4160 2012.jpg

4160 was completed at Swindon in 1948 at a cost of £8,190 including £1,553 for the boiler.

BR motive power depot allocations.

Date ArrivedDepot
September 1948Barry
January 1954Rhymney
May 1958Radyr (stored September 1962-March 1963)
September 1964Severn Tunnel Junction

Whilst based at Barry it was regularly employed on local passenger services to Merthyr and Treherbert. It was given a heavy overhaul in July 1951 at Stafford Road, Wolverhampton which took 57 days to complete and this was followed by a light intermediate repair at Caerphilly Works.

From Rhymney, which was a sub shed of Merthyr, it mainly worked local services along the valley to Caerphilly and Cardiff.

4160 had further overhauls at Swindon in 1954, Caerphilly in 1956 and again at Caerphilly in 1958/59. It was put into store in September 1962 as there was a lack of work for it – mainly due to the introduction of diesel multiple units.

Surprisingly it was given a heavy general repair at Swindon in September 1962.

4160 final base was at Severn Tunnel Junction where it was employed on banking duties.

A dozen of the class survived until the end of WR steam in 1965, among them no. 4160 which was withdrawn in June 1965 and which found its way to Barry scrapyard where it arrived in August 1965.

It left Barry in August 1974 having been bought by the Birmingham Railway Museum at Tyseley. Little work was done on restoring the locomotive at Tyseley and it was put up for sale in 1981.

It was then purchased by the embryonic Plym Valley Railway (PVR) by a consortium of shareholders and initially moved to the Plymouth Exhibition Centre at Millbay in May 1981. It then moved to the PVR site at Narsh Mills in March 1982 where restoration work commenced and the engine was stripped down.

In 1989 the owner (4160 Limited) decided that the best way to completely restore the locomotive was to moving it to a new home on an established heritage railway. 4160 moved to Minehead as a kit of parts in April 1990.

Full restoration work commenced in the autumn of 1990 with the driving wheels and axleboxes being sent to Swindon. By June 1991 the chassis had been re-wheeled and by September the following year a mobile set of frames complete with motion and brake gear.

A running in trip was made in October 1992 and this was followed by further work on the boiler during the winter. A successful steam test was undertaken in February 1993 and the boiler was fitted back on the frames ten days later. Later that month the fire was lit in its firebox and it ran under its own power again for the first time since 1965. It formerly entered service on the West Somerset Railway in August 1993.

After operating for ten years 4160 was withdrawn from service in June 2003. By this time the locomotive had completed a total service mileage of 85,841 miles. The engine was immediately dispatched to the workshops of the South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh for a contract overhaul. The locomotive was then stripped down and the boiler sent to LNWR at Crewe for repair.

In August 2006 4160 returned to service on the West Somerset Railway and operated until withdrawn for overhaul again at the end of 2015. Following its withdrawal from service it was sent to Llangollen for overhaul.

In April 2020 it was announced that a 13-year deal had been done with the South Devon Railway and the Locomotive 5542 Ltd. Under the agreement Locomotive 5542 Ltd will become custodians of 4160 which will operate on the South Devon Railway. As a result the locomotive will be moved from Llangollen to complete its overhaul at Buckfastleigh. After the overhaul has been completed the locomotive will run on the South Devon Railway until January 2033. It is also planned that the locomotive will be hired out to operate on other heritage railways.

In November 2020 it was reported that the locomotive had been moved to the South Devon Railway for overhaul. There is still an ongoing dispute between the locomotive owners and the West Somerset Railway Association of the sale of the latter organisation’s shares in the locomotive.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
South Devon RailwayUnder overhaul4160 Ltd
4160 passes Cardiff Canton shed – 1962
4160 at Swindon Works – 1963
4160 at Alvington – May 1965
4160 on the West Somerset Railway – October 1995
4160 on the West Somerset Railway – October 1995
4160 at Winchcombe on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway – September 2007
4160 at Toddington on the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway – May 2010
4160 on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway – June 2010
4160 at Toddington on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway – June 2010
4160 at Bewdley on the Severn Valley Railway – September 2011
4160 at Bewdley on the Severn Valley Railway – September 2011
4160 at Watchet on the West Somerset Railway – June 2012
4160 and 1501 on the shed at Haworth on the KWVR – October 2013
4160 on the West Somerset Railway – March 2014
4160 at Llangollen undergoing an overhaul – April 2016

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