4-4-2T   GWR    Churchward   2221 – 2240 County Tank

County tank

Power Classification
Introduced 1905 – 1909 & 1912
Designer Churchward
Company GWR
Weight t cwt
Driving Wheels 6ft 8½ins
Boiler Pressure 200psi
Cylinders Outside – 18in x 30in

The GWR 2221 class or County Tank was a class of 4-4-2T steam locomotive which was largely a tank engine version of the 3800 County class 4-4-0 tender locomotives.

 County 4-4-0  

County class introduced by Churchward in 1904


County tank

County tank introduced by Churchward in 1905

The class were introduced to gradually supersede the 3600 Birdcage 2 – 4 – 2T class. The first 20 engines had the square shaped front frame whereas the final 10 had the fashionable curved framing. Interestingly, the framing of the first 20 were never modified to the curved shape.

Their work was concentrated on London suburban services. They were replaced by the more versatile GWR 6100 class from 1931 onwards, the last going in 1934. Their large four coupled driving wheels were suited to high speed running on outer suburban services but acceleration was slower than that of the six coupled, smaller wheeled locomotives.

Like the Counties, they had a reputation for rough riding, caused by their short coupled wheelbase and large outside cylinders.

None survived into preservation.

The Great Western Society at Didcot have expressed an interest in building a 2221 County class tank locomotive using the boiler from 5101 class locomotive 4115.

4115 has donated parts (including driving wheels and frame extension) to the construction of 4700 class 2-8-0 new build of 4709.

By November 2018 it appeared that the project was in abeyance.

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