6800 4-6-0 GWR Collett Grange 6800 – 6879 – 6880 Betton Grange



Power Classification 5MT
Introduced 1936 – 1939
Designer Collett
Company GWR
Weight – Loco 74t 0cwt
               Tender 40t 0cwt
Driving Wheels 5ft 8ins
Boiler Pressure 225psi superheated
Cylinders Outside  – 18.5in x 30in
Tractive Effort 28,875lbf
Valve Gear Stephenson  (piston valve)

The GWR locomotive standardisation policy pursued by Churchward envisaged a range of locomotive classes which would be suitable for the majority of duties, and yet which would share a small number of standard components. Amongst the designs suggested in 1901 was a 4-6-0 with 5-foot-8-inch (1.73 m) diameter coupled wheels, and the Standard No. 1 boiler. Although planned in 1901, none were built until 1936, by which time Collett was in charge at Swindon. He took the Churchward proposal, and modified the design of the cab and controls to the current style.

The Grange class was a version of the Hall class with smaller wheels. They were intended to replace the 4300 class and they incorporated certain parts (such as the wheels and motion) of the withdrawn 4300 class 2-6-0s they were replacing. The manor class (7800) was built at the same time, being a lighter version for lines with restricted route availability. It was intended to replace all the 4300 class with Granges and Manors (6800-6899 and 7800-7899 being planned), but the Second World War stopped the conversion programme after only eighty Granges were completed.

 4300 4300 class rebuilt in 1932 from 9300 class locomotives
 4900 4900 Hall class introduced in 1924
 Grange 6800 Grange class introduced in 1936
 7800 7800 Manor class introduced in 1938

Because the Granges and Manors were lower in height than the Hall class they had a raised section of running plate over the cylinders.

The Granges were based throughout the former Great Western system, with the Newton Abbott division of the network having a particularly strong allocation. Newton Abbott was responsible for the provision of locomotives to pilot heavily loaded trains over a 25 mile stretch of line known as the South Devon Banks which included Dainton Bank (around 1 in 40), Rattery (around 1 in 50) and Hemerdon (around 1 in 42). Before the days of widespread use of cars this section would be used by dozens of holiday excursions every day in summer. These trains were often loaded to 12 coaches and more and typically weighed more than 500 tons. It was customary to use a Grange class locomotives as pilots to assist the train locomotive on these heavily laden trains. Grange class locomotives were frequently used to pilot or relieve the train locomotive on the Cornish Riviera Express.

The first of the 80 locomotives to be withdrawn was 6801 Aylburton Grange in November 1960. No significant number of withdrawals took place until 1964 when 25 were taken out of service. The last 46 were withdrawn in 1965 with 4 surviving until December of that year.

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