5532 was turned out from Swindon Works during June 1928 at a total cost of £3,602. After a few days running in at Reading, it was first allocated to Stourbridge Junction for duties in the West Midlands. Its next shed was Worcester. Later, whilst at Newport Ebbw Junction, 5532 was used to haul the Royal Train on 22nd October 1941. With classmate 5516, it hauled the train from Hereford to Monmouth Troy. Later the same day it hauled the Royal Train (with King George VI on board) from Monmouth Troy to Ross on Wye.

In October 1959 it hauled the final passenger train from Bristol to Frome.

BR motive power depot allocations since 1948.

Date ArrivedDepot
January 1948Pontypool Road
August 1952Aberbeeg
December 1953Oswestry
December 1953Bristol Bath Road
November 1958Swindon
May 1959Westbury
November 1959Plymouth Laira

5532 was withdrawn from service on 10th July 1962 from Laira, having travelled 705,111 miles in service. It was bought by Woodham Brothers Barry on in September 1962, and was to spend the next 20 years at Barry. It stayed there until 1982 when sold to the Dean Forest Railway.

The Llangollen Railway Great Western Locomotive Group wanted to buy a Small Prairie tank from Barry in 1987, and from those that remained chose 5538. However, as this had a cracked cylinder, the group exchanged the frames and some other parts with 5532, which was owned by the Dean Forest Railway, as this was felt to be the most economic option.

As the numbers of engines are decided by their frames and therefore the Group became owners of 5532 when the exchange was made.

The Group bought a range of components over the years. They then helped build and pay for a part of the new engine shed, including an inspection pit. When the shed was ready, the frames were moved in during 1997, and restoration of the frames commenced. Additionally, the group bought connecting and coupling rods, paid for the repair and replacement of springs, contract work on the frames, and turning and reprofiling all the wheels. In all around £30,000 has been spent on restoration since the move into the shed.

At the AGM of the Llangollen Railway Great Western Locomotive Group in 2012 it was decided to undertake restoration of the boiler with the assistance of volunteer labour. This work began in January 2012 and is still ongoing and resulted in a boiler inspection and testing in June 2013 which meant that the work on restoration could proceed. More than £50,000 was spent on restoration in 2013 alone.

It is hoped that the locomotive will be in steam again in 2018 if sufficient funds can be found to overhaul the boiler.

In 2017 2859, which was also owned by Llangollen Railway Great Western Locomotive Group,  was put up for sale to pay for work on 5532.

In April 2020 an appeal was launched to raise £20,000 to pay for the tubes required as part of the work on the boiler. By this time work had progressed to the stage where the boiler barrel had been reattached to the firebox at Llangollen works.

By September 2020 the locomotive was nearing the end of a thirty year restoration at the Llangollen Railway. Its bottom half, tanks and bunker were complete and work had started on the boiler.

By January 2021 the locomotive owners indicated that providing funding was available the boiler work could be completed in 2021 and the locomotive could be in service in 2022.  

By June 2021 the owners were continuing with the restoration of the locomotive although the planned steaming date had slipped. The demise of the Llangollen Railway Engineering left the owners with the question of where and how the complete the work on the boiler.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Llangollen RailwayUnder restorationThe Llangollen Railway Great Western Locomotive Group
5532 under restoration in the workshops at Llangollen – April 2016
5532 under restoration at Llangollen – June 2021

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