GWR 481 Class

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GWR 481 Class
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Joseph Armstrong
Builder GWR Swindon works
Build date 1869
Total produced 20
Configuration 2-4-0
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Fuel type coal
Cylinders two
Operator(s) GWR

The GWR 481 Class was a class of 20 2-4-0 mixed-traffic steam locomotives designed for the Great Western Railway by Joseph Armstrong and built at Swindon Works in 1869. They were similar in size to the 439 Class but differed in appearance, thanks to the flowing lines of their outside frames.


The class was numbered as follows (in order of construction): 481-490; 587-592, 12, 19, 20, 54. The second batch was numbered 1122-1131 until August 1870.

Northern division engines[edit]

Three of the class - Nos. 12, 19 and 20, which always remained in the Northern Division - were reboilered at Wolverhampton Works under George Armstrong between 1880 and 1890. Furthermore in 1895 No.20 was completely renewed at Swindon, as a larger locomotive, joining the 439 Class.

Southern division engines[edit]

The remaining engines were allocated to the Southern Division, working to South Wales and Weymouth, and then between Salisbury and Bristol. All were completely renewed at Swindon in 1887-90, using very little of the original locomotives. They were now "very neat little engines"; at this time William Dean added a completely new member of the class, numbered 28. Around 1900 the renewed engines were relegated to secondary duties, and were subsequently withdrawn between 1904 and 1921. No.485 ran nearly 1,500,000 miles.[1]


  1. ^ Tabor 1956, pp. D28-D30.


  • Tabor, F. J. (February 1956). White, D. E., ed. The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway, part four: Six-wheeled Tender Engines. Kenilworth: RCTS.