GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton
Knowle & Dorridge Station: gwrkd1603
Great Western Railway 4-4-0 37XX or City class
No 3711 City of Birmingham at Knowle and Dorridge Station with an
up express circa 1914. Spotless and resplendent with a copper clad chimney and
polished brass short safety valve cover, these were virtually the last outside
frame passenger express locomotives to be seen on the Great Western Railway.
These engines had a reputation for speed and will forever be associated with
the 100mph record run by No 3440 City of Truro, which is now
preserved by the National Steam Museum. Initially the locomotives of this class
hauled the crack West Country expresses, but by 1914 they had been relegated to
secondary express duties on other parts of the network, having been displaced
by the more powerful new 4-6-0 locomotives.
The light train loads and engine restrictions on the
Birmingham to Bristol and Birmingham to the South Coast expresses meant 4-4-0
class locomotives would be retained on these services until the 1930s.
This locomotive was built at Swindon Works as part of Lot 141 in 1903. The
locomotive was originally numbered No 3434, but in a general renumbering scheme
in December 1912, became No 3711. These locomotives were all fitted with the
large Churchward No 4 standard boiler and No 3434 had a two row super heater
fitted in November 1910. This class had an A power classification and a Red
route code. In 1921 this locomotive was known to have been allocated to Chester
shed. No 3711 was finally withdrawn in July 1930. The clerestory coach behind
the tender has a short roof board displaying the train's destination.