GWR 5101 Class

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This article is about the 140 locomotives built in 1929–49. For the 40 locomotives built in 1903–06, see GWR 5100 Class.
GWR 5101 Class
4160 West Somerset Railway.jpg
Preserved 5101 Class locomotive 4160 at Minehead, West Somerset Railway, painted in British Railways lined-green livery.
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Charles Collett
Builder GWR Swindon Works
Build date 1929–1949
Total produced 140
Configuration 2-6-2T
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Leading wheel
3 ft 2 in (0.97 m)
Driver diameter 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Trailing wheel
3 ft 8 in (1.12 m)
Length 41 ft (12.50 m)
Locomotive weight 78.45 long tons (79.71 t)
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 4.0 long tons (4.1 t)
Water capacity 2,000 imp gal (9,100 L)
Boiler GWR Number 2
Boiler pressure 200 psi (1,400 kPa)
Firegrate area 20.35 sq ft (1.891 m2)
Heating surface:
– Tubes and flues
1,144.94 sq ft (106.368 m2)
– Firebox 121.8 sq ft (11.32 m2)
Superheater area 82.2 sq ft (7.64 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 18 in × 30 in (46 cm × 76 cm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort 24,300 lbf (108 kN)
Class GWR 5101
Power class GWR D
Axle load class GWR Blue
Withdrawn December 1965

The GWR 5101 Class or Large Prairie was a class of 2-6-2T steam locomotives of the Great Western Railway.


The 5101 Class were medium-sized tank engines used for suburban and local passenger services all over the Great Western Railway system. The class was an updated version, by Collett, of Churchward's 1903 3100/5100 Class.

The original 40 members of the 3100 class were renumbered 5100 and 5111 to 5149 in 1927. The first batches of 5101s filled in the numbers 5101 to 5110 and extended the class from 5150 to 5189. They were little changed from the Churchward locomotives as they then were, but had an increased axle loading of 17 long tons 12 cwt (39,400 lb or 17.9 t); the maximum permitted for the ‘Blue’ route availability. Bunkers were of the standard Collett design with greater coal capacity.

The 5100 number series was exhausted in 1934, and further new locomotives were numbered from 4100. 4160-4179 were built in 1948/9 to the same design but were technically not GWR locomotives.


Eight locomotives have been preserved: 5164, 5199, 4110, 4121, 4141, 4144, 4150 and 4160. All of these were rescued from Woodham Brothers scrapyard.


At the Severn Valley Railway. Boiler certificate expired 5 January 2014. On Display at Barrow Hill MPD for at least 12 months.[citation needed] 5164 is owned by The 5164 Preservation Group


Overhaul completed 23 November 2014. Based at Llangollen Railway.


Under restoration at Tyseley Locomotive Works.


Stored at Tyseley Locomotive Works in a partially stripped down state.


Operational at the Epping Ongar Railway.


Returned to steam in 2015 Didcot Railway Centre.


Restoration progressing at the Severn Valley Railway. See external links.


Operational at the West Somerset Railway.

Donor locomotives[edit]

Two more of the class were not scrapped in the 1960s, and have been used to provide parts for rebuilds of other types of Great Western and Great Western inspired locomotives.


Originally built in 1934, this locomotive was withdrawn in 1962 and recovered from Woodham Brothers scrapyard in 1979. It was rebuilt by the West Somerset Railway into a 2-6-0 resembling a small boilered version of the GWR 4300 Class, and numbered 9351. The conversion was essentially to remove the water tanks and the whole rear of the locomotive including the rear of the frames, trailing wheels and fuel bunker.


No.4115 was one of the later locomotives, being turned out by Swindon Works in October 1936 and withdrawn from service in June 1965. One of the "Barry Ten", she was sold to the Great Western Society at Didcot in 2010, to act as a donor locomotive for the creation of two new locomotives:[1]

  • GWR 4700 Class 2-8-0 No. 4709, to which it will donate: front end extension frames and cylinder sub-assembly; six of the eight 5ft 8in driving wheels required; frame stays; footplate supports; brake hangers; vacuum brake cylinder and reservoir; weighshaft and bearings
  • GWR 2221 Class County Tank 4-4-2T, to which it will donate its boiler.


Graham Farish manufacture a model of the Large Prairie in N scale.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]