These were taper-boiler, pannier tanks designed for heavy shunting and were developed from the 5700 class.
|2021 class introduced in 1897 by Dean and built at Wolverhampton.|
|2721 class introduced in 1897 by Dean and built at Swindon. Some had open cabs.|
|5700 class introduced 1929 by Collett.|
|9400 class introduced 1947|
They were in fact a tank engine version of the 2251 class and used the same boiler as the 0-6-0.
|2251 class introduced by Collett in 1930.|
The first ten locomotives (9400 – 9409) were built at Swindon and were superheated. The remainder appeared after nationalisation and were not superheated.
Two hundred and ten locomotives of the class were built – 3400-3409, 8400-8499 and 9400-9499.
|9400 – 9409||Great Western, Swindon||1947|
|9410 – 9459||Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns||1950|
|9460 – 9489||Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns||1950 – 1953|
|8400 – 8449||W G Bagnall||1949 – 1954|
|8450 – 8479||Yorkshire Engine Company||1949 – 1952|
|8480 – 8499||Hudswell Clarke (subcontractor to Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns)||1952|
|9490 – 9499||Hunslet Engine Company (subcontractor to Yorkshire Engine Company)||1954 – 1955|
|3400 – 3409||Hunslet Engine Company (subcontractor to Yorkshire Engine Company)||1955 – 1956|
The rationale for this huge order has long been debated, although officially it was to replace an equal number of still remaining pre-1923 south Welsh 0-6-2Ts. In the event owing to materials shortages and heavy post-war demand on the British locomotive industry, delivery was not completed until late 1956, after some builders had already subcontracted their orders to others. The last built was 3409 which was ordered by GWR in December 1947 and delivered by Yorkshire Engine Company in October 1956. By this time some earlier engines were already in storage, as traffic patterns were changing and the adoption of diesel shunters was making a massive impact. A 1955-built engine was withdrawn from service as early as 1959.
The last in a long line of GWR pannier tanks, a GWR design dating back to the 1860s. They were very sturdily built engines and there main dimensions were the same as the 5700 class. The design of the class was unusual in that they were one of the few pannier tank designs with taper boilers and the pannier tanks did not flank the sides of the smokebox as on most other pannier tanks except the 1500 and 9700 classes.
3409 was the last pannier tank to be built in Britain. It was built by Yorkshire Engine Company and enterred service in October 1956.
The engines were mostly used for heavy shunting and short distant freight and passenger duties, but 8400-8406 were employed on the former LMS system at Bromsgrove giving banking assistance on the Lickey Incline. The 9400 class were used on Paddington empty stock work right up to the end of steam on the Western Region of British Railways. A familiar sight at the buffer stops at departure side in 1964–1965 was a filthy 9400 class locomotive devoid of number plates simmering at the head of a rake of British Railways Mark 1 coaches.
They had a very short life due to the introduction of diesels to replace them. Of the 210 built only 78 were still in use in January 1964 and by the end of June 1965 the last members of the class were withdrawn. 8447 holds the unenviable record of the shortest life of any GWR locomotive in BR times, beginning in August 1954 and ending four years and nine months later in May 1959.
9424 was sold for industrial use, surviving until 1966.