1361 GWR Churchward 0-6-0ST


Power Classification0F
Weight35t 4cwt
Driving Wheels3ft 8ins
Boiler Pressure150psi
CylindersOutside – 16in x 20in
Tractive Effort14,835lbf
Valve GearStephenson (slide valve)

Only three classes of outside cylinder 0-6-0 tank engines were ever built by the GWR, the 1361, 1366 and 1500 classes. The designer was Harold Holcroft with Churchward as the Chief Mechanical Engineer.

The 1361 class of five locomotives built at Swindon was designed in1910 for shunting in sidings with severe curves (such as docks) and they had a wheel base of only 11ft. They were an updated version of the old 1392 class engines which were built for the Cornwall Mineral Railways in 1873 and were taken over by the GWR in 1877. They were the last saddle tank to be constructed at Swindon.

The usual home of the 1361 class was Plymouth where they worked in Millbay Docks and on the Sutton Harbour branch. Until 1928 some of the locomotives could also be found at St Blazey engine shed in Cornwall where they worked on the ex Cornwall Mineral Railway branches and also at Moorswater near Liskeard. The prime function was to work the Caradon branch north from Moorswater to the mining and quarrying district at minions. The locomotives also worked on the Looe branch.

In 1920 one of the locomotives was transferred to Newton Abbot, for shunting at the railwat workshops there. This duty continued until 1952. Others were allocated to Taunton (1953 – 1961) for working at Bridgewater (mainly the docks), and Swindon (1956 – 1961). One was briefly on the Weymouth Harbour Tramway in 1949 and another went briefly to St Philips Marsh in Bristol in 1962.

The 1361 class were fitted with round-topped boilers and saddle tanks. The 1366 class was developed from them with Belpaire boilers and pannier tanks.

1361 class
1366 class

They were to be found at Swindon and docks such as Weymouth, Plymouth and Bridgewater



1363 was built at Swindon in 1910.

It was one of the locomotives of the 1361 class that was briefly allocated to Moorswater near Liskeard. Whilst based there it was mainly employed on the Caradon branch where it hauled trains north of Moorswater to the mining and quarrying district of Minions. The last remaining L&CR engine was ailing by then and 1363 was transferred to Moorswater to work the final few trains which tended to run three days a week. The Cardon branch was lifted in 1916-17 by which time 1363 had been transferred back to St Blazey. 1363 is the only remaining locomotive to have worked on the Cardon branch.

It was withdrawn from service in November 1962 and was one of the last two remaining. They were replaced by D2000 diesel shunters.

1363 spent most of its working life at Laira (Plymouth), being used in the docks, often to haul the ocean liner expresses between ship and mainland station. Because of this it was fitted with full vacuum brake and steam heating equipment. Records show that the whole of its life with BR was allocated to Plmouth Laira and Plymouth Millbay.

BR motive power depot allocations.

Date ArrivedDepot
January 1948Plymouth Laira
December 1948Plymouth Millbay
January 1951Plymouth Laira

1363 also spent some time after the second world war on similar duties at Weymouth; there trains ran along public roads and for this it was fitted with a warning bell, the mounting holes for which can be seen on the left side running plate, just ahead of the cab. It was named Viking for a while there.

After withdrawal from British Railways service 1363 remained to become Laira’s last steam locomotive, eventually being bought by a group of GWS members and presented to the Society. It trundled in steam at Totnes in August 1964, where it was restored to full working order. In May 1969, 1363 moved to the Society depot at Bodmin, where it received a new front buffer beam, fabricated on a submarine depot courtesy of the Royal Navy. Upon closure of the Bodmin Depot it moved to Didcot where, after several years in use it was taken out of service in the late 1970s It was then placed on static display.

1363 is the oldest genuine GWR engine at Didcot.

The overhaul of 1363 is underway and it is hoped that it will be operational again in 2021.In April 1363 it was understood that the overhaul on 1363 would be restarted once work on Hunslet 2409 was completed which was then hoped to be during 2022.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Didcot Railway CentreUnder overhaulGreat Western Society

1363 at Swindon Works – November 1958
1363 at Plymouth Laira – date unknown
1363 inside Plymouth Laira shed – 1963
1363 at Didcot Railway Centre – October 2001
1363 at Didcot Railway Centre – June 2011

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