GWR 6800 Class
The Great Western Railway (GWR) 6800 Class or Grange Class was a mixed traffic class of 4-6-0 steam locomotive, built to replace the GWR 4300 Class 2-6-0. There were 80 in the class, all built at the Swindon works, using some reconditioned parts from withdrawn 4300 Class locomotives .
The GWR locomotive standardisation policy pursued by G.J. Churchward envisaged a range of locomotive classes which would be suitable for the majority of duties, and yet which would share a small number of standard components. Amongst the designs suggested in 1901 was a 4-6-0 with 5-foot-8-inch (1.727 m) diameter driving wheels, and the Standard No. 1 boiler. Although planned in 1901, none were built during Churchward’s lifetime. C.B. Collett, (Churchward’s successor at Swindon Works) rather introduced the Hall class with 6-foot (1.829 m) diameter driving wheels.
The 4300 Class of 2-6-0 tender locomotives had been introduced on the GWR for mixed traffic duties in 1911, and by 1932 there were 342 in service. However, by the mid 1930s some of the earlier examples were in need of attention and the class as a whole was struggling with some of the duties expected of them. Collett therefore revived the Churchward proposal, but modified the design to include a cab and controls to the current style. Between 1936 and 1939, one hundred 4300 Class were taken out of service and replaced by new 4-6-0 locomotives, eighty of which were of the 6800 (or Grange) class, whilst the remaining 20 were of the 7800 (or Manor) class. It had been intended to replace all of the 4300 Class in this way, but the Second World War stopped the programme.
Design and Production
The wheels, valve motion and tenders were taken from the withdrawn engines, reconditioned and then used in the construction of the 100 new locomotives; the components from one old locomotive were spread amongst more than one of the new engines. The cylinders of the Granges were of the same size as those used on the 4300 Class, but the old cylinders could not be re-used because the cylinders and valves shared a common casting, and the new design called for the separation between cylinder and valve centre lines to be increased by 2 1⁄2 inches (64 mm). This was done in order to make the cylinders level with the axles, but still allow the use of the old valve motion parts.
The locomotives were built in two batches to a single order (Lot No. 308): Nos. 6800-6859 were built between August 1936 and December 1937, and Nos. 6860-6879 appeared between February and May 1939. They were all named after Granges in the area covered by the GWR. Further construction of the class was cancelled due to the outbreak of war. They were originally fitted with Churchward 3,500 imp gal (16,000 l; 4,200 US gal) tenders taken from withdrawn members of the 4300 Class. However, after the second world war several were fitted with newer 3,500 imp gal (16,000 l; 4,200 US gal) and 4,000 imp gal (18,000 l; 4,800 US gal) types.
Although built to a thirty five-year old design, in service they proved to be reliable performers. With their power and mixed traffic characteristics they could handle most duties on the network. Their smaller driving wheels giving them a higher tractive effort than the Hall Class. They were often used for the haulage of perishable goods, such as fruit and broccoli, and for excursion trains. However their axle loading prevented their use on some cross-country routes previously operated by the 4300 class. As a result, a lighter version in the form of the Manor Class was introduced for these duties.
Withdrawal and Preservation
The entire class was withdrawn from service between 1960 and 1965 and no examples were preserved. However, GWR 6880 Betton Grange, the next Grange that was due to be built originally, is currently being built at Llangollen Railway.
List of Locomotives
|6800||Arlington Grange||August 1936||June 1964|
|6801||Aylburton Grange||August 1936||October 1960|
|6802||Bampton Grange||September 1936||August 1961|
|6803||Bucklebury Grange||September 1936||September 1965|
|6804||Brockington Grange||September 1936||August 1964|
|6805||Broughton Grange||September 1936||March 1961|
|6806||Blackwell Grange||September 1936||October 1964|
|6807||Birchwood Grange||September 1936||December 1963|
|6808||Beenham Grange||September 1936||August 1964|
|6809||Burghclere Grange||September 1936||July 1963|
|6810||Blakemere Grange||November 1936||October 1964|
|6811||Cranbourne Grange||November 1936||July 1964|
|6812||Chesford Grange||November 1936||February 1965|
|6813||Eastbury Grange||December 1936||September 1965|
|6814||Enborne Grange||December 1936||December 1963|
|6815||Frilford Grange||December 1936||November 1965|
|6816||Frankton Grange||December 1936||July 1965|
|6817||Gwenddwr Grange||December 1936||April 1965|
|6818||Hardwick Grange||December 1936||April 1964|
|6819||Highnam Grange||December 1936||November 1965|
|6820||Kingstone Grange||January 1937||July 1965|
