GWR 4900 Class
|GWR 4900 Class|
Preserved 4953 Pitchford Hall
|Builder||GWR Swindon Works|
|Gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|3 ft 0 in (0.91 m)|
|Driver diameter||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Minimum curve||8 chains (530 ft; 160 m) normal,
7 chains (460 ft; 140 m) slow
|Length||63 ft 0 1⁄4 in (19.21 m) over buffers|
|Width||8 ft 11 1⁄4 in (2.72 m)|
|Height||13 ft 3 1⁄4 in (4.04 m)|
|Axle load||18 tons 19 cwt (42,400 lb or 19.2 t)|
|Weight on drivers||57 tons 0 cwt (127,700 lb or 57.9 t)|
|Locomotive weight||75 tons 0 cwt (168,000 lb or 76.2 t)|
|Tender weight||46 tons 14 cwt (104,600 lb or 47.4 t)|
|Water capacity||4,000 imp gal (18,000 l; 4,800 US gal)|
|Boiler pressure||225 lbf/in2 (1,550 kPa; 15.8 kgf/cm2)|
|Firegrate area||27.07 square feet (2.515 m2)|
– Tubes and flues
|1,686.60 square feet (156.690 m2)|
|– Firebox||154.78 square feet (14.380 m2)|
|Superheater area||262.62 square feet (24.398 m2)|
|Cylinder size||18.5 in × 30 in (470 mm × 760 mm)|
|Tractive effort||27,275 lbf (121,330 N)|
|Railroad(s)||GWR » BR|
|Power class||GWR: D,
|Number||4900–4999, 5900–5999, 6900–6958|
|Axle load class||GWR: Red|
|Preserved||4920, 4930, 4936, 4942, 4953, 4965, 4979, 5900, 5952, 5967, 5972|
|Disposition||11 preserved or extant, remainder scrapped|
The Great Western Railway 4900 Class or Hall Class is a class of 4-6-0 mixed traffic steam locomotives designed by Charles Collett. A total of 259 were built, numbered 4900–4999, 5900–5999 and 6900–6958. The LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 and LNER Thompson Class B1 both drew heavily on design features of the Hall Class. After nationalisation in 1948, British Railways gave them the power classification 5MT.
The prototype was rebuilt from GWR Saint Class number 2925 Saint Martin in 1924 with smaller driving wheels. Additionally the cylinders were realigned in relation to the driving axle and a more modern 'Castle'-type cab was fitted. The rebuilt Saint Martin emerged from Swindon in 1924 and, renumbered 4900, embarked on three years of trials. During this period Collett introduced other modifications. The pitch of the taper boiler was altered and outside steam pipes were added.
Satisfied with no.4900's performance Collett placed an order with Swindon works and the first of the new two-cylinder Halls entered service in 1928. They differed little from the prototype; the bogie wheel diameter had been reduced by two inches from 3 ft 2 in (0.965 m) to 3 ft 0 in (0.914 m) and the valve setting amended to give an increased travel of 7.5 in (191 mm). The overall weight of the locomotive had increased by 2 tons 10 cwt (5,600 lb or 2.5 t) to 75 tons 0 cwt (168,000 lb or 76.2 t) but a tractive effort of 27,275 lbf (121.33 kN) compared favourably with the 24,935 lbf (110.92 kN) of the 'Saint'.
In what amounted to a trial run the first 14 were despatched to the arduous proving grounds of the Cornish main line. However they were so successful here and elsewhere on the GW system that by the time the first production batch of 80 had been completed in 1930 a further 178 were on order. By 1935, 150 were in service and the 259th and last Hall, No. 6958 Oxburgh Hall, was delivered in 1943.
Collett had been replaced by F.W. Hawksworth in 1941 and Hawksworth created a modified version known as the Modified Hall Class which remained in production until 1950. One of Hawksworth's modifications in changing the design was to equip it better to cope with the low quality coal available during the war. If anything the situation worsened after the war, leading to serious consideration being given to oil firing. Beginning in 1946 with No. 5955 Garth Hall the GWR converted 11 of the class to burn oil. Within four years, however, they had all reverted to coal.
All but one of the original Collett Halls entered British Railways service in 1948, the exception being No. 4911 Bowden Hall which took a direct hit during a bombing raid on the Keyham area of Plymouth in April 1941 and was broken up. Official withdrawals began in 1959 with the prototype Saint Martin. Its accumulated mileage, both in its original form and rebuilt form, was a remarkable 2,092,500 miles.
