USA Class 0-6-0T No 30064
Class Introduced: 1946 on Southern Railway (SR)
Designer: US Army Transportation Corps
Built: 1943 (Vulcan Iron Works, PA, USA)
Total Number Built: 15 (with 14 entering traffic)
Numbers Carried: 1959, 64, S64, 30064
British Railways (BR) Power Classification: 3F
No 30064 was one of four-hundred and thirty-eight six-coupled shunting tanks built in the USA which were intended to replace the depleted motive power of European railways following conclusion of World War II. In eventuality, many remained unused, and were placed in storage throughout the country as surplus war material. One such location were the sidings at Newbury Racecourse where forty-six were deposited at the latter part of 1945 through to 1947. Ever alert for a bargain, the Southern Railway (SR) purchased fifteen examples, modifying them to the British loading gauge and despatching them to Southampton as replacements for the ageing London & South Western Railway (L&SWR) B4 Class.
Following a successful career, No 30064 was withdrawn at the end of Southern Region steam on 08 July 1967 and moved to Salisbury Depot awaiting disposal. By this time the Southern Locomotive Preservation Company (SLPC) had already been formed and were seeking support to purchase a member of the class given their popularity on rail tours. Despite achieving the highest mileage (301,093) of the class at withdrawal, No 30064 was deemed to be in the best mechanical condition having only undertaken minor work at Redbridge Sleeper Depot since her last overhaul. Purchase was finalised in December and she was hauled to Knowle Junction for handing over to her new owners. From there, she was transferred to Droxford on the Meon Valley line where a section had been leased by the Sadler Rail Coach Company. Restoration began shortly after, clearing accumulated dirt and restoring the malachite green livery first applied in February 1964. The locomotive's motion was reassembled in August 1968 and a successful steam trial followed in September. However, a fire at the site and the increasing impracticality of extending the line resulted in No 30064 moving to Fareham in July 1969 for interim storage.
With the closure of the Longmoor Military Railway (LMR) in 1969, a proposal was mooted by the Longmoor Trust to use the most southerly section at Liss as a steam preservation centre - in anticipation of this, No 30064 was again on the move, arriving in May 1970. Occasional usage and a period of filming was undertaken, but a fourth move in as many years occurred in October 1971 as the SLPC chose the Nuthatch Line as her new permanent residence.
Since her arrival, the 'Yankee Tank' (as she is colloquially known) has seen regular use and provides an interesting contrast with the rest of the fleet as an example of North American engineering practice.