GWR 1400 Class

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GWR 4800 class (later 1400 class)
4866 Didcot (1).jpg
4866, one of the four preserved 1400 Class 0-4-2T
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Charles Collett
Builder GWR Swindon Works
Order number Lots 279, 287, 288
Build date 1932–1936
Total produced 75
 • Whyte 0-4-2T
 • UIC B1 nt
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Driver dia. 5 ft 2 in (1.575 m)
Trailing dia. 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 (2.616 m)
Height 12 ft 6 14 in (3.816 m)
Axle load 13 long tons 18 cwt (31,100 lb or 14.1 t)
(15.6 short tons) full
Adhesive weight 27 long tons 8 cwt (61,400 lb or 27.8 t)
(30.7 short tons) full
Loco weight 41 long tons 6 cwt (92,500 lb or 42 t)
(46.3 short tons) full
Fuel type Coal
Fuel capacity 2 long tons 13 cwt (5,900 lb or 2.7 t)
(3.0 short tons)
Water cap 800 imp gal (3,600 l; 960 US gal)
 • Firegrate area
12.8 sq ft (1.19 m2)
Boiler pressure 165 psi (1.14 MPa)
Heating surface:
 • Tubes
869.8 sq ft (80.81 m2)
 • Firebox 83.2 sq ft (7.73 m2)
Superheater None
Cylinders Two, inside
Cylinder size 16 in × 24 in (406 mm × 610 mm)
Valve gear Stephenson
Valve type Slide valves
Train heating Steam
Train brakes Vacuum
Performance figures
Tractive effort 13,900 lbf (62 kN)
Operators GWR » BR
Class 4800, later 1400
Power class GWR: Unclassified,
BR: 1P
Numbers 4800–4874, later 1400–1474
Axle load class GWR: Unclassified
Withdrawn 1956–1965
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.

Although credited to Collett, the design dated back to 1868 with the introduction of the George Armstrong 517 class.


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 ft 7 in (4.14 m) wheelbase, inside bearings to trailing wheels, and saddle tanks built 1868-1869.
  • 571-576 – with 13 ft 7 in (4.14 m) 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 ft 0 in (4.57 m) wheelbase with side tanks built 1873-1883
  • 1483-1488 – with 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m) wheelbase and side tanks built 1884-1885

Later gradual changes included: Belpaire fireboxes, boilers rated at 165 psi (1.14 MPa) as opposed to 150 psi (1.0 MPa), full cabs, extended bunkers and the progressive conversion of short wheelbase locos to 15 ft 0 in (4.57 m) or 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m). 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 ft 6 in (4.72 m), the boiler still rated at only 165 psi (1.14 MPa), and the wheels 5 ft 2 in (1,575 mm) and 3 ft 8 in (1,118 mm). 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.

Into service[edit]

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, no. 5815, was withdrawn from Swindon shed in April 1961.[1]

The auto-fitted locos fared little better; scrapping commenced in 1956 and all were withdrawn by early 1965. Nos. 1442 and 1450 were withdrawn from Exmouth Junction shed in May 1965.[2] 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.


"Tivvy Bumper" locomotive 1442 in its original resting-place on Blundell's Road, Tiverton, photographed in 1968

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:

Known affectionately as The Tivvy Bumper, 1442 hauled the last train to Tiverton in October 1965.[3]

All preserved examples apart from 1442 are fitted with auto train equipment and 1450 has also operated on the mainline in preservation, but due to her size was restricted in the amount of work she could do and was also restricted on mileage as the 1400s only have a max water capacity of 800 imp gal (3,600 l; 960 US gal). During the 1990s she worked a number of Dawlish Donkey trips from Exeter St David's to Newton Abbot.

In fiction[edit]


Hornby Railways manufacture a model of the 14xx in OO gauge. Dapol manufactured a model of the 14xx for British N gauge in 2004 but has since ended production of this model.

DJmodels is planning on producing models of the 14xx and 48xx class locomotives in 00 gauge.[6][7]

Dapol are planning to release models in O gauge sometime in 2018[8]


  1. ^ Rowledge, J.W.P. (1986). GWR Locomotive Allocations: First and Last Sheds 1922-1967. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p. 135. ISBN 0-7153-8820-7. 
  2. ^ Rowledge 1986, p. 123
  3. ^ "The Authers Gallery". Tiverton Museum. Archived from the original on 2007-08-13. Retrieved 2007-10-16. 
  4. ^ "Film: Where There's A Will". Reel Streets. Retrieved 30 July 2017. 
  5. ^ See reference at IMDB.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Welcome to Tower Models Website". Retrieved 2017-09-06. 
  • Whitehurst, Brian (1973). Great Western Engines, Names, Numbers, Types and Classes (1940 to Preservation). Oxford, UK: Oxford Publishing Company. pp. 17–18, 97, 102, 166. ISBN 978-0-9028-8821-0. OCLC 815661. 

External links[edit]