 cannibalized for spares[4]
  • Italy, FS Class 736 – 244 examples, plus four salvaged from a sunken ship, all but eight with oil firing. 25 sold to Greece in 1959, the rest were withdrawn in early 1960s
  • Poland, PKP – received 75 S160s from UNRRA and numbered them Tr201-1 – 75; and a further 500 from USATC as Tr203-1 – 500.[4] In PKP service, boiler pressure was reduced to 13 bar (1,300 kPa; 190 psi) and maximum speed was set at 65 km/h (40 mph). Modifications included fitting Trofimov piston valves, electric headlights and cab side doors. One engine was converted to a Tank locomotive in 1957, and designated TKr55[2]
  • Soviet Union, Class ШA (ShA) – 200 machines ordered from Baldwin (ШA 1 to 90) and ALCO (ШA 91 to 200), designated S162s and S166s. ШA 52 to 55, 69 and 70 were lost en route to Vladivostok and ШA 13 remained in the USA.[5] In 1957, 50 of them were for 1067mm track and used by the southern Sakhalin Railway[5]
  • Spain, Class 553 – in 1958 the Alaska Railroad sold six S160's to the Ferrocarril de Langreo[6][7][8]
  • Turkey, TCDD 45171 Class – 50 units, numbered 45171 to 45220[1]
  • United Kingdom – none in use with any of the mainline railways after WWII, as most were all exported post D-Day. However one was kept back by the British Army, Alco built works number 71512, and used at their Longmoor Military Railway as their WD 93257 "Carl R Gray Jr".[9] Some have now re-imported for use by preserved railways
  • Yugoslavia, JZ – Class 37 - 80 examples


At the same time as S160s were being deployed into Britain, when General Patton led American troops in Operation Torch into the North African Campaign, their Transport Corps brought with them S160s. These locomotives moved across the north of the continent as Patton's troops waged war, and when the troops moved to Italy the majority of their S160s moved with them. These locomotives, supplemented with those directly imported from America, were eventually to create a group of 243 locomotives, subsumed by the Italian State Railway's to become the FS Class 736 class.

  • Algeria, Class 140-U – number unknown
  • Morocco, Class 140-B – number unknown
  • Tunisia, Class 140-250 – number unknown


607 at the US Army Transportation Museum

  • Mexico, Class GR-28 – 10 examples purchased by FCM directly from Baldwin in 1946 and allocated service numbers 211 to 220, with different pilots and couplers (some sources give 11 examples) – these were the last examples of the S160 to be built
  • Peru, Class 80 – 2 examples, probably directly from ALCO in 1943
  • United States – an unknown number with USATC and then various military transportation units. Five surplus to requirements of the Alaska Railroad later shipped to Spain


After World War Two, the reconstruction of the world required transportation. The S160s were deployed to Asia under the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, to China and South Korea.[10]

  • China, Class KD6 – number unknown. Many were modernized with larger cabs, higher stacks, some fitted with large smoke lifters with horizontal riffles. They were later transferred to industrial operators, mainly coal mines. The last example thought to be KD6 487 withdrawn probably in 1997
  • India, class AWC – 60 locomotives were sent to India in kit form for local assembly as 5ft6in broad gauge engines. Originally allocated USATC numbers 3433–3492 (Baldwin 70390–70449, 1944) they had their running numbers increased by 3000 by the Indian authorities to avoid numbers in use by the local railway companies.[11] They were split between the East Indian Railway and the South Indian Railway; at the all-India renumbering scheme the former EIR locomotives became 22601–22614, and SIR locomotives became 22615–22660.[11] Forty-five were still in service in June 1977.[11]
  • North and South Korea, Class Sori2 – it is not known how many or from where the S160s were deployed to North Korea, but their 2,210 sister decapods were shipped from Portland to Vladivostok under "Lease-Lend" in 1944/5. After the War, these locomotives called "Soyusnitzys" (i.e., from the Russian for "Allies"), were moved to Siberia. They moved to North Korea during the Korean War, carrying 8xxx numbers. Ironically, the S160's were used by both North and South Korean forces during this conflict.[12]


There were three major variants of the S160 class, excluding inlife design development:

  • S161 - designed for deployment in Jamaica on British military railways used by the United States. Later subsumed by the Jamaica Railway Corporation[2]
  • S162 and S166 - both designed for Russian broad gauge track


Mainly due to their numbers, rather than the design or build quality, at least 25 examples of the S160 have survived into preservation, making them one of the most numerous survivors of all Mainline Steam Locomotives:

