4700 2-8-0 GWR Churchward 4700 – 4708



Power Classification 7F
Introduced 1919 -1923
Designer Churchward
Company GWR
Weight – Loco 82t 0cwt
               Tender 46t 14cwt
Driving Wheels 5ft 8ins
Boiler Pressure 225psi superheated
Cylinders Outside – 19in x 30in
Tractive Effort 30,460
Valve Gear Stephenson (piston valve)


This class was designed at the end of the First World War to meet the need for a large freight engine to work the night vacuum fitted goods services. Not surprisingly they were nicknamed Night Owls.They were built as mixed traffic engines and were an enlarged version of the 4300 class.

 4300 4300 class first introduced in 1911
 4700 small 4700 class first introduced in 1919

4700 was built with a small boiler in 1919 and was rebuilt with a larger boiler in 1921. 4701-4708 were built with the larger size boiler in 1922-1923.

4700 attended the Railway Centenary at Darlington in 1925.

They were the only mixed traffic 2-8-0s in Britain. Their weight restricted them to working on the main lines. They spent many years working the West of England main line between Paddington and Birkenhead, but they were also used regularly on passenger trains at weekends. In the late 1950s, seven were allocated to Old Oak Common shed with the other two at Bristol St, Phillips Marsh. The only other 2-8-0s in Britain to work passenger trains regularly were the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway 53800 7F class.


           53800 7F class


          2800 class

 4700 small

          4700 class

They were similar in looks to the 2800 class but had larger driving wheels and splashers and the drive was on the second coupled axle, compared to the third on the 2800 class.

They were all withdrawn from service from 1962 to 1964. 4705 recorded the greatest distance travelled, at 1,656,564 miles. Five of the class were scrapped at A King & Sons Ltd of Norwich whilst the rest were cut up at Cashmores or Swindon Works.

Accidents and Incidents

On 12th November 1958 4707 was hauling a freight train when it overran the signals and was derailed at Highworth Junction, Swindon. A newspaper train collided with the wreckage.New Build

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