Bachmann 32-259A

WD Austerity 90074 BR Black (Late Crest) (Weathered)

Manufacturer catalogue image - please note that pre-release images may be CAD renders or CGI images rather than photographs

Prototype Era
Era 5 (1957 to 1966) British Railways Late Crest

Manufacturer description

As part of our Winter 2022 British Railway Announcements, we are delighted to welcome the WD Austerity back to the Bachmann Branchline range. Depicting a locomotive in post-war use with British Railways we have No. 90074 in BR Black livery with Late Crest and complete with an authentic weathered finish.

The WD 2-8-0 Austerity locomotives were some of the strongest freight locomotives to operate on Britain’s railways and the Branchline model conveys all the strength and power of the prototype, making it an imposing addition to any layout or collection. Featuring a wealth of detail, the uncomplicated appearance of the real locomotives is captured in miniature from the long, parallel boiler and smokebox arrangement to the large, angular tender. With a powerful drive train the WD Austerity is ready to handle the goods, whilst the 21 Pin DCC decoder socket and designated speaker space mean you can add sound for even more realism. If it’s realism you’re looking for, why not choose our SOUND FITTED model to enjoy sound straight from the box.




The War Department (WD) "Austerity" 2-8-0 is a type of heavy freight steam locomotive that was introduced in 1943 for war service. Designed by R. A. Riddles, who had been appointed Director of Transport Equipment at the Ministry of Supply with the outbreak of World War Two, the WD Austerity met a clear demand for locomotives to aid the war effort in Europe.

Riddles based his new locomotive on the Stanier 8F, which he had adopted as the staple military goods locomotive during his time with the Ministry of Supply, and construction began in January 1943. The WD Austerity had many parts in common with the 8F but was given a simpler parallel boiler with a round-topped firebox. Low cost was prioritised over design life and cast metal parts were kept to a minimum as that material was in short supply for armoured fighting vehicles. There were a few problems with the design, most notably with regard to the firebox and its drop-grate mechanism, and many of the WD Austerities were adapted and fitted with improved parts following the war.

A total of 935 were built, making this one of the most numerous classes of British locomotive, but until the D-Day landings, the British Army had little use for the Austerities and as a result many were loaned out to the ‘Big Four’ railway companies. From June 1944 to February 1945, all of the initial locomotives were shipped to the Continent. Following the end of World War Two, the army proceeded to repatriate the Austerities, beginning in November 1945.

Now army surplus, the first company to step in was the LNER which purchased 200 of them at the end of 1946. These were reclassified as Class 07 in January of the following year. In 1948, 533 more were purchased by the British Transport Commission. With the formation of British Railways, the 733 locomotives were renumbered into the 90000–90732 series, and of these, 123 remained in service at the start of 1967. Two locomotives continued to be held in WD stock, seeing service on the Longmoor Military Railway in Hampshire. One WD 2-8-0 has survived in preservation at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.

Catalogue listing

Product Code:
Winter 2022
Release date:
August 2023

Model details

DCC status
DCC Ready (21 pin socket)
Black with Late Crest
Running number

Prototype information

Locomotive class*
War Department Austerity
British Railways
Motive power
Wheel arrangement
Robert Riddles
Total produced

* Class names often change over the lifespan of a locomotive, so this is not necessarily the class name used by the operator in the period modelled.

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