No. Builder Post WW2 Owner Current Owner Location Notes
1631 Alco 70284 Hungary MÁV 411.388 Great Central Railway (Nottingham) United KingdomRuddington, Nottinghamshire under restoration
2138 Alco 70620 Hungary MÁV 411.380 Great Central Railway (Nottingham) United KingdomRuddington, Nottinghamshire Source of strategic spares for 1631
2364 Baldwin 69621 Hungary MÁV Great Central Railway (Nottingham) United KingdomRuddington, Nottinghamshire Chassis only, source for strategic spares for 1631
2627 Baldwin 69855 United States Alaska Railroad 556 City of Anchorage United States Anchorage, Alaska|
3523 Baldwin 70480 United States Alaska Railroad 557 Engine 557 Restoration Company United States Wasilla, Alaska August,2012, being restored for operation.
5846 Lima 8784 United States US Army 606 Crewe Railroad Museum United States Crewe, Virginia
5187 Lima 8846 United States US Army 2627; US Army 607 US Army Transportation Museum United States Fort Eustis Military Railroad
2628 Baldwin 69856 United States US Army 611 Bill Miller Equipment Sales United States Eckhart Mines, Maryland Fitted with Franklin Poppet valve gear[13] undergoing restoration
2630 Baldwin 69858 United States US Army 612 Southeastern Railway Museum United States Duluth, Georgia For Sale / Undergoing restoration
1702 Baldwin 64641 United States Reader Railroad Great Smoky Mountains Railroad United States Dillsboro, North Carolina Awaiting overhaul completion
5197 Lima 8856 China Funshum Industrial Railway, #KD6.463 Churnet Valley Railway United Kingdom Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire Overhaul began 2013
6046 Baldwin 72080 Hungary MÁV 411.144 Churnet Valley Railway United Kingdom Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire Overhaul finished July 2012, Returned to service December 2012. Operating on hire at the Nene Valley Railway until 2015.
2253 Baldwin 69496 Poland PKP Tr.203.208 North Yorkshire Moors Railway United Kingdom North Yorkshire Cosmetically overhauled. Loaned to National Railway Museum at Shildon until 2015.
5820 Lima 8758 Poland PKP Tr.203.474 Keighley and Worth Valley Railway United Kingdom West Yorkshire Returned to service in January 2014 following overhaul
3278 Baldwin 70340 Italy FS 736.073; Greece SEK Θγ575 South Coast Steam United KingdomPortland, Dorset #701 Franklin D. Roosevelt, awaiting overhaul
5164 Lima 8823 Poland PKP Tr.201.51 Polskie Koleje Państwowe Poland Jaworzyna Śląska
2438 ALCO 70787 Poland PKP Tr.203.296 Polskie Koleje Państwowe Poland Jaworzyna Śląska
5801 Lima 8739 Poland PKP Tr203-451 Polskie Koleje Państwowe Poland Warsaw Railway Museum
3540 Alco 70587 Hungary MÁV 411.118 Hungarian Railway Museum HungaryBudapest Operational
2781 Lima 8434 Hungary MÁV 411.264 Railway station Hungary Hatvan Plinthed
6056 Baldwin 72090 Hungary MÁV 411.358 Railway station Hungary Hegyeshalom Plinthed
2206 Lima 8212 Greece SEK Θγ 525 OSE Greece Thessaloniki Depot stored
2524 Lima 8341 Turkey TCDD 45172 Turkish State Railways Turkey Çamlık Railway Museum
2879 Alco 71076 Turkey TCDD 45174 Turkish State Railways Turkey Ankara Railway Museum
3324 Alco 71579 Italy FS 736.114 FS Italy Pietrarsa railway museum
Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton 75503 United States US Army 610 Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum United States Chattanooga, Tennessee Out of service for her 1472 inspection & rebuild. 610 is technically not an S-160 but classified as a type A, constructed in 1952

See also

  • The Museum of the Moscow Railway, at Paveletsky Rail Terminal, Moscow
  • Rizhsky Rail Terminal, Home of the Moscow Railway Museum
  • Varshavsky Rail Terminal, St.Petersburg, Home of the Central Museum of Railway Transport, Russian Federation
  • History of rail transport in Russia


  • Hughes, Hugh (1977). Steam Locomotives in India, Part 3 – Broad Gauge. Harrow, Middlesex: The Continental Railway Circle. ISBN 0-9503469-4-2. 
  • Rakov, V. A. (1995) (in Russian). Lokomotivy otechestvennykh zheleznykh dorog 1845–1955. Moscow. ISBN 5-277-00821-7. 
  • Tourret, R. (1977). United States Army Transportation Corps Locomotives. Abingdon: Tourret Publishing. ISBN 0-905878-01-9. 

External links

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