Port Talbot Railway 0-8-2T (Cooke)

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Port Talbot Railway 0-8-2T (Cooke)
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Cooke Locomotive and Machine Works, USA
Build date 1899
Total produced 2
 • Whyte 0-8-2T
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver dia. 4 ft 4 in (1.321 m)
Loco weight 75 long tons (76 t)
Fuel type Coal
Water cap 2,000 imp gal (9,100 l; 2,400 US gal)
Boiler pressure 180 psi (1,200 kPa)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 19 in × 24 in (480 mm × 610 mm)
Valve gear Stephenson
Performance figures
Tractive effort 25,490 lbf (113.4 kN)
Operators Port Talbot Railway and Docks Company » Great Western Railway
Withdrawn 1928–1929

The Cooke 0-8-2T were two 0-8-2T steam tank locomotives built in 1899 for the Port Talbot Railway (PTR), south Wales. Their PTR numbers were 20 and 21 and they became Great Western Railway (GWR) nos. 1378 and 1379 in 1922.

The PTR obtained tenders from six British and three American companies and the winning tender was from the Cooke Locomotive and Machine Works of Paterson, New Jersey, United States. Cooke's London agents were Thomas W. Ford & Company of Palace Chambers, 9 Bridge Street, Westminster.

The locomotives had bar frames (as was usual American practice) but, otherwise, they were of quite "British" appearance. Both were fitted with new taper boilers at the GWR's Swindon Works in 1908.


The locomotives were required to haul a train of 300 tons up a bank of 1 in 40 at 12 mph and 800 tons up a bank of 1 in 75 at 12 mph. Initially, the locomotives failed to meet these targets but, after some modifications, the required performances were achieved.

On coal trains, one 0-8-2T replaced a pair of 0-6-2Ts and this resulted in a significant saving in fuel and labour costs. Coal consumption was 65 lb per mile for a 0-8-2T compared with 94 lb per mile for a pair of 0-6-2Ts.

Further locomotives[edit]

The PTR had an option to buy three or five more locomotives from Cooke to the same design but it chose not to exercise this option. Instead, it bought three 0-8-2T from Sharp Stewart of Glasgow in 1901.

The two classes are easy to distinguish in photographs because, on the Cooke locomotives, the cylinders were dead horizontal and drove on the second axle, while on the Sharp Stewart locomotives they were slightly inclined and drove on the third axle.

See also[edit]


  • Railway Archive. Lydney, Gloucestershire: Lightmoor Press (4): 71–87. July 2003. ISSN 1477-5336.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Casserley, H.C.; Johnston, S.W. (1966). Locomotives at the Grouping 4: Great Western Railway. Shepperton, Middlesex: Ian Allan Limited. p. 109.