Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era
1932 – 0-4-2T
Great Western Railway
These engines were in effect a modernised version of a very much older class dating back to 1868, the first 54 of which were built as saddle tanks, but later converted to side tanks to conform with the subsequent engines. In all 165 had been constructed between 1868 and 1897, and many of them were still in service in the 1930s, but in need of renewal. It became a common practice on the GWR in later years to replace older engines with completely new ones of the same basic design, instead of the more usual method of giving the original machines extensive overhaul or rebuilding. Latterly this method was applied to some even comparatively modern classes.
In this instance the old 0-4-2Ts were replaced by a series of 95 new engines, Nos.4800-74, which were provided with pull-and-push apparatus, and Nos.5800-19, which were not motor fitted. The most noticeable features in the new engines when compared to the old ones were an extended smokebox and a more modern cab, but they were not superheated. All were built between 1932 and 1936. They replaced their predecessors on the numerous branch lines of the Great Western and in some cases stopping trains along the main lines. With their loads of one or two coaches, sufficient for the local needs which they served, they were very efficient and economical in operation. They were, moreover, quick in acceleration and could show a surprising turn of speed. The advent of the diesel railcar and the closing of many branch lines had rendered many of them redundant, and from 1956 onwards they began to be taken out of service. Nos.4800-74 were renumbered 1400-74 in 1946.
Driving wheels – 5′ 2″, Cylinders – 16″x 24″, Pressure – 165 lb., Tractive effort – 13900 lb., Weight – 41 tons 6 cwt., BR classification – 1P