5700 0-6-0T GWR Collett 3600 – 3799, 4600 – 4699, 7700 – 7799, 8700 – 8799, 9600 – 9682 & 9711 – 9799


Power Classification 4F (some LMR based engines were reclassified 3F in 1953)
Introduced 1929 – 1949
Designer Collett
Company GWR
Weight 47t 10cwt
Driving Wheels 4ft 7.5ins
Boiler Pressure 200psi
Cylinders Inside – 17.5in x 24in
Tractive Effort 22,515lbf
Valve Gear Stephenson (slide valve)

Three features distinguished Great Western Railway (GWR) locomotives from virtually all others. They were copper-capped chimneys, brass safety valve bonnets and pannier tanks which carried water in oblong carriers bolted to each side of the boiler. The reason for using pannier tanks in preference to the more widely employed saddle tanks was because on the GWR the use of square-topped Belpaire fireboxes made it difficult to accommodate saddle tanks. The use of panniers also allowed access to the inside valve gear and cylinders for inspection and maintenance.

The 5700 was the GWR standard type of pannier tank locomotive. They were designed for shunting and light goods work.

They were built as replacements for earlier saddle tank and pannier tank locomotives dating back to the 1880s. They were very similar to the 2021 and 2721 classes from which they were developed, apart from having Belpaire boilers, enclosed cabs, higher pressure boilers and larger bunkers. They had tapered chimneys and large domes. None of the variations from the earlier engines were considered sufficient to test the design with a prototype.

 2021 2021 class introduced in 1897 by Dean and built at Wolverhampton.
 2721 2721 class introduced in 1897 by Dean and built at Swindon. Some had open cabs.
 5700 small 5700 class introduced 1929

The first engine number 5700, appeared from the North British Locomotive Company works in 1929 and it was the first of no fewer than 837 locomotives to be built including 6700 and 9700 class derivatives). Seven different locomotive builders were used in the construction of these engines.

Of the 837, 746 were part of the 5700 class.

The locomotives were numbered as follows-


Number Builder Date Built


5700 3600-3699 GWR Swindon 1938-41         100
3700-3799 GWR Swindon 1936-38         100
4600-4699 GWR Swindon 1941-45         100
5700-5749 North British Locomotive Company 1929           50
5750-5799 GWR Swindon 1929-30           50
7700-7724 Kerr, Stuart 1930           25
7725-7774 North British Locomotive Company 1929-31           25
7775-7799 Armstrong Whitworth 1930           25
8700-8724 Bayer Peacock 1931           25
8725-8749 W G Bagnall 1930-31           25
8750-8798 GWR Swindon 1933-34           49
9600-9661 GWR Swindon 1945-46           62
9662-9682 BR Swindon 1948-49           21
9711-9799 GWR Swindon 1934-36           89
6700 6700-6724 W G Bagnall 1930           25
6725-6749 Yorkshire Engine Company 1930           25
6750-6779 GWR Swindon 1947-50           30
9700 9700 Converted from 8700 1931             1
9701-10 GWR Swindon 1933          10

Those numbered in the 6700 series were to the 5700 design but were not fitted with vacuum brakes and no Automatic Train Control fittings as they were designed for shunting duties only and designated 6700 class locomotives.

In 1932, 8700 was rebuilt with condensing apparatus, a Weir fitted pump and shorter pannier tanks. This was to allow the locomotives to work over the London Transport Metropolitan Line to Smithfield. After trials with 8700, 9701-9710 were built in 1933 to a slightly modified design. It had been found that 8700s shortened pannier tanks did not carry sufficient water so the new locomotives had the pannier tanks extended at the rear down to the running plate. 8700 was converted to the new design and renumbered 9700.

The latter locomotives (also known as the 8750 class, introduced in 1933) were of a slightly modified design. They had detail alterations including increased weight (to 49t) and a modified cab with angular windows on the front and back instead of the original round windows. 8700 had the detail alterations but retained the original style cab. (This was not the original 8700 which was converted to form the prototype for the 9700 class and was renumbered 9700).

Thirteen 5700s were fitted with spark arresting chimneys for working in industrial and military systems and sidings, particularly the WD ammunition dump at Milton, near Didcot during World War II.

7722 was fitted with winding gear in 1946 to the Pwllyrhebog Colliery incline on the former Taff Vale Railway. This was was a 34 mile (1.2 km) mile 1-in-13 incline with a continuous rope cable so that a descending train was partially counterbalanced by an ascending train. Operation of the incline ended in 1952.

Between 1956 and 1963 thirteen locomotives were sold to London Transport for departmental duties, where some of them remained working until 1971. The thirteen were-

5775 L89 July 1963 – January 1970
7711 L90 January 1957 – October 1961
7760 L90 January 1962 – June 1971
5752 L91 March 1957 – November 1960
5757 L91 December 1960– December 1967
5786 L92 April 1958 – September 1969
7779 L93 October 1958 – December 1967
7752 L94 December 1959 – June 1971
5764 L95 May 1960 – June 1971
7741 L96 January 1962 – December 1966
7749 L97 September 1962 – September 1968
7739 L98 November 1962 – November 1968
7715 L99 June 1963 – December 1969

The panniers were not used to haul passenger services on the London Transport network, but rather were employed on night engineering services, used for yard shunting and deployed on spoil workings to TT’s Watford waste site. Six of these have since been preserved.

