GWR 4200 Class 2-8-0T

GWR Churchward 4200 class 2-8-0T no. 4247 at Bodmin Parkway. Photo: Mick Stock

GWR Churchward 4200 class 2-8-0T no. 4247 at Bodmin Parkway. Photo: Mick Stock

Designed by Churchward, 105 class 4200 locomotives were built by the GWR between 1910 and 1923 for short-haul heavy coal trains in South Wales. They were numbered 4200 to 4299 and 5200 to 5204. These engines were nicknamed “Water Carts” as they had narrow side tanks feeding a large boiler and needed frequent stops to take on water.

To traverse the sharp curves found on many lines in South Wales, the locomotives were constructed with side play in the trailing driving wheels and coupling rods with spherical joints to allow for movement in any direction.

Fourteen of the class were rebuilt between 1937 and 1939 as 7200 class 2-8-2Ts. In later years many of the remainder were upgraded to the similar 5205 Class specification with outside steam pipes, larger cylinders and in some cases curved frames at the front end.

These engines gave sterling service and all those not rebuilt as 7200s passed into British Railways hands. The first of the 2-8-0Ts to be withdrawn was number 4224 in February 1959, the last engine in service, number 4268, was withdrawn in August 1965. This was one of 18 locomotives still running at the beginning of 1965, the last year of GWR steam operation.

Five of the class have been preserved, numbers 4247 (pictured), 4248, 4253, 4270 & 4277. All were rescued from Woodhams Brothers Scrapyard in Barry.

GWR 4200 Class 2-8-0T specification

Power class (BR): 7F
Length: 40 ft 9 in (12.42 m)
Gauge: 4 ft 8½ in (1,435 mm)
Driving wheel dia: 4 ft 7½ in (1,410mm)
Boiler Pressure: 200 psi (1.38 MPa)
Cylinders: 2 outside, 18½ x 30 in (470 x 762mm)
Loco weight: 81 tons 12 cwt (74.03 tonnes)
Tractive effort: 31,450 lbf (42,640 Nm)

Last updated 29/03/14