ACE Trains E/38 LMS/NE/BR 8F Stanier
The 2-8-0 Stanier 8F was a heavy goods version of the highly effective passenger and mixed freight Black 5 class. Understandably with such a pedigree and proven efficiency, it was destined to become a plentiful class of locomotive with production spread from 1935 until after the Second World War. Following conflict, the War Department (WD) selected the Stanier 8F as the UK’s standard freight locomotive. As a result, all Big Four railway companies as well as private contractors such as Vulcan Foundry (for LMS), North British Locomotive Company and Beyer, Peacock & Co. produced 8Fs making the class one the UK’s most numerous tender locomotives. During the war effort, they saw extensive overseas service operating in a variety of territories including Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Palestine and Israel and Turkey. As a standard WD engine, production continued up until 1943 when they were replaced by the cheaper WD Austerity 2-8-0 class; a locomotive class forever associated with slow moving coal movements. (The 2-8-0 Austerity is also produced in standard scale O gauge by ETS.) Domestic production of the Stanier 8F continued until 1946 by which time some 852 locomotives had been built. Six LMS/British Railways Stanier 8F loco motives have been preserved in the UK.
And if there’s ever an O gauge locomotive that really captures the spirit of ‘grown-up Hornby-Dublo’, then it’s the Stanier 8F. In fact, no: 48158 is replicated as the original Hornby OO model and a heavy freight locomotive that graced so many layouts in the late 1950s and 1960s. The March 1958 Railway Modeller magazine waxed lyrical about developments noting ‘The need for a really heavy goods locomotive has been felt for some considerable time, and what finer prototype than this, for it has been used on all regions of British Railways.’ Although primarily used for freight work, the Stanier 8F also saw work with passenger, parcels and perishable produce traffic. Michael Foster in his book on Hornby-Dublo says two Stanier 8Fs nos: 48309 and 48728 ‘had the honour to work the Royal Train on 8th August 1955 during the Royal Tour of South Wales.’ With a rapidly growing portfolio of standard scale carriage and freight wagons, it will be perfectly at home on any two or three rail layouts. The ACE Trains Stanier 8F comes with models produced in different eras, railway companies and with a variety of appropriate running numbers.