|Introduced||1936 -1939 employing parts of earlier Dean engines|
|Weight – Loco||49t 0cwt|
|Tender||40t 0cwt or 36t 15cwt|
|Driving Wheels||5ft 8ins|
|Boiler Pressure||180psi some superheated|
|Cylinders||Inside – 18in x 26in|
|Valve Gear||Stephenson (slide valve)|
The GWR absorbed the Cambrian Railways in 1923, but with the Cambrian main line being lightly built, permanent way restrictions debarred the use of heavier locomotives, meaning that only a few classes of GWR locomotive were allowed to run over it. The result was the extension of the life of the Duke class locomotives, which had been built from 1895 at Swindon Works for express work in Cornwall. However, by the 1930s many of the Duke class were becoming uneconomical to repair, particularly with regard to the curved outside frames, which were weaker than the later straight-topped version.
In December 1929, Duke class 3265 Tre Pol and Pen was withdrawn, and the cylinders and motion, together with a spare Duke boiler and smokebox, were fitted to the straight-topped frames and cab of Bulldog 3365 Charles Grey Mott. It was initially intended that 3265 would be renumbered 3200 as with previous prototypes, however it was decided that 3265 would fall into the number sequence at a later date. (It actually became 9065 later). The only difference between 3265 and the production Earl class locomotives was the use of three feet two inch bogie wheels instead of three feet eight inches. The reduction in axle weight, as compared to the Bulldogs, allowed for working over the Cambrian section.
When they were built the class was numbered 3200-3228 and 3200-3219 were allocated the names Earls (the first twelve actually carrying their names for a short time). Some complaints were received from the noble Earls concerned because their names were being applied to such antiquated looking locomotives. Because of this the names were quickly transferred to much more modern looking Castle class locomotives (5043 onwards, in the same order)
The engines were generally known as Dukedogs because of their ancestory. In 1946 they were all renumbered in the 9000-9028 series. They spent most of thier lives on the Cambrian lines in Wales and they also worked on the Didcot – Newbury and Southampton line until this was upgraded to allow heavier engines during the war.
With the onset of different operating conditions after the Second World War, withdrawals began in July 1948 with only a few surviving until 1960 when the last was withdrawn.