GWR Route: North Warwickshire Line
Wood End Platform: gwrwe2848
GWR 2-4-0 3201 class No 3516 leaves Wood End tunnel on a
southbound Class B goods service. For more information on 'Engine Head Lamps
and Signal Bells' see image 'headcodes'.
The 3201 or Stella Class designed by William Dean and built at Swindon Works
between 1884 and 1885. They were part of a standardisation scheme of Dean's,
whereby he designed four classes with similar boilers, double frames, and
cylinders, but of different wheel layouts. The 3201 class was close in design
to the 3501 Class, ten of which were built initially as 2-4-0T 'convertibles'
for the broad gauge, and No 3511 to No 3520 built as standard gauge condensing
2-4-0Ts. Initially there were five members of the class. The prototype, No
3201, built in December 1884, was immediately sold to the Pembroke and Tenby
Railway, who named it 'Stella'. It returned to the GWR in 1896 and retained the
nameplates until 1902. Locomotives No 3202 to No 3205 were constructed during
the summer of 1885. Between 1892 and 1895 the class was enlarged to 25
locomotives, as the broad and standard gauge 2-4-0Ts were all eventually
converted to standard gauge tender locomotives. The original Stellas worked in
the Bristol division but after the gauge conversion of 1892 all twenty-five
locomotives were dispatched to Cornwall, where they worked the principal trains
west of Newton Abbot until the arrival a few years later of the 3252 or 'Duke'
Class. The 3201 class then became widely dispersed; by 1915 many were at
Chester or Croes Newydd, others at Birmingham or Stourbridge. Later some went
to central Wales. Withdrawal of the class took place between 1919 and 1933.
Photographer Henry L Salmon