GWR 2800 Class
GWR 2803 in photographic grey livery.
The prototype, originally numbered 97 but later renumbered 2800, appeared in 1903. Construction of the production series commenced in 1905 and continued until 1919. The 2884 Class which appeared in 1938–1942 was developed from the 2800 class and is sometimes classified with it.
No.97 undertook two years of trials before going into production. Initial results suggested that only the front end needed further development. Initially the boiler pressure of the 2-8-0 was set at 200 lbf/in2 (1.4 MPa) with 18-inch (457 mm) diameter cylinders. Tractive effort started out at 29,775 lbf (132.45 kN) but was increased substantially in the production engines by enlarging the cylinder diameter to 18 1⁄2 in (470 mm) and raising the steam pressure to 225 lbf/in2 (1.55 MPa). The 8 1⁄2 in (216 mm) piston valves were enlarged to 10 in (254 mm).
The most visible difference between No.97 and the first of the 1905 production batch was the higher pitch of the boiler (8 ft 2 in or 2.49 m opposed to 7 ft 8 1⁄2 in or 2.35 m). At first the prototype was given a 4,000-imperial-gallon (18,000 l; 4,800 US gal) tender but almost without exception the 2800s were harnessed to the 3,500-imperial-gallon (16,000 l; 4,200 US gal) variety throughout their working lives. Superheating was incorporated into the class from 1909 with No.2808 the first to be retro-fitted. Other modifications centred on improving the weight distribution, altering smokebox lengths and fitting larger diameter chimneys. The 84 2800s built by Churchward remained the GWR's principal long haul freight engines throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The only serious problem met with in traffic was with the sealing of the internal steam pipes. Beginning in 1934 most of the class had them replaced with the outside kind.
Between 1945 and 1947, coal shortages caused GWR to experiment with oil fired 2800 locomotives and 12 of the 2800 class were converted. They were renumbered into the 4800 series, which necessitated re-numbering the entire 4800 class autotanks into the 1400 series, and reclassified as 1400 class. The experiment, encouraged by the government was abandoned in 1948 once the extra maintenance costs were calculated and the bill had arrived for the imported oil.
Accidents and incidents
- On 6 January 1932, locomotive No. 2808 was hauling a freight train was in collision with a milk train at Didcot East Junction. The locomotive was extensively damaged. Ten wagon were destroyed and seventeen more were damaged. The milk train had overrun signals.
- On 15 January 1936, locomotive No. 2802 was hauling a freight train that became divided at Shrivenham, Oxfordshire. An express passenger train collided with the rear portion of the freight due to errors by the guard and signalman. Two people were killed.
Six 2800 class locomotives survive, these being 2807, 2818, 2857, 2859, 2873, 2874, along with nine 2884 class locomotives. A seventh survivor was used to provide parts for other projects. Two members of the class: 2807 and 2857 are operational, one of the class, no. 2857, briefly operated on the main line in 1985.
|2807||Oct 1905||Mar 1963||Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway||Operational||Salvaged from Woodham Bros in 1981 it was restored to running order at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, it is the oldest survivor of its class in preservation being 111 years old as of October 2016.|
|2818||Dec 1905||Oct 1963||National Railway Museum, Shildon||Static Display||Preserved straight from service and now part of the national collection but not in running condition and not expected to steam again. Retains inside steam pipes.|
|2857||May 1918||Apr 1963||Severn Valley Railway||Operational||Purchased from Woodham Bros in May 1974 by the 2857 Society for £5,775 it was later moved by rail to the Severn Valley Railway in August 1975 and steamed for the first time in September 1979.|
|2859||May 1918||Dec 1964||Llangollen Railway||Stored||Currently awaiting restoration to working order from Barry scrapyard condition.|
|2873||Nov 1918||Dec 1964||South Devon Railway||Dismantled||Currently stored (frames only) at Buckfastleigh.|
|2874||Nov 1918||May 1963||Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway||Under Restoration||Currently in Barry Scrapyard condition but restoration is underway. Retains inside steam pipes.|
2861, built in 1918, was one of the "Barry Ten" and eventually broken up for parts at the Llangollen Railway in 2014 and the frames scrapped. The cylinder and saddle block, along with several other components, are being used in the construction of replica GWR 4700 Class 2-8-0 No. 4709.
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- Classic British Steam locomotives
- Whitehurst, Brian (1973). Great Western engines, names, numbers, types, classes: 1940 to preservation. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. pp. 27–28, 103, 130. ISBN 0-902888-21-8. OCLC 815661.