The Railway Operating Division (ROD) of the Royal Engineers requisitioned about 600 assorted locomotives of various types from thirteen of the UK railway companies for service overseas in World War 1. As it became clear that the hostilities would be prolonged, the ROD decided it needed its own standard locomotive design for war service. It was decided that Great Central Railway Class 8K 2-8-0, designed by John G. Robinson in 1911. would be the ideal basis. There were two batches of orders during 1917 and 1918 which led to the building of over 300 locomotives. This was followed by an order for 188 further locos in the Autumn of 1918 to keep the locomotive manufacturing industry working after the war. Construction was shared by the North British Locomotive Company, Robert Stephenson and Company, Nasmyth, Wilson and Company, Kitson and Company and the remaining six were built by the Great Central Railway's own Gorton Works. After the War the locomotives that survived were sold off to the 'Big Four' railway companies with the GWR taking 100 of them, some of which continued in service into the 1950s.