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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

GWR Route: North Warwickshire Line

Tyseley Shed: gwrt2389


GWR 4-4-0 3521 Class No 3555 stands over the ash pits at Tyseley shed having just been coaled. The 3521 Class started life as a class of 40 tank locomotives designed to haul passenger trains on the Great Western Railway. They were introduced as 0-4-2T locomotives in 1887, but were quickly altered to become 0-4-4Ts to improve their running. Following two serious accidents they were further altered from 1899 to run as 4-4-0 tender locomotives, in which form the last was withdrawn in 1934. The class were designed to accommodate both gauges with the first twenty locomotives being turned out in 1887 as 0-4-2T locomotives for services on the standard gauge lines with the remaining 20 locomotives being shopped in 1888 but as 0-4-2ST saddle tanks for the broad gauge lines in Devon and Cornwall. Due to the unsteady running of the 0-4-2STs, the last of the order, No 3660, was turned out in August 1889 as a 0-4-4T bogie side tank. The remainder of the class were altered to a similar layout over the following two years.

The standard gauge 0-4-2Ts were converted to 0-4-4Ts in the same manner as the broad gauge locomotives, which were all eventually converted to standard gauge. By the end of 1892 the whole class of forty locomotives was to one standard design for the first time. On 13th April 1895 No 3521 and No 3546 derailed near Bodmin Road. Three years later another of the class, No 3542, derailed at Penryn and rolled down an embankment, killing the driver. Following this the whole class was rebuilt as 4-4-0 locomotives. All forty 0-4-4T locomotives were rebuilt as 4-4-0 tender locomotives between 1899 and 1902. Two locomotives, No 3521 and No 3546, were transferred to the Cambrian Railway in 1921 to replace locomotives destroyed in the Abermule accident. They were allocated Cambrian numbers No 82 and No 95 respectively but these were never carried, the two locomotives being returned to the Great Western Railway with their original numbers when the two railways were grouped together in 1922.

An original photograph by WH Whitworth