Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1902 – ‘Saint’ Class Great Western Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1902 – ‘Saint’ Class

Great Western Railway

No. 2971 'Albion' as running in 1930No. 2971 ‘Albion’ as running in 1930.

William Dean’s No. 100 which appeared in 1902 was destined to become the forerunner of a long series of 4-6-0 engines on the GWR which have since achieved worldwide fame.  It was a 2-cylinder machine, and although built with a parallel boiler, it nevertheless embodied all the essentials of the familiar outline perpetuated in the many series of 2- and 4-cylinder 4-6-0s which followed it.

1 Lady of Lynn

Two further engines, Nos. 98 and 171, followed in 1903, and these were undoubtedly the work of Churchward, who had meanwhile succeeded Dean as locomotive superintendent.  Probably the design of the original No.100 was more Churchward’s than Dean’s, but nevertheless the name of the latter, at first just ‘Dean’, but later ‘William Dean’ was most befittingly bestowed on No. 100.

No. 98 (later ‘Vanguard’ and subsequently ‘Ernest Cunard’) and 171 ‘Albion had coned boilers from the start, and in 1905 nineteen further engines appeared, of which No. 172 and 179-90 came out as ‘Atlantics’, whilst 173-8 were 4-6-0s.  ‘Albion’ also ran as 4-4-2 about this period, but eventually all were converted or re-converted to the 4-6-0 type.

2 Madresfield Court

In 1906 there appeared No. 2901, notable as being the first engine to be built with a modern type superheater.  It was of the Schmidt pattern, but was later replaced by the standard GWR Swindon type, eventually applied to the whole class.  No. 2901 became ‘Lady Superior’ and the rest of the batch, Nos. 2902-10, were also named after ‘Ladies’.  Nos. 2911-30, built in 1907, took the names of ‘Saints’, whilst the final lot, 2931-55, of 1911-13, were ‘Courts’.  The term ‘Saint’ in later years applied to the whole class, including the original engines, 100, 98, and 171-90, which had become 2900, 2988, and 2971-90.

4 Caynham Court

There were many detail differences at various periods, particularly as regards boilers, but the principal variations to note were with regard to No. 2935 ‘Caynham Court’, modified in 1931 with Poppett valve gear, and No. 2925 ‘Saint Martin’, rebuilt in 1924 with 6’ 0” wheels and renumbered 4900.  As such as it became the prototype of the mixed traffic ‘Hall’ class, later multiplied in considerable numbers.

Scrapping commenced in 1931 with No. 2985 ‘Peveril of the Peak’, and ‘William Dean’ itself went in 1932.  The last in service, apart from the rebuilt ‘Saint Martin’, which survived until 1959, was 2920 Saint David, withdrawn in 1953.

No. 100 as built – Driving wheels – 6’ 8½”,  Cylinders (2) – 18”x 30”,  Pressure – 200 lb.,  Tractive effort – 20530 lb.,  Weight – 67 tons 16 cwt.

The later engines as finally running – Driving wheels – 6’ 8½”,  Cylinders (2) – 18½”x 30”,  Pressure – 225 lb.,  Tractive effort – 24395 lb.,  Weight – 72 tons.

3 Highnam Court


One response to “Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1902 – ‘Saint’ Class Great Western Railway

  1. Can anyone direct me to more info about the Lady of Lynn? My grandfather was one of her engineers and I would be interested in knowing more about her. Thank-you. ( I have a photo of him with her.)

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