|6821||Leaton Grange||January 1937||November 1964|
|6822||Manton Grange||January 1937||September 1964|
|6823||Oakley Grange||January 1937||June 1965|
|6824||Ashley Grange||January 1937||April 1964|
|6825||Llanvair Grange||February 1937||June 1964|
|6826||Nannerth Grange||February 1937||May 1965|
|6827||Llanfrechfa Grange||February 1937||September 1965|
|6828||Trellech Grange||February 1937||July 1963|
|6829||Burmington Grange||March 1937||November 1965|
|6830||Buckenhill Grange||August 1937||October 1965|
|6831||Bearley Grange||August 1937||October 1965|
|6832||Brockton Grange||August 1937||January 1964|
|6833||Calcot Grange||August 1937||October 1965|
|6834||Dummer Grange||August 1937||June 1964|
|6835||Eastham Grange||September 1937||May 1963|
|6836||Estevarney Grange||September 1937||August 1965|
|6837||Forthampton Grange||September 1937||July 1965|
|6838||Goodmoor Grange||September 1937||November 1965|
|6839||Hewell Grange||September 1937||May 1964|
|6840||Hazeley Grange||September 1937||February 1965|
|6841||Marlas Grange||September 1937||June 1965|
|6842||Nunhold Grange||September 1937||November 1964|
|6843||Poulton Grange||October 1937||February 1964|
|6844||Penhydd Grange||October 1937||April 1964|
|6845||Paviland Grange||October 1937||September 1964|
|6846||Ruckley Grange||October 1937||September 1964|
|6847||Tidmarsh Grange||October 1937||December 1965|
|6848||Toddington Grange||October 1937||December 1965|
|6849||Walton Grange||October 1937||December 1965|
|6850||Cleeve Grange||October 1937||December 1964|
|6851||Hurst Grange||November 1937||August 1965|
|6852||Headbourne Grange||November 1937||January 1964|
|6853||Morehampton Grange||November 1937||October 1965||Nearly purchased for preservation by the GWS but funding issues resulted in 7808 Cookham Manor being purchased instead.|
|6854||Roundhill Grange||November 1937||September 1965|
|6855||Saighton Grange||November 1937||October 1965|
|6856||Stowe Grange||November 1937||November 1965|
|6857||Tudor Grange||November 1937||October 1965|
|6858||Woolston Grange||December 1937||October 1965|
|6859||Yiewsley Grange||December 1937||November 1965|
|6860||Aberporth Grange||February 1939||February 1965|
|6861||Crynant Grange||February 1939||October 1965|
|6862||Derwent Grange||February 1939||June 1965|
|6863||Dolhywel Grange||February 1939||November 1964|
|6864||Dymock Grange||February 1939||October 1965|
|6865||Hopton Grange||March 1939||May 1962|
|6866||Morfa Grange||March 1939||May 1965|
|6867||Peterston Grange||March 1939||August 1964|
|6868||Penrhos Grange||March 1939||October 1965|
|6869||Resolven Grange||March 1939||July 1965|
|6870||Bodicote Grange||March 1939||September 1965|
|6871||Bourton Grange||March 1939||October 1965|
|6872||Crawley Grange||March 1939||December 1965|
|6873||Caradoc Grange||April 1939||June 1964|
|6874||Haughton Grange||April 1939||September 1965|
|6875||Hindford Grange||April 1939||March 1964|
|6876||Kingsland Grange||April 1939||November 1965|
|6877||Llanfair Grange||April 1939||March 1965|
|6878||Longford Grange||May 1939||November 1964|
|6879||Overton Grange||May 1939||October 1965|
|6880||Betton Grange||-||-||Newbuild member of the class, 6880 Would have been the next member of the class to be constructed but the programme was cancelled due to WWII|
- le Fleming 1962, pp. J3–4
- le Fleming 1962, p. J9
- le Fleming 1962, p. J12
- Chacksfield 2002, p. 139
- le Fleming 1962, p. J14
- le Fleming 1960, p. H34
- le Fleming 1960, p. H36
- Bradley 1988, pp. 55–6
- Bradley 1988, p. 56
- Gibson 1984, pp. 144–5
- le Fleming 1960, p. H34-6
- le Fleming 1960, p. H35
- Gibson 1984, p. 144
- Holcroft 1971, p. 155
- le Fleming 1960, p. H35
- 6880 Betton Grange Project
- Bradley, Rodger (1988). GWR Two Cylinder 4-6-0s and 2-6-0s. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-8894-0.
- Chacksfield, J.E. (2002). C.B. Collett: A Competent Successor. The Oakwood Library of Railway History. Usk: Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-586-1. OL121.
- Gibson, John C. (1984). Great Western Locomotive Design: A Critical Appreciation. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-8606-9.
- Holcroft, Harold (1971) . An Outline of Great Western Locomotive Practice 1837-1947 (2nd ed.). Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0228-2.
- le Fleming, H.M. (November 1960) . White, D.E., ed. Part 8: Modern Passenger Classes. The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway (2nd ed.). Kenilworth: RCTS. ISBN 0-901115-19-3.
- le Fleming, H.M. (February 1962). White, D.E., ed. Part 9: Standard Two-Cylinder Classes. The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway. RCTS.
- Whitehurst, Brian (1973). Great Western engines, names, numbers, types, classes: 1940 to preservation. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. pp. 60–61, 103, 132. ISBN 0-902888-21-8. OCLC 815661.
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