GWR 4500 & 4575 Class 2-6-2T

GWR 4575 Class No. 5552

GWR 4575 Class No. 5552 at Bodmin on 1st May 2011. Photo: Mick Stock

Known as Small Praries, the Churchward designed 4500 Class locomotives were a development of the 4400 Class with larger driving wheels to extend their use to branch lines where faster running was required. The first batch of 20, numbered 4500 to 4519 were built at Wolverhampton from 1906 to 1908, the remaining 55 were built at Swindon between 1909 and 1924.

The first batches up to number 4529 had square front framing whereas 4530 onwards had curved front framing. Number 4555 onwards were fitted with outside steam pipes and lengthened frames at the rear as standard. Some previous members of the class were later modified but not all. Locomotives numbered up to 4574 had flat topped side tanks. One hundred 4575 Class engines were built between 1927 and 1929, during Collett’s tenure. They are easily recognised by their sloping topped tanks giving greater water capacity.

The 4500 Class were withdrawn between February 1950 and September 1964. The first withdrawal of the 4575 Class was in April 1956 and the last four locomotives were withdrawn in December 1964.

These locomotives are ideal for many of Britain’s preserved railways, so three members of the 4500 Class and eleven members of the 4575 Class have survived into preservation, they are numbers 4555, 4561, 4566, 4588, 5521, 5526, 5532, 5538, 5539, 5541, 5542, 5552, 5553 and 5572.

GWR 4500 & 4575 Class 2-6-2T specification

Power class (BR): 4MT
Length: 36 ft 4½ in (11.09 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, 17 x 24 in (430 x 610mm)
Loco weight: 4500 – 57 tons 0 cwt (51.71 tonnes) 4575 – 61 tons 0 cwt (55.34 tonnes)
Tractive effort: 21,250 lbf (28,811 Nm)

Last updated 30/03/14