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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

GWR Route: North Warwickshire Line

Tyseley Shed: gwrt2992

Great Western Railway 0-6-0ST 850 class No 2005 in Tyseley Roundhouse on Sunday 13th October 1935

Great Western Railway 0-6-0ST 850 class No 2005 in Tyseley Roundhouse on Sunday 13th October 1935. This diminutive saddle tank engine had provided over forty years of useful service at Birkenhead Docks and was about to start a second life as a pannier tank based at Tyseley Shed.

This saddle tank was built as part of lot Y2 in September 1892 at the Great Western Railway’s Stafford Road Locomotive Works near Wolverhampton. The locomotive originally had a parallel boiler with raised firebox, complete with centrally positioned dome above the 800 gallon saddle tank, but in June 1914 a similar boiler, but with a rear mounted dome was fitted (as seen here). The boiler pressure was 150 lb producing a tractive effort at 85% of 15,825 lb (Power Group – ungrouped). The Route Colour was uncoloured because the maximum axle weight was under the 14 ton limit which meant the locomotive could work anywhere. See 'Engine Map' for more details of the Great Western Railway’s classification system. This together with their short wheel base made them ideal for working the dock railways belonging to the company and this particular locomotive was known to have been allocated to Birkenhead Shed (BHD) for about forty years.

In December 1937, No 2005 was fitted with a group 6 boiler with a dome positioned at the rear and a Belpaire firebox. At the same time the locomotive was converted to a pannier tank as these were better suited to the rectangular shape of this type of firebox. Pannier tanks had also been found to give better stability, due to their lower centre of gravity and this allowed the locomotives to travel at higher speeds and increased its versatility. The boiler pressure was increased to 165 lb and cylinders to 16½ inch diameter, resulting in a tractive effort at 85% of 18,515 lb (Power Group – B), while the maximum axle weight was 13 tons, 5 cwt (Route colour – uncoloured). The pannier tanks had the same water capacity, but the coal bunker was enlarged to carry 2½ tons. No 2005 was allocated to Tyseley Shed (TYS) and withdrawn from there in December 1944.

Robert Ferris