Operation in Preservation
By 1965 the last Hall had been withdrawn from the Western Region without a single one entering the National Collection. Eleven examples of the Hall class have survived to preservation and No. 4942 Maindy Hall is being back-converted into a GWR Saint Class locomotive at Didcot Railway Centre.
Of the eleven Halls preserved, six have seen main line operation: Nos. 4930 Hagley Hall, 4936 Kinlet Hall, 4953 Pitchford Hall, 4965 Rood Ashton Hall, 5900 Hinderton Hall & 5972 Olton Hall.
In the 1970s, no. 5900 Hinderton Hall was used by the Great Western Society (GWS) to a set of vintage ex-GWR carriages on an annual outing on the main line from Didcot, she would regularly be seen in pair with 7808 Cookham Manor and she also was used in 1985 during the 150th Anniversary of the Great Western Railway.
4930 Hagley Hall was also a popular mainline performer in the 1980's including her runs during GW150 in 1985. She was used on the Swindon to Gloucester trips during the celebrations including covering for larger GWR Engine no 6000 King George V which had failed while working a special from Bristol to Plymouth with 7819 Hinton Manor.
In recent years 4953 Pitchford Hall was certified for mainline operations back in 2006 and was used on a limited number of runs before her eventual withdrawl and move to the Epping Ongar Railway.
Presently 3 Halls have got current mainline certificates, 4936 Kinlet Hall, 4965 Rood Ashton Hall & 5972 Olton Hall. 4965 is a regular working the famous Shakespeare Express from Birmingham to Stratford upon Avon on Sundays in late Jul till early Sept. She also takes a number of runs in pair with Tyseley's Castle locomotive no 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe. 4936 Kinlet Hall also has a current mainline certificate after returning from a heavy overhaul in 2012. 5972 Olton Hall has during her mainline career being used in the Famous Harry Potter Film series taking the young witches and wizards from Kings Cross in London to Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry.
Locos in Preservation
|4920||Dumbleton Hall||March 1929||December 1965||Preserved at South Devon Railway, static display, awaiting overhaul.|
|4930||Hagley Hall||May 1929||December 1963||Preserved at Severn Valley Railway, static display in the engine house, awaiting overhaul.|
|4936||Kinlet Hall||June 1929||January 1964||Preserved at Tyseley Locomotive Works. Operational, mainline certified.|
|4942||Maindy Hall||July 1929||December 1963||Preserved at Didcot Railway Centre, currently being 'regressed' back to a GWR Saint Class.|
|4953||Pitchford Hall||August 1929||May 1963||Preserved at Epping Ongar Railway. Boiler ticket expired August 2013, stored awaiting overhaul.|
|4965||Rood Ashton Hall||November 1930||March 1962||Preserved at Tyseley Locomotive Works. Operational, mainline certified.|
|4979||Wootton Hall||February 1930||December 1963||Preserved at Furness Railway Trust, stored awaiting restoration at the Appleby Training & Heritage Centre.|
|5900||Hinderton Hall||March 1931||December 1963||Preserved at Didcot Railway Centre, static display, awaiting overhaul.|
|5952||Cogan Hall||December 1935||June 1964||Preserved at Llangollen Railway,some parts to be used for 6880 Betton Grange, but will hopefully be restored to working order.|
|5967||Bickmarsh Hall||March 1937||June 1964||Preserved at Northampton & Lamport Railway, undergoing restoration.|
|5972||Olton Hall||April 1937||December 1963||Preserved at Carnforth, currently certified for Mainline operation. Generally only used for the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films.|
List of locomotives
- Haresnape, Brian (1978). Collett & Hawksworth Locomotives, A Pictorial History. Ian Allen Ltd. ISBN 0-7110-0869-8.
- Whitehurst, Brian (1973). Great Western engines, names, numbers, types, classes: 1940 to preservation. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. pp. 42–44, 53–55, 62–63. 103, 144. ISBN 0-902888-21-8. OCLC 815661.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to GWR 4900 Class.|
- Great Western archives - Hall class
- Friends of Locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall
- 4936 Kinlet Hall Group
- The Furness Railway Trust's Wooton Hall webpage