GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton
Queens Head Yard: gwrqhy2000
Ex-Great Western Railway 81xx class 2-6-2T No 8109 passes Queens
Head Signal Box on the Up relief line with a four coach local passenger service
on 29th June 1964.
The Signal Box at Queens Head was of wooden construction with a
tiled hip roof. This was a standard pre-grouping Great Western Railway Signal
Box built from the turn of the century until 1921. While the Signal Boxes with
brick locking rooms were termed type 7, those of wooden construction had the
prefix 2 added. A suffix was also added to indicate variations, which were
incorporated into the standard design over time. Queens Head Signal Box was a
type 27c as it had a tiled roof with hip hooks and heating provided by a stove
with a flue pipe. This was one of the most common designs and over 200 type 27c
signal boxes built. The Queens Head Signal Box was twenty nine feet long by
twelve feet wide and the operating floor was eleven feet above track level. It
had the distinctive Great Western Railway three up / two down window panes.
This signal box had originally been erected at Burrows Siding in South Wales,
but when this location required a larger box, it was dismantled and moved to
Queens Head, where it opened on 19th December 1909.
Locomotive No 8109 was built in November 1939 as part of lot
320. Like the other ten locomotives in the class, frames from withdrawn 51xx
class 2-6-2T locomotives were utilised with new front ends and higher pressure
boilers. In the case of No 8109 the frames came from No 5115. It was originally
planed to rebuild fifty of these locomotives, but the rebuilding of the
remaining forty was suspended indefinitely at the start of the Second World
War. The standard No 2 boiler had a pressure of 225 lb producing a tractive
effort at 85% of 28,165 lb, which placed the locomotive in power group D. The
maximum axle weight was 17 tons, 12 cwt which limited the locomotive to main
lines and some branch lines (route colour Blue). The BR Power Class was
4MT. The coupled wheels were reduced to five foot six inches diameter to
improve their acceleration on the suburban passenger services.
Locomotive No 8109 was initially allocated to Leamington shed
(LMTN) and was known to have been allocated there prior to nationalisation in
December 1947 and also in March 1959. No 8109 was the last of the class to be
withdrawn, while allocated to Tyseley shed (84E) in June 1965.