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Loco History

About the Loco 2874

Grateful thanks to Richard Derry and Dave Walker for information and copies of GWR records that have made this history possible.

We would, of course, be delighted to receive any further information and photographs of the loco either in its working life, in Barry or since.

2874 was built in Swindon to Churchward’s design and was part of a batch of 28 to Lot 210, Diagram I and had Works Orders of 2762 – 2789 respectively. Work started in 1918 and was completed at the end of November. The recorded cost to build was £4992 and when the tender was included £6193. It was rated 8F with a tractive effort of 35,380 lbs weighed out at 92 tons 12cwt with its tender.

Coming into traffic on 4th December 1918 it was just too late to help with the major war effort where it’s class colleagues provided valuable assistance to the Royal Navy in hauling coal from the Welsh coalfields to numerous ports in the Western region and up into Lancashire for onward movement to Scapa Flow – the so-called “Jellicoe Specials”. The first shed was Old Oak Common where it worked turn and turn about on the coal trains from Wales to London – later homes included Reading, Leamington, Tyseley, Neath, Cardiff, Banbury (1947), Stourbridge Newport , Aberdare and its final one again at Neath. There is a lovely photo on www.WarwickshireRailways.com     of her standing at Tyseley on Sunday 21st June 1931. The loco was condemned on 24th May 1963 and sold to Woodham Bros on 9th October that year.


As was usual with the GWR, the boiler that is now on 2874 (Standard No 1 – 2961) saw service on numerous other locos including Halls (Olton, Broome, Trentham and Butlers) and Granges (Arlington and Haughton) and covered some 1,007,205 miles – if only we could do the renovation of the boiler for what it cost new (£971) we would be very pleased!


We have had sight of the engine record card from the National Archives at Kew and these confirm that the loco covered 1,255,231 miles in service – we now have a fairly complete list of the boilers that were used over the years and the tenders that were coupled. Full details will be added to the site in due course and we would be delighted to publish any photos of the loco in GWR or BR service. Of great interest is the cost of maintenance shown in the records – in the 1930s a heavy general cost between £450 and £700 and a boiler overhaul between £150 and £700 – if only those prices were available from Swindon today our task would be much easier.


Of course, what make this 2-8-0 different from the rest of the class in preservation is that it is likely to be the only one to ever run again with the original internal steam pipes – although the class was designed in this way the vast majority were later converted to external pipes and all of the 38xx class were built to the latter, external pattern.


A Brief History of 2874, Part 1

4/12/1918                Released to Traffic at Old Oak Common

9-10/1920                Swindon – Intermediate Repair

5-8/1922                  Swindon Works – probably Heavy General

4/8/1922                 Allocated to Reading,

5-8/1925                  Swindon Works – intermediate or heavy overhaul,

8-11/1928                 Swindon Works – probably Gen. Repair,

10/11/1928              Allocated to Leamington shed,

9/1929                      Tyseley

7/1930                       Tyseley Shops,

29/9/1930                Tyseley,

7/1932- 4/1933        Swindon works – Heavy General Repair and boiler swop

4/1933                       Allocated to Tyseley shed,

4/1936                      Old Oak Common


We have identified that its last Heavy General overhaul and boiler swop took place in early 1960 – the loco had at that time covered 1,173,742 miles and so we know we will have to overhaul frames parts and a boiler that have covered 81,489 miles in three years service – not to mention over 50 years of no use and no attention!

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