GWR 1400 Class
|GWR 4800 class (later 1400 class)|
4866, one of the four preserved 1400 Class 0-4-2T
|Builder||GWR Swindon Works|
|Order number||Lots 279, 287, 288|
|UIC classification||B1 nt|
|Gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Driver diameter||5 ft 2 in (1.575 m)|
|3 ft 8 in (1.118 m)|
|Wheelbase||15 ft 6 in (4.72 m)|
|Length||29 ft 11 in (9.12 m)|
|Width||8 ft 7 in (2.62 m)|
|Height||12 ft 6 1⁄4 in (3.82 m)|
|Axle load||13 tons 18 cwt (31,100 lb or 14.1 t) full|
|Weight on drivers||27 tons 8 cwt (61,400 lb or 27.9 t) full|
|Locomotive weight||41 tons 6 cwt (92,500 lb or 42.0 t) full|
|Water capacity||800 imp gal (3,600 l; 960 US gal)|
|Boiler pressure||165 psi (1.14 MPa)|
|Firegrate area||12.8 sq ft (1.19 m2)|
|869.8 sq ft (80.81 m2)|
|– Firebox||83.2 sq ft (7.73 m2)|
|Cylinder size||16 in × 24 in (406 mm × 610 mm)|
|Valve type||Slide valves|
|Tractive effort||13,900 lbf (62 kN)|
|Railroad(s)||GWR » BR|
|Class||4800, later 1400|
|Power class||GWR: Unclassified,
|Number||4800–4874, later 1400–1474|
|Axle load class||GWR: Unclassified|
|Preserved||1420, 1442, 1450, 1466|
|Disposition||Four preserved, remainder scrapped|
The GWR 1400 Class is a class of steam locomotive designed by the Great Western Railway for branch line passenger work. It was originally classified as the 4800 Class when introduced in 1932, and renumbered in 1946.
Like the 48xx/14xx, the 517 Class was a lightweight loco for branchline work; it was built at Wolverhampton Works between 1868 and 1885.
In this period evolutionary changes included:
- 517-570 – with 13' 7" wheelbase, inside bearings to trailing wheels, and saddle tanks built 1868-1869.
- 571-576 – with 13' 7" wheelbase, outside bearings and side tanks built 1869-1870
- 826-836, 838-849, 1154–1165, 202-05, 215-222, 1421–1432, 1433–1444, 1465-1482 – all with 15' wheelbase with side tanks built 1873-1883
- 1483-1488 – with 15' 6" wheelbase and side tanks built 1884-1885
Later gradual changes included: Belpaire fireboxes, boilers rated at 165psi as opposed to 150 psi, full cabs, extended bunkers and the progressive conversion of short wheelbase locos to 15' or 15' 6". From 1924 onwards, several were converted to run with an autocoach, and in this configuration were the direct ancestors of the 48xx class.
In this form, the updated 517's were but a small step away from the 48xx. The wheelbase was still 15' 6", the boiler still rated at only 165 psi, and the wheels 5' 2" and 3' 8". New was the Collett-style cab and bunker and the boiler nominally to a new design. A three bar crosshead was added to the motion. This was a 1924 innovation introduced with the GWR 5600 Class and also seen in the 1930s-built 5400, 6400 and 7400 classes of pannier tanks.
The 4800 Class was designed as a more modern version of the 517 Class, which were by then beginning to show their relative age. The first locomotive, No 4800, was built by Swindon Works and entered service in 1932, with a further seventy-four engines of this type following up to 1936. During this period, Swindon also built twenty 5800 Class engines, which were broadly similar but which were not fitted with autotrain equipment or the Swindon top feed as later fitted to a number of 4800 class engines.
The 4800 Class locomotives retained their original numbers until the GWR decided to experimentally convert twelve 2800 Class 2-8-0s for oil-firing. It was decided that the converted engines would be reclassified as the 4800 Class and so the 75 tank locomotives already carrying this designation were reclassified as the 1400 Class with running numbers 1400-1474. The engines did not revert to their original classification after the experiment ended in 1948.
The 1400 Class was designed to work with the GWR design of autocoach, a specialist coach designed for push-pull working and which could also be used with engines of other classes such as the 517's, the GWR 5400 Class, the GWR 6400 Class and the older GWR 2021 Class. This lack of auto gear was the cause of earlier scrapping of the 5800 Class as there was no work for them. The last, 5818, was withdrawn from Oxford shed in September 1959.
The auto-fitted locos fared little better; scrapping commenced in 1956 and all were withdrawn by early 1965. By the early 1960s several had been 'in store' (parked in an out-of-the-way siding with a tarpaulin over the chimney) for some time, being occasionally steamed to replace failed diesels.
Four examples have been preserved, all late withdrawals from service in the 1963-1965 period. All went direct to preservation from British Railways in relatively good condition. The current location of the preserved examples is as follows:
- 1420 – South Devon Railway (under overhaul)
- 1442 – Tiverton Museum, Tiverton, Devon (static exhibit)
- 1450 – Dean Forest Railway (Operational-on Tours) On The Severn Valley Railway this year.
- 1466 – Didcot Railway Centre (awaiting overhaul)
A fictional 1400 class locomotive (Oliver the Western Engine) appears in The Railway Series of children's books written by the Rev. W. Awdry, and in the spin-off TV series (Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends).
Two of these engines (GWR 1401 and GWR 1462) played prominent roles in the film The Titfield Thunderbolt, the first (1401) as the main locomotive of the Titfield–Mallingford branch, and the second (1462) as a stolen locomotive.
- Whitehurst, Brian (1973). Great Western engines, names, numbers, types, classes: 1940 to preservation. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. pp. 17–18, 97, 102, 166. ISBN 0-902888-21-8. OCLC 815661.
- The Great Western Archive – 1400 class
- South Devon Railway - Details of no. 1420 (includes drawing and specifications)
- GWR 14xx Class - Past & Present (includes operating history of the preserved examples)