450 (TV28) TVR Class 01 0-6-2T Taff Vale Railway

TVR 450
Introduced1894 (Kitson build) and 1897 (Taff Vale Railway Cardiff West build)
CompanyTaff Vale
Weight56t 8cwt
Driving Wheels4ft 6.5in
Boiler Pressure150psi
CylindersInside – 17.5in  x  26in
Tractive Effort18,620lbf
Valve GearStephenson (slide valve)

The underlying reason was the immensely profitable (pre-1914) coal trade, for which tank engines, the equivalent of 0-6-0 tender engines, were perfectly adequate.  These hauled coal trains down to sea ports such as Cardiff etc, and hauled empties back up the valleys.The 0-6-2 tank was the archetypal South Welsh locomotive. It was pioneered by the Taff Vale Railway in 1885 and constructed for most of the railways in the region, Barry, Rhymney, Neath & Brecon, and Brecon & Merthyr, until 1921, to total some 422 engines.  The GWR introduced a new 0-6-2T type specifically for South Wales in 1924 of which 200 were built.

The Taff Vale was by far the largest of these concerns, and for a period even built a number of its own locomotives at its West Yard, Cardiff works.

14 locomotives of the Taff Vale 01 class were built Kitson & Co and Taff Vale Railway West. The preserved member of this class, number 28 was built in 1897 at the Taff Vale Railway Cardiff West works. This was the only Welsh railway to build locomotives in quantity, and was the oldest company in Wales. West Yard works dated back to the mid-1840s and at first it was of modest size, coping with the maintenance of little more than a dozen locomotives.

When the Taff Vale introduced the 0-6-2T type, which was to become ubiquitous across South Wales, the works traverser could not accommodate the longer wheelbase so locomotives had to have their trailing radial wheels removed while within the works. The works could only be accessed by level crossings accessed by turntables on the main line near the railway’s terminus at Bute Road station.


TVR 28 (GWR 450, WD 205, WD 70205, NCB 67)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 450-at-locomotion-at-shildon-april-2015-.jpg

Of the 0-6-2T mixed traffic class, only one survives today, 28. It is the last Welsh-build standard gauge locomotive. 28 began its TVR career working the mineral and coal trains from collieries to port. By 1922 when the Great Western Railway had taken control, it had run 483,189 miles, and by 1923 was given a major overhaul, receiving a new boiler from the West Yard Works.

Absorbed into the GWR fleet, 28 was renumbered 450, and given a GWR-style cover over its safety value, its external design was unchanged. It was withdrawn from service on 30 October 1926, but was found to be in good mechanical condition and sold to the Government in 1927, for use on the Woolmer Military Instructional Railway, later called the Longmoor Military Railway. The engine was named “Gordon”, after the General of Khartoum, and was kept in immaculate condition in Hampshire, performing relatively light duties compared to its TVR working days.

The Second World War broke out and 28 was renumbered WD 205, then WD 70205, before becoming surplus again and put into storage. It was then sold in 1947 to the National Coal Board and used at their Hetton colliery railway. It was renumbered 67 in the Durham division, though still retaining the “Gordon” nameplates as it engaged in heavy work on the coalfields again. It received a major overhaul in 1955 when it also received a new boiler, with minor alterations to its external design, but by 1959 it needed boiler repairs and was withdrawn from service in 1960.

Following requests to NCB that it should be saved it was donated to the British Transport Board (WR) and then moved to Caerphilly Works. These works closed in June 1963 and the engine was moved to Swindon. Eighteen months later it was moved to Stratford where it was stored following custody of the locomotive being given to the National Museum of Wales as part of the National Collection.

In 1967, it was returned to Caerphilly Works which by this time had been taken over by South Wales Switchgear Ltd. The engine was restored to working order by the Caerphilly Railway Society in 1983 and ran for about 7 years until taken out of service due to routine boiler examination. Caerphilly Railway Society was extensively burgled and vandalized into oblivion.

In May 1996 the locomotive moved to the Dean Forest Railway on loan from the National Railway Museum. In 1997 the engine was dismantled for a thorough restoration, but these were unsuccessful due to the discovery of cracked springs.

The National Railway Museum moved the locomotive to the Llangollen Railway where by 2014 it has been rebuilt and the cosmetic restored. This is restoration has been achieved thanks to a unique three-way partnership between the National Railway Museum, the Llangollen Railway and the Gwili Railway. The aim was to return the locomotive to showroom condition and display it as a proper train exhibit with Taff Vale Railway Brake Third coach No. 220. It was then placed on static display at the Gwili Railway having previously been at Locomotion at Shildon.

In October 2019 it was announced that agreement had been reached between the National Railway Museum and the Welsh Railway Trust, who are the custodians of the locomotive, to restore No 28 to steam. The aim was to have the locomotive back in steam in 2022.

In August 2020 the National Railway Museum and the Gwili Vintage Carriage Group announced that they had signed a three year overhaul agreement to return the locomotive back to steam. This follows disruption because of the Corvid-19 pandemic to the agreement reached earlier in 2019. The overhaul is estimated to cost £160,000.

The aim is to run the locomotive in Taff Vale Railway livery along with pre-grouping Taff Vale Railway coaches on the Gwili Railway once the overhaul is completed in 2024. The boiler is due to be lifted off the frames early in 2022.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Gwili RailwayAwaiting overhaulNational Railway Museum

NRM Object Number{1978-7022}

450 (TV28) at Caerphilly – July 1962
450 (TV28) at Caerphilly – c1963

450 (TV28) at Caerphilly – c1984
450 (TV28) at Locomotion at Shildon – April 2015
450 (TV28) at the Gwili Railway – September 2021

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