USATC 1631

1631 was built by the American Locomotive Company in 1942 and shipped to Britain.

According to Railway Executive Committee records USATC number 1836 was handed to the GWR at Banbury on 23rd January 1943, presumably at the steam locomotive depot.

In 1944 following the D Day landings 1631 along with the other S160 locomotives was returned to USATC and shipped to France.

By June 1945 1631 was based in France and employed by the 7th  Army from the depot at Metz in Lorraine.

After the Second Word War it was retained for service in Hungary as number 411.388.

It was one of 510 examples, bought in 1947 for $100,000 each by the Hungarian State Railway (MAV). Of these 510, 484 were put into use and allocated service numbers from 411.001 onwards, and 26 cannibalized for spares. The S160’s were known in Hungary as ‘Trumans’ after the US President who was in office 1945 – 1952.

The need for the S160 locomotives in Hungary was a result of the level of damage and destruction suffered by the railways in Hungary during the war. Much of the rolling stock was either destroyed or distributed to other European countries meaning that only 213 locomotives remained in the country.

Withdrawal of the locomotives in Hungary began in 1965 but the longest serving members of the class remained in service until December 1981.

411.388 was remined in use after withdrawal as it was converted into a static generator before being taken to England in 1995 for storage on the East Lancashire Railway. The locomotive changed hands twice before being moved to the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) at Ruddington in 2004.

Work progressed steadily on stripping the engine down, cleaning and painting.  When the weather permitted, work on the chassis was progressed and the brake gear all bar the weighshaft was dismantled. It is amply evident that the locomotive was fresh out of overhaul when stopped, as dismantled parts showed little or no wear to brake pull rod linkages and hangers and spring compensating equipment. Parts were cleaned of rust and when work could not proceed outside painting and preparation for storage then re assembly was undertaken. The driving axle boxes were freed in the horn guides with the aid of a 6 tonne Enerpack and work on removing the hornguides from the leading and intermediate leading wheelsets was commenced.

A large collection of parts from two other locomotives are also stored as a source of spares.

Home Base Current Status Owner
Great Central Railway (Nottingham) Under restoration Great Central Railway (Nottingham)

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