Built by the Great Western Railway, originally as 2-8-0T 5275 for use in South Wales hauling heavy coal trains, the locomotive became redundant in this traffic as coal usage became less, and was put in to storage at Swindon. The original building cost was £4,380 which included £933 for the boiler.
It re-entered the Swindon on the 23rd July 1934 for alteration to 2-8-2T arrangement, and was renumbered 7200. The modifications cost £200.
After completion and running in, 7200 left Swindon for the Welsh Neath division and was shedded at Llanelli until 1940, when it returned to the Swindon pool for light repairs and again in 1942 for a intermediate repair. For some reason in 1943, 7200 ended up at Tyseley for repairs, leaving soon afterwards to return to its home ground. In 1944 after completing 226,294 miles 7200 was shopped at Caerphilly, where it received its second boiler C2606 and then returned to Llanelli and Landore for a short while.
In 1947 7200 then moved on to new pastures, the Newton Abbot Division. Regularly carrying out banking duties from Aller Junction and for a short while being used on the heavy china clay traffic out of St Blazy, it was even known to have worked holiday trains from Paignton to Newton Abbot. Returning to the Swindon pool in 1952 for a heavy general overhaul 7200 received its third boiler C3174 after 408,686 miles. On completion of the overhaul 7200 returned to its old stomping grounds of Llanelli, Ebbw Junction, Landore, completing only a further 75,281 miles before returning to Caerphilly in 1956 for its third heavy general and its fourth boiler C5218 (which 7200 still carries to the present day).
7200 was one of only four locomotives to carry the coal scuttle type bunker which enabled it to have a greater water carrying capacity than the rest of the class.
From there 7200 moved on to DanyGraig, Llanelli and Landore, clocking up another 70,000 miles with general freight and iron ore duties, before returning from Duffryn Yard in 1960 for its last heavy intermediate repair at Caerphilly. During the last two years of service 7200 managed to clock up a further 50,000 miles including a trip to Stafford Road Wolverhampton for its final light casual in February 1962.
A year later, on the 2nd July 1963, 7200 was condemned – aged 33 years, and with a total of 605,523 miles. On the 9th October 1963 it was sold to Woodham Brothers at Barry Wales, where it stood in a siding for eighteen years.
In September 1981 7200 departed Barry and was moved to the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, where it stood in a siding for a further fifteen years.
The 7200 Trust was formed in 1996, and restoration started. By 2012 and £200,000 later, the progress made was impressive, but there was still much to do.
The rolling chassis is virtually complete with the inside motion and brake gear complete. Work is in progress to fit sidebars and crossheads, with installation of the connecting rods following shortly. New tanks have been installed, as has a virtually new bunker. The cab is also being repaired, hopefully being refitted shortly. The chimney and blower ring and many other parts have been made new.
When the restoration is complete the locomotive will be based at Quainton but will be available for hire by other heritage railways.
By October 2018 the contract to overhaul the boiler had been awarded to Heritage Boiler Steam services at Huyton. The boiler was transported to Huyton in January 2020 to allow the work to commence.
In November 2020 the 7200 Trust announced that the tanks, cab and smokebox had been fitted back onto the frames of the locomotive. The Tanks and bunker are completely new. The work was essential as the locomotive needs to be be moved at Quainton from the up yard to the down yard as the work associated with HS2 will restrict movements between the two yards.
At the end of 2020 it was thought that it could still be another three years before work is complete on the boiler.
|Home Base||Current Status||Owner|
|Buckinghamshire Railway Centre – Quainton||Under restoration||7200 Trust|