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9351 was originally built in 1934 as 5101 class 2-6-2T but converted to a 2-6-0 tender engine following its purchase for preservation.

As 5193 the locomotive started its working life at Stourbridge Junction shed where it was mainly used on suburban passenger trains to Birmingham Snow Hill and Wolverhampton Low Level. Apart from a brief spell at Oxley shed at Wolverhampton between July and September 1939 it was based at Stourbridge for 18 years.

BR motive power depot allocations.

Date ArrivedDepot
January 1948Stourbridge
October 1952Truro
July 1953St Blazey
October 1960Whitland
October 1960Taunton
November 1960Whitland
March 1962Stored
May 1962Severn Tunnel Junction

During May 1956 when the turntable at Penzance shed was undergoing repairs 5193 and othe members of the class were employed to haul the express passenger trains to avoid express locomotives having to run tender first.

5193 was withdrawn from service June 1962 and sold for scrap to Woodham Brothers and it arrived in the Barry scrapyard in September 1962.

5193 in Woodham’s scrapyard at Barry – c1976

5193 was purchased by the 5193 Fund and moved by road to Steamport at Southport in August 1979. Following the closure of Steamport and the removal of the stock to the newly formed Ribble Steam Railway at Preston 5193 was purchased by the West Somerset Railway (WSR). It was moved to Mineheadin December 1998.

In June 2000 at the AGM of the WSR plc it was formally announced that a plan had been drawn up to convert the 2-6-2T to a 2-6-0 tender locomotive which would provide the railway with a operating flexibility due to its larger water and coal capacity.

It was rebuilt by the West Somerset Railway into a 2-6-0 resembling a small boilered version of the GWR 4300 class, and numbered 9351.

5101 small
5101 class
4300 small
4300 class rebuilt in 1932 from 9300 class locomotives
9300 class

The conversion was essentially to remove the water tanks and the whole rear of the locomotive including the rear of the frames, trailing wheels and fuel bunker.

The decision by the West Somerset Railway to convert 5193 followed a detailed inspection which showed that the side tanks, rear frame and bunker were very heavily corroded and would have to be totally replaced. It was considered that a viable option was to discard the side tanks, cut the frames behind the rear footplate steps and build a new 9300 (later 7322 class) style cab. The work to convert the locomotive was less than rebuilding 5193 as a 5100 class tank engine and it was possible to return it to service in steam quicker using a hired tender.

Interestingly a Mogul with a no 2 boiler was part of G.J.Curchward’s standardisation plan of the early 1900s, although it was never built. C.B.Collett also considered converting Prairies to Moguls to provide a lighter weight 2-6-0 than the 4300 class but the weight saving was eventually judged to be too small to justify the conversion.

The chassis forward of the cab is almost identical in the two classes. However, the standard no 2 boiler and smokebox of the 5101 class is slightly smaller in diameter (by about 5 ins) and has lower pitch than the standard No 4 boiler fitted to the 4300 Moguls (and the 3150, 4200, 5205 and 7200 tanks). Nevertheless, a close resemblance to a 7322 series Mogul with outside steam pipes, lever reverse and flanged motion bracket, later Collett style cab and 3000 gallon tender was achieved.

In September 2004 the completed locomotive was moved out of the shed at Minehead and the fire lit pending a visit from the boiler inspector. Shorty afterwards 5193 entered service as a 2-6-0 carrying the number 9351.

In mid-2015 the locomotive was withdrawn from service following the expiry of its ten year boiler certificate.

The boiler was overhauled at LNWR Crewe where it passed its steam test in November 2017.The boiler was subsequently returned to Minehead and lifted onto the frames towards the end of November 2017. The bottom end is having a full overhaul at Minehead and the driving wheels have have had new tyres fitted on the South Devon Railway.

It had been expected to return to service in 2018 but in January 2019 it was thought that it would be in service around April 2019.

In July 2019 the locomotive moved under its own steam and after some test runs was ready to enter traffic on the West Somerset Railway.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
West Somerset RailwayOperationalWSR plc
9351 at Minehead on the West Somerset Railway – June 2012
9351 at Minehead on the West Somerset Railway – June 2012
9351 at Minehead on the West Somerset Railway – June 2012
9351 at Minehead on the West Somerset Railway – September 2019
9351 at Highley on the Severn Valley Railway – September 2022

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