GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton
Hatton Bank: gwrhb2961
Ex-Great Western Railway 2-6-2 5101 class large prairie No
4155 with a class E express freight (see 'Headcodes') ascends Hatton Bank unassisted on
the Down Main Line on Saturday 27th March 1965.
Locomotive No 4155 was built in August 1947 at Swindon Works
as part of lot 361. The 5101 class introduced in 1929 was an updated version of
the 31xx (later 51xx) class, the first of which had been built in 1903.
Externally the 5101 class differed from their predecessors by having curved
drop ends, flanged motion plate and outside steam pipes. The cab roof was
lowered and the coal bunker extended to hold four tons. The water tank capacity
remained the same at 2,000 gallons. The class were adorned with copper capped
chimneys and brass safety valves. The superheated standard No 2 long coned
boiler operating at 200 lbs produced a tractive effort at 85% of 24,300 lb,
placing the locomotive in power class D. The maximum axle weight was 17 tons,
12 cwt, which limited the locomotives to main lines and some branch lines
(Route colour Blue). For more details of the Great Western Railway
classification system see 'Engine Map'.
The power, speed and particularly the acceleration of these locomotives made
them ideal for the Midlands suburban passenger duties where there was a
requirement for frequent stops with heavy loads. As a result many of the 5101
class were allocated to the Wolverhampton division, but their useful life was
curtailed by the introduction of DMUs in the late 1950s. Initially No 4155 was
allocated to Bath Road Shed in Bristol, but was known to have been allocated to
Tyseley shed (84E) some time before January