|Introduced||1910 – 1923|
|Driving Wheels||4ft 7.5ins|
|Boiler Pressure||200psi superheated|
|Cylinders||Outside – 18.5in x 30in|
|Valve Gear||Stephenson (piston valve)|
The increase in mineral traffic in South Wales in the early 1900s meant that there was a need for a tank engine version of the 2800 class. A 2-8-2T was considered, but this was rejected because of the length of the wheelbase.
The 4200 class of 2-8-0T engines was designed to work the heavy short-haul coal and mineral trains in South Wales. They were designed using standard GWR parts as used in the 2800 class. A total of 205 locomotives were built (including the 5205 class) between 1910 and 1940. They were the only 2-8-0T to run in Britain.
The main difference between the classes (4200 and 2800) was the use of a standard number 4 boiler instead of number 1 and in the purpose of the design which was for hauling heavy mineral traffic in South Wales, usually coal from the pits to the ports. The second and third driving wheels were fitted with thinner flanges, similar to the ‘2800’s, but the coupling rods had spherical joints between the third and last pair of driving wheels giving some amount of side play and these arrangements allowed the class to negotiate curves down to 2 chains, or 66 feet, in radius.
The first engine to be built was 4201 in 1910 (4200 was a later engine built in 1923). Between 1910 and 1930 195 were built numbered 4200-4299 and 5200-5294. 5205 onwards had larger cylinders and other minor alterations and were known as the 5205 class.
Due to Swindon Works being involved in the manufacture of munitions and specialist carriages during the First World War the rate of construction of the 4200 class locomotives was reduced resulting in it not being until May 1917 that the first batch 4202 – 4261 were completed..
In the 1930s during the depression there were more 4200 and 5205 class engines in service than were needed for dwindling coal traffic in South Wales. The last approved batch of 4200 class locomotives to be built was for 30 but because of the decline in demand only twenty were completed and these were stored as new in the Stock Shed at Swindon until they were modified by extending the frames to increase the coal and water capacity which required the addition of trailing wheels for support. The 7200 class as they became were thus able to undertake a wider range of duties. The twenty engines which never entered service as 4200 class locomotives became 7200-7219.
Fourteen class 4200 locomotives were rebuilt in this way in 1937.
4200 Class Number
|7200 Class Number|
Ironically, when the last of these 4200 class were rebuilt as 2-8-2T’s in December 1939, production of the 5205 class began again with the building of numbers 5255 to 5264 from January until March 1940.
The 4200s were built with inside steam pipes and straight frames over the cylinders. Later many were rebuilt with outside steam pipes and raised frames over the cylinders.
As an example of the sterling service that these engines gave, all members except those rebuilt to 2-8-2T design passed into British Railways hands. The first the engine withdrawn was number 4224 in February 1959.
By 31st Dec
No. in Service
|1937||Rebuilt as 7200||14||91|
|1938 – 1958||91|
18 locomotives of the 4200 and 5205 classes were still working at the beginning of the last full year of GWR steam in 1965, the last engine in traffic was number 5235, withdrawn in September of that year. The last engine (4268) of the 4200 class was withdrawn in the previous month. The 7200 class were withdrawn from service over a similar timescale to the other two classes.
In service – 31st December
|Withdrawn in 1965 From-|
|Cardiff East Dock||2||2|
|Severn Tunnel Junction||1||1||3|
Five examples of the 4200 class and three members of the 5205 class have been preserved (4247, 4248, 4253, 4270, 4277, 5224, 5229 and 5239). There are also three locomotives preserved from the 7200 class which were rebuilds of the 5205 series 5264 rebuilt as 7229, 5275 rebuilt as 7202 and 5277 rebuilt as 7200).