GWR 1854 Class

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Great Western Railway 1854 class
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer William Dean
Builder GWR Swindon Works
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Frame type Inside, plate
Cylinders Two, inside

GWR 1854 is a class of tank locomotive designed by William Dean and constructed at the Swindon Works of the Great Western Railway. The class used similar inside frames and chassis dimensions to the 1813 Class of 1882-4. In this they differed from the intervening 1661 Class, which had reverted to the double frames of the Armstrong era. Thus the 1854 Class belongs to the "mainstream" of GWR 0-6-0 tank classes that leads towards the larger GWR pannier tanks of the 20th century.


The 120 1854s were built in six batches between 1890 and 1895:

  • 1854-1873 (Lot 79, 1890)
  • 1874-1893 (Lot 83, 1890–91)
  • 1701-1720 (Lot 85, 1891)
  • 1721-1740 (Lot 88, 1892)
  • 1751-1770 (Lot 89, 1892-3)
  • 905-907, 1791–1800, 1894-1900 (Lot 98, 1895)


The engines were rebuilt during their working lives with various forms of boiler and saddle tanks, and they were also rebuilt as pannier tanks between 1909 and 1932 as Belpaire fireboxes were fitted. Most of the class worked in the GWR's Southern Division, the majority of them in South Wales. Two examples were to be found in the GWR London Division at time of nationalisation. Numbers 907 and 1861 were allocated to 81E (Didcot) in August 1950.[1] All achieved one million miles (1,600,000 km), and 23 of the class passed into British Railways stock in 1948, the last of them being withdrawn in 1951.[2]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 3 September 1942 a Luftwaffe Ju88 aircraft attacked the area around Castle Cary station and goods yard. No. 1729 was hit by a bomb, killing the driver. Another bomb hit a signal box, killing the signalman.[3] No. 1729 was later cut up, and was one of two GWR locomotives damaged beyond repair in Britain during World War II. The other was GWR 4900 Class No. 4911 Bowden Hall.[4]


  1. ^ Allan 1975, Locoshed Book, nos. 1–9999, pp. 5,6.
  2. ^ le Fleming 1958, pp. E63-E67.
  3. ^ Bryan 1995, p. 115.
  4. ^ Stewart-David & Wood 2014, p. 50.


  • Bryan, Tim (1995). The Great Western at War 1939-1945 (1 ed.). Yeovil, Somerset, UK: Patrick Stephens. ISBN 1-85260-479-4. OCLC 60238810. 
  • le Fleming, H.M. (April 1958). White, D.E., ed. The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway, part five: Six-coupled Tank Engines. RCTS. 
  • Stewart-David, David; Wood, Peter (2 July 2014). "The role of railways in the Second World War". The Railway Magazine. Horncastle, Lincs, UK: Mortons Media. 160 (1,360). ISSN 0033-8923. 
  • British Railways Locomotives 1948-50. Shepperton: Ian Allan. March 1975. ISBN 0-7110-0401-3. 577 DM 375.