GWR 7200 Class

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GWR 7200 Class
Swansea East Dock Locomotive Depot geograph-2541297-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
7248 is a converted 4200, rebuilt with a 5275 front end
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Collett (rebuild)
Rebuilder GWR Swindon Works
Rebuild date August 1934–December 1939
Number rebuilt 54
Configuration 2-8-2T
UIC classification 1'D1' h2t
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter 4 ft 7 12 in (1.41 m)
Locomotive weight 92 long tons 12 cwt (207,400 lb or 94.1 t)
Fuel type Coal
Boiler pressure 200 lbf/in2 (1.38 MPa)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 19 in × 30 in (483 mm × 762 mm)
Valve gear Stephenson
Valve type Piston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort 33,170 lbf (147.5 kN)
Operator(s) GWR » BR
Class 7200
Power class GWR: E
BR: 8F
Axle load class Red
Withdrawn 1963–1965
Disposition Three extant, remainder scrapped

The Great Western Railway (GWR) 7200 Class is a class of 2-8-2T steam locomotive. These engines are the holders of several records:[1] they were the first engines with a 2-8-2T wheel arrangement built in Britain, the only 2-8-2Ts to be built in Britain, and were the largest tank engines to run on the Great Western Railway.[1]

Rebuild and operation[edit]

Originally the 4200 class and 5205 class 2-8-0T were introduced for short-haul Welsh coal traffic, but the Stock Market Crash of 1929 saw coal traffic dramatically fall. Built specifically for the short runs of heavy trains in the South Wales Coalfield, Collett took the agreed decision to rebuild some of them with an extended coal carrying capacity by adding 4 feet (1.2 m) to the frames, requiring the addition of a trailing wheel set, making them 2-8-2T.[2]

With the work carried out at Swindon Works, the first to be converted was 5275, which returned to traffic numbered 7200 in August 1934. Nos. 5276–94 were similarly rebuilt between August and November 1934, becoming 7201–19, and nos. 7220–39 were rebuilt from 5255–74 between August 1935 and February 1936; with both batches, the rebuilding was not in numerical order, but the new numbers were in the same sequence as the old. Nos. 7240–53, rebuilt August 1937–December 1939, were selected at random from locomotives numbered in the 42xx series.[3]

The 54 rebuilt locos found work in most parts of the GWR system, where their great weight 92 long tons 12 cwt (207,400 lb or 94.1 t) was allowed, although the rebuilt chassis length did get them banned from certain goods yards. Many found work in the home counties, deployed on iron ore and stone trains from Banbury.[4]


The first member of the class to be withdrawn was number 7241 in November 1962, whilst the last four engines in traffic served until June 1965. As the majority of the class were still allocated to operations associated with the South Wales Coalfield, a majority were sent to Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan. No. 7226 was scrapped there in 1965.[1]

No. 7221, a converted 5205


Three locomotives survive, all recovered from Woodham Brothers, though none have been restored:

  • No.7200: recovered September 1981, under restoration at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre by the 7200 Trust. 7200 was one of only four locomotives to carry the coal scuttle type bunker which enabled it to have a greater water carrying capacity than the rest of the class.
  • No.7202: recovered April 1974, under restoration at Didcot Railway Centre
  • No.7229: recovered October 1984, awaiting restoration on the East Lancashire Railway


In 2012, Hornby released models of the 7200 class in both BR black and GWR green.

7203, a converted 5275


  • Whitehurst, Brian (1973). Great Western engines, names, numbers, types, classes: 1940 to preservation. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. pp. 65–66, 103. ISBN 0-902888-21-8. OCLC 815661. 
  1. ^ a b c Whitehurst, Brian (1973). Great Western engines, names, numbers, types, classes: 1940 to preservation. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. pp. 65–66, 103. ISBN 0-902888-21-8. OCLC 815661. 
  2. ^ "7202 - 2-8-2T". Didcot Railway Centre. 
  3. ^ le Fleming, H.M. (February 1962). White, D.E., ed. The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway, part nine: Standard Two-Cylinder Classes. RCTS. pp. J45–J46. 
  4. ^ Quainton Railway Society. "GWR 72XX Class 2-8-2T No. 7200". Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. 

External links[edit]