Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era
No. 200 in unrebuilt condition in 1934
This was the only class of engine on any Irish railway which was built in sufficient numbers or over a long enough period to be regarded as a standard type. The first engines, Nos. 112, 113 and 115 came out in 1866, followed by Nos. 148 and 150 in 1867. They were built to the designs of A.McDonnell, who had been locomotive superintendent since 1864, and the class multiplied to a considerable extent for a comparatively small railway, until he went to the North Eastern in 1883. Thereafter further small batches of about half a dozen at a time appeared under each of McDonnell’s three successors, the last coming out in 1903, by which time the class totalled 111 engines, easily a record for the GS&WR or any other Irish line. The numbers of the engines eventually filled the complete series 101 – 200, although by no means built in sequence, whilst the final additions of 1901-3 were Nos. 223, 229, 232, 240-3 and 253-6. Nearly all were built at the Company’s own works at Inchicore.
A plain and straightforward design, not unlike the Dx class of the LNWR, the engines have always been the maids of all work on the GS & WR, which was later the Great Southern and finally the Coras Iompair Eireann, and even though the system is now almost entirely dieselised these old veterans are as much in evidence as any other more modern class on the few steam workings which still remain. The only major rebuilding had consisted in the provision of Belpaire boilers with superheaters and extended smokeboxes, and most of the remaining survivors are in this form. Many of the earlier engines to be scrapped had never been rebuilt, the first to go being No. 189 in 1922.
Withdrawal proper really began in 1926. As late as 1959 about half of them still remained in serviceable condition, although with little work to do. No. 184 has been restored in its old GS & WR colours for preservation.
Driving wheels – 5’ 1¾”, Cylinders – 18”x 24”, Pressure – 160 lb, Tractive effort 17,170 lb, Weight 37 tons 13 cwt., Classification – J15No. 127 as rebuilt, at Valencia harbour, the most westerly railhead in Europe, in 1955