Between 1959 and 1965 the National Coal Board (NCB) bought five class 5700 engines for use in pits in South Wales where they retained their BR numbers. The NCB locomotives did not receive maintenance to match GWR standards and were run into the ground, saving the cost of expensive overhauls. One of the NCB, 7754, was the last in industrial service, and after working at various collieries was moved to Deep Duffryn Colliery at Mountain Ash in 1970, where an ex-GWR fitter kept it working until 1975 when a loose piston resulted in a blown cylinder cover. 7754 could still be seen on shed in 1980. The NCB donated 7754 to the National Museum Wales, who placed it on permanent loan to the Llangollen Railway. It is now owned by the Llangollen Railway Trust.

In the early years of British Railways the boundaries between the Western Region and the Southern Region changed a number of times. 5700s took up new duties in a variety of places:

  • At Weymouth, 5700s operated the branch line to the Isle of Portland (replacingLSWR O2 class 0-4-4T locomotives). They were also seen pulling boat trains through the streets of Weymouth.
  • Six 5700s were allocated to Nine Elms and worked empty stock between Waterloo and Clapham Junction (replacing LSWR M7 class 0-4-4T locomotives).
  • The shortFolkestone Harbour branch line from Folkstone Harbour statio to Folkstone Junction was always problematic when hauling heavy boat trains up the 1-in-36 incline. Six 5700s were allocated to Dover for working (including banking) on the branch (replacing SER R1 class 0-6-0T locomotives).

Apart from a few areas where they were barred due to the axle loading members of the class were distributed throughout the system. By 1954 only five depots on the Western Region did  not have ant 5700 class locomotives allocated to them.

The last scheduled passenger trains hauled by 5700s on BR were on seen London Midland Region on the Wrexham to New Brighton route (passing over old LNERterritory). The Wrexham to Seacombe service ended at the beginning of 1960 but was immediately replaced by a Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) service between Wrexham and New Brighton. The service on Bank Holidays was so popular that demand outstripped available DMUs, and a relief train of four coaches pulled by No. 3749 was laid on. Two more 5700s were used over the Spring Bank Holiday that year, but from then BR Standard class 4 2-6-4T locomotives usually handled the relief services. In 1965 5700s were used for the last time on Whit Monday and August Bank Holiday relief services.

The 5700s were the last steam locomotives used on GWR/Western region. The last working locomotives were allocated to Croes Newydd, and were working goods trains and shunting until November 1966. By the end of the steam era the record keeping of allocations and working of local steam locomotives was rather lax, and it was not unknown for locomotives to be used after being officially withdrawn. For many years Nos. 4646, 4696, and 9774 were thought to be the last ex-GWR locomotives to work on British Rail, but No. 9641 was also still in steam at Croes Newydd at the same time.

Most of the 5700, 6700, 7700 and 8799 series were withdrawn between 1957 and 1962 whereas the 9700 and 3700 series were mostly withdrawn in 1963 or 1964. The withdrawal of the 3600, 4600 and 9600 series occurred in 1964 and 1965. The group that had the shortest working life were the last series of 6750 to 6779, an example of which is number 6771, built in October 1950 and withdrawn in March 1958.

The 5700 class locomotives were the most numerous GWR class still in service at the end of 1965 with 27 still in service. The other two classes still operating at this time were the 1600 and 5600 classes which were also tank engines.


Class Number
 1600 small 1600           3
 5600 small 5600           2
 5700 small 5700        27

The 27 5700 class engines withdrawn in 1966 were allocated to six depots with the largest allocation being at Oxley which by this time was a London Midland Region depot along with Shrewsbury, Stourbridge and Tyseley. All of 1600 and 5600 class locomotives were withdrawn from Croes Newydd at Wrexham.

Number of 5700 class locomotives withdrawn in 1966.

Bath Green Park                2
Croes Newydd               6
Oxley               7
Shrewsbury              2
Stourbridge              4
Tyseley              6

Accidents and Incidents

  • On 26 August 1940, a bombing raid destroyed a goods shed atBordesley, West Midlands. During the raid Peter Smout, an 18-year old engine cleaner who was acting as the fireman on a shunter, volunteered to drive 7758 to pull wagons out of the blazing goods shed. He made three more trips. He was assisted by Frederick Blake, a wagon examiner and a navy veteran from World War I, who operated the points levers. When they finished, the right hand side of the footplate was too hot to touch, and Blake had to use his hat to work the points as the levers were also too hot to touch. Both men were awarded the George Medal for their courage.
  • On 7 December 1961, a locomotive of the class was in collision with a freight train atBodmin General station, Cornwall due to a faulty signal failing to give a clear danger aspect.


Sixteen members of the 5700 class have been preserved. One member of the class , 3612, was removed from the scrapyard at Barry in December 1978 but was scrapped at the Severn Valley Railway in 1979 to act as spares for other pannier tanks there.

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