GWR 4300 Class

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Great Western Railway 4300 Class
6381 at Southampton Terminus 1949.jpg
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Great Western Railway, Swindon Works, Robert Stephenson and Company (35)
Build date 1911–1932
Total produced 342
Configuration 2-6-0
UIC classification 1'C h
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading wheel
3 ft 2 in (0.965 m)
Driver diameter 5 ft 8 in (1.727 m)
Minimum curve 6 chains (400 ft; 120 m) normal,
5 chains (330 ft; 100 m) slow
Length 58 ft 1 14 in (17.71 m)
Width 8 ft 11 in (2.72 m)
Height 13 ft 0 in (3.96 m)
Axle load 17.60 long tons (17.88 t)
Weight on drivers 52 long tons 0 cwt (116,500 lb or 52.8 t)
Locomotive weight 62 long tons 0 cwt (138,900 lb or 63 t)
Tender weight 40 long tons 0 cwt (89,600 lb or 40.6 t)
Fuel capacity 7 long tons 0 cwt (15,700 lb or 7.1 t)
Water capacity 3,500 imp gal (16,000 l; 4,200 US gal)
Boiler pressure 200 psi (1.38 MPa)
Firegrate area 20.56 sq ft (1.910 m2)
Heating surface:
– Tubes
1,349.64 sq ft (125.386 m2)
– Firebox 128.72 sq ft (11.958 m2)
Superheater area 191.88 sq ft (17.826 m2)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 18.5 in × 30 in (470 mm × 762 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort 25,670 lbf (114.19 kN)
Operator(s) Great Western Railway,
British Railways
Power class GWR: D; BR: 4MT
Number(s) 4300–4399, 5300–5399, 6300–6399, 7300–7321, 9300–9319
Axle load class GWR: 4300–7300s Blue; 8300–9300s: Red
Locale Great Britain
First run 1911
Retired 1936–1964

The Great Western Railway (GWR) 4300 Class is a class of 2-6-0 (mogul) steam locomotive.


The class was introduced in 1911 to a G.J. Churchward design. 342 were built until 1932. They were initially numbered in the 4300-99, 5300-99, 6300 - 6399 and 7300 - 7321 ranges.

The 4300 Moguls were the maids of all work on the GWR network and later the Western Region of British Railways. Employing a Standard number 4 boiler and the support struts similar to those fitted to the '2800' class, the class very quickly earned an excellent reputation in its ability to handle most types of traffic, from local stopping goods to main line expresses.

After the first twenty locomotives were built, the frames of subsequent engines were lengthened by 9 inches at the rear to give better access for maintenance as well as providing more room in the cab.

Robert Stephenson built 35 engines of this class for the Great Western in 1921, numbers 6370 - 99 and 7300 - 04.

Of the class 88 were withdrawn in the 1930s, and the wheels and motion of 80 were used for the Grange Class and 8 for Manor Class engines. The advent of the Second World War in 1939 brought a halt to the conversions.

5322 preserved in WWI Railway Operating Division khaki livery

Eleven examples of the class were transported to France during World War I in the service of the Railway Operating Division of the British Army and these were 5319 - 5326 and 5328 - 5330. One survives in preservation.

Of the 342 engines built only two have been preserved.

Modifications to the class[edit]

In 1925 7300–7304 were modified for better balance and had detail alterations.

No. 5327 passing Swindon Works 11 June 1950. This locomotive was modified to the heavier version as No. 8327 1928-1944.

Between January and March 1928, due to problems with wear of the flanges of the leading pony truck, 65 engines of 5300 series received additional weight on the pony truck.

In 1932, Charles Collett modified the original design and introduced 9300 - 9319 with side window cabs, outside steam pipes and a screw reverse .

5300–99 were renumbered 8300-399 between 1944 and 1948. After passing into British Railways ownership, the Collett locos 9300–19 were modified back to light buffer beam design and were renumbered 7322–7341 between 1956 and 1959.

6320 was converted to oil firing between 1947 and it was removed in 1949.

The last were withdrawn in 1964.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 13 October 1928, locomotive No. 6381 was hauling a freight train that was run into by a passenger train at Charfield, Gloucestershire due to the driver of the passenger train overrunning signals. Sixteen people were killed and 41 were injured.[1]
  • On 1 March 1937, A 4300 Class locomotive hauling a freight train that was in collision with a passenger train at Langley, Buckinghamshire. One person was killed and six were injured.[2]
  • On 7 September 1945, locomotive No. 6315 was hauling a mail and freight train that was derailed near Sun Bank Halt, Denbighshire due to the trackbed being washed away following the failure of the bank of the Shropshire Union Canal. One person was killed and two were injured. The train's consist, except for a brake van, was destroyed in the ensuing fire.[3]
  • In 1952, locomotive No. 7311 overran a signal and was derailed by trap points at Appleford, Oxfordshire.[4]
  • On 6 September 1956, locomotive No. 9306 was hauling a parcels train that overran signals and ran into the rear of an express passenger train at Ludlow, Shropshire.[5]


Only two have survived to preservation:

Number Built Location Current status Notes
5322 (ex-8322) 1917 Didcot Railway Centre Operational One of 11 locos exported to France in World War I.

Painted in British Railways black with early crest.

7325 (ex-9303) 1932 Severn Valley Railway On static display Future overhaul possible with return to original condition

5322 is the older of the two as it was built in 1917, during the Great War, at Swindon Works. It was sent, with several other members of the class, to France for hauling munitions and hospital trains. There it was painted in War Department livery and given the number ROD5322. Demobbed in 1919 at Chester it returned to the GWR fleet till it was withdrawn from service in April 1964. It was sent to Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Barry, South Wales. The first Barry locomotive to be subject to a preservation fund, it was the second locomotive to leave Woodham's. 5322 thus ended up in preservation as the sole early 43xx to be preserved. It had previously been restored to working order but was not steamed since 1975. It has since returned to steam in 2008 at the Didcot Railway Centre, restored to its 1919 WD condition.

9303 is one of the final batch of 342 locomotives built between 1911 and 1932. They were built with larger cabs and had a weight attached to the buffer beam to place more weight on the leading pony wheels. This was done to reduce the wear on the leading driving wheels. In 1958 the weight was removed from the buffer beam to give the locomotive more route availability. At the same time it was renumbered 7325. The plan is to replace the missing weight at the next overhaul so it can run as 9303.


  1. ^ Gerard, Malcolm; Hamilton, J. A. B. (1981) [1967]. Trains to Nowhere. London: George Allen & Unwin. pp. 45–49. ISBN 0-04-385084-7. 
  2. ^ Trevena, Arthur (1980). Trains in Trouble. Vol. 1. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 40. ISBN 0-906899-01-X. 
  3. ^ Vaughan, Adrian (1989). Obstruction Danger. Wellingborough: Patrick Stephens Limited. pp. 80–88. ISBN 1-85260-055-1. 
  4. ^ Earnshaw, Alan (1993). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 8. Penryn: Atlantic Books. p. 25. ISBN 0-906899-52-4. 
  5. ^ Hall, Stanley (1990). The Railway Detectives. London: Ian Allan. p. 119. ISBN 0 7110 1929 0. 
  • Whitehurst, Brian (1973). Great Western engines, names, numbers, types, classes: 1940 to preservation. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. pp. 39, 48–49, 56–57, 66, 98, 103, 133–134. ISBN 0-902888-21-8. OCLC 815661. 

External links[edit]