4555

4555.jpg

4555 was built at Swindon and started its working life in 1924 at Tyseley depot. It was built with outside steam pipes, enlarged bunker and improved superheating unlike earlier members of the class which were modified later.

During its service under BR ownership it spent its time between January 1948 and September 1957 at Machynlleth and Pwelheli, moving quite often between the two depots. In September 1957 it was moved to Westbury where it stayed for nearly two years before moving to Newton Abbott in August 1959. Here it spent some time in store before moving on to St Blazey in March 1962. In May 1962 it was transferred to Pymouth Laira from where it was withdrawn from service in November 1963.

The engine was purchased from BR for £750 which included BR giving it a light overhaul at Swindon. Also included was a spare boiler and a van full of spare parts. The buyers were Pat Whitehouse and Pat Garland. The spare boiler was the last to be overhauled at Wolverhampton.

In August 1964 4555 was travelled under its own steam from Tyseley to Leamington Spa on a goods. After undertaking some shunting at Hatton and Warwick it arrived at Leamington with no water in its tanks – only a boiler full. Having filled the tanks the crew were instructed to provide assistance to the Pines Express from Leamington to Birmingham Snow Hill via Hatton bank. This was because a diesel hauling the Pines Express had failed and the crew of the steam locomotive which replaced it (6991 Acton Burnell Hall) requested assistance from Leamington. 4555 then assisted with the train to Snow Hill including climbing the 1 in 100 Hatton bank.

In October 1965 travelled light engine down to Exeter on its way to Buckfastleigh. At Exeter it along with 3205 took over a special train hauled by Pendennis Castle as far as Totnes.

4555 worked occasionally on the Dart Valley branch and headed the last BR freight train on the line in 1962. It was purchased, in working order, for preservation straight from BR service in1965 and was the first engine to arrive on the newly preserved line in 1965.

4555 hauled the official opening train on the Dart Valley Railway with Dr Beeching aboard in 1969.

When the then owners of the line purchased the Paignton to Dartmouth line in 1973, 4555 was one of the locomotives transferred over there to work what was then known as the Torbay Steam Railway (now called the Dartmouth Steam Railway), where it remains to this day.

It has been given the name Warrior whilst at the Dartmouth Steam Railway.

It was withdrawn from service in 2007 for an overhaul which commenced in 2017. The boiler is being overhauled at Tyseley and the frames on the Dartmouth Railway.

When back in steam again it is intended that the locomotive will be hired to other heritage railways.

It was originally expected that the locomotive would be back in service in March 2018 but this was then adjusted to April or May. The delay was caused by the sourcing of new flue tubes.

These dates proved to be optimistic as it was later anticipated that the boiler would be fitted back on the frames at Tyseley in July 2018.

The locomotive which is nearing the end of an extensive overhaul will go on hire to the East Somerset Railway in 2020 for a two year period.

Home Base Current Status Owner
Dartmouth Steam Railway Under overhaul Dart Valley Steam Railway
4555 at Buckfastleigh-1968.jpg 4555 at Buckfastleigh-1968

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