GWR 4200 Class

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GWR 4200 Class
GWR 4247 at Toddington.JPG
Preserved 4200 Class no. 4247 on the
Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Churchward
Builder GWR
Build date 1910
Configuration 2-8-0T
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter 4 ft 7½ in (1,410 mm)
Locomotive weight 81 tons 12 cwt
Fuel type coal
Boiler pressure 200 psi
Cylinders two outside
Cylinder size 18½ in (470 mm) x 30 in (762 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort 31,450 lbf
Power class GWR: D
BR: 7F
Axle load class GWR: Red

The Great Western Railway (GWR) 4200 Class is a class of 2-8-0T steam locomotives.


They were designed for short-haul coal trips[1] from coal mines to ports in South Wales, working 1000+ ton coal trains through the Welsh valleys. The locomotives were built with large boilers and narrow side tanks; these engines would pass numerous water stops along their routes so the limited tank capacity was not a constraint. Because of the class’s heavy water consumption and limited tank capacity they were nicknamed “Water Carts”.

Many of the lines in South Wales had sharp curves. To traverse these curves, the locomotives were constructed with side play in the trailing driving wheels and coupling rods with spherical joints to allow for movement in any direction.[1]

The later 5205 Class were very similar.

105 4200s were build between 1910 and 1923. Fourteen of these were rebuilt between 1937 and 1939 as 2-8-2T of the 7200 Class. In later years many of the remainder were upgraded to 5205 specification with outside steam pipes, larger cylinders and in some cases curved frames at the front end.[1]


Five have been preserved, nos 4247, 4248, 4253, 4270 and 4277.

All five engines were rescued from Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales.


This loco is in 5205 condition with outside steampipes, but a straight footplate. It has been restored and run in preservation.[2] The loco is currently in service on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway. It left Barry in April 1985.


Also in 5205 specification, 4248 has been conserved rather than restored and is on static display at Swindon Steam Railway Museum dismantled as if a locomotive 'in the works'. It left Barry in May 1986.


4253 has a 5275 style footplate with a raised section over the cylinders and is now under restoration on the Kent and East Sussex Railway. It left Barry in August 1987, but was essentially untouched for many years.[3] Restoration is still in the early stages.


4270 still retains inside steampipes and is thus rather closer to original condition. It left the Barry yard in July 1985 and returned to steam at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway in 2014.[4] The locomotive is owned by Jeremy Hosking


4277 left the Barry scrapyard in June 1986 and is now owned by the Dartmouth Steam Railway and in service.[5] Like 4270 she retains inside steam pipes to the cylinders.


In 2012, Hornby released models of the 4200 class in both BR black and GWR green.


  • Ian Allan ABC of British Railways Locomotives, winter 1957/8 edition, part 1, pp 20–21


  1. ^ a b c le Fleming, H.M. (February 1962). White, D.E., ed. The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway, part nine: Standard Two-Cylinder Classes. RCTS. p. J38-J42. 
  2. ^ "GCR Locomotive:4247". Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "About 4253". Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "GWR - Gloucestershire's mainline heritage railway - 4270 steams!". Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company : Our Locomotives". Retrieved 23 November 2013.