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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

GWR Route: North Warwickshire Line

Tyseley Shed: gwrt2987

Great Western Railway 4-4-0 33xx (Bulldog) class No 3450 ‘Peacock’ in Tyseley Roundhouse in 1933

Great Western Railway 4-4-0 33xx (Bulldog) class No 3450 ‘Peacock’ in Tyseley Roundhouse in 1933. These 4-4-0 locomotives had been retained for use on Birmingham to West Country express services, due to the limitation on the Midland Railway’s Stonebridge viaduct over which the Great Western Railway exercised running rights. These restrictions were lifted in 1927, after the Bridge Stress Committee reported and there after 4-6-0 locomotives were allowed to cross at a maximum speed of 15 mph. These 4-4-0 locomotives were also used for weekend excursion traffic on the Cambrian lines, where similar weight restrictions existed and for express freight services.

Built as No 3740 in December 1909 at Swindon Works, this locomotive was part of the final batch (lot 177) of this class, which had been designed to haul the Company's main line expresses. These last fifteen were all given the names of birds and incorporated a number of improvements including a bogie design based on the French Atlantic locomotives. The locomotive had two inside cylinders and the deep straight double frames supported a standard No 2 long coned domeless boiler with a Belpaire firebox. The boiler pressure was 195 lb producing a tractive effort at 85% of 20,535 lb – Power Group C. The locomotives had a maximum axle weight of 17 tons, 12 cwt which restricted it to Main lines and some branch lines – Route Colour Blue. For more information on the Great Western Railway’s classification system see 'Engine Map'. In January 1912, standard No 2 long coned boiler with a 12 tube/ 72 element two row Swindon superheater was fitted. On 28th December 1912 the company carried out a renumbering of their locomotive fleet to group locomotives with similar characteristics together and No 3740 became No 3450. No 3450 received a half coned boiler in March 1914 and new cylinders with piston valves in January 1916. A long coned boiler was fitted in April 1924 and Automatic Train Control (ATC) between 1928 and 1931 (the ATC shoe is visible below the buffer beam).

The locomotive was originally allocated to Hereford Shed (HFD), but No 3450 was known to be allocated to Tyseley Shed (TYS) in January 1934. At Wrexham in the late 1930s No 3450 was at Stourbridge Junction Shed (STB) prior to nationalisation in December 1947 and was withdrawn from there in December 1949.

Robert Ferris