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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Leamington Spa Shed: gwrls2630

Ex-Great Western Railway 5101 class 2-6-2T large prairie No 4118 in steam outside Leamington Spa shed (84D) on Sunday 27th July 1958

Ex-Great Western Railway 5101 class 2-6-2T large prairie No 4118 in steam outside Leamington Spa shed (84D) on Sunday 27th July 1958. Behind are two unidentifiable pannier tank locomotives, but between them, the cab side number plate of 0-6-2T No 6697 is visible. Out of the twenty locomotives allocated to Leamington Spa shed at this time, the ex Great Western Railway contingent were; four 57xx class pannier tanks (Nos 3619, 3624, 3631 and 7702), two 66xx class 0-6-2T locomotives (Nos 6657 and 6697), seven 5101 class 2-6-2T locomotives (Nos 4103, 4112, 4118, 4162, 4171, 5101 and 5184) and two 81xx class 2-6-2T locomotives (Nos 8100 and 8109).

No 4118 was built in November 1936 at Swindon Works as part of lot 292. The 5101 class was an updated version of the 51xx (ex 31xx) class locomotives that had been introduced in 1903. Their external appearance could be distinguished by their curved drop frames, motion plate, outside steam pipes and lower cab roof. Internally the No 2 standard boiler was superheated and the pressure raised to 200 lb, producing a tractive effort at 85% of 24,300 lb (power class C). To increase the range the coal bunker was enlarged to hold four tons and the water tanks had their capacity increased to 2,000 gallons. An additional balancing pipe was provided between to side tanks to reduce the tank filling time. The modifications had slightly increased the locomotive's total weight by six tons, but the maximum axle weight was calculated at exactly 17 tons, 12 cwt, which just placed them in the route colour Blue category and limited them to main lines and some branch lines. See 'Engine Map' for more details about the Great Western Railway’s method of locomotive classification.

Most of the 5101 class locomotives were like their predecessors allocated to the Wolverhampton Division for use on fast Suburban passenger traffic and No 4118 was initially allocated to Tyseley shed (TYS). Prior to nationalisation in December 1947, No 4118 was identified as being allocated to Shrewsbury shed (SLP). In September 1962, No 4118 was withdrawn from Leamington Spa shed and scrapped at J Cashmore, Great Bridge in November 1963. By this time the 2-6-2T locomotives were being replaced by the first generation of diesel multiple units (DMUs).

This photograph is displayed courtesy of the HMRS (Historical Model Railway Society) and copies can be ordered directly from them using the link HERE, quoting reference ABS214.

Robert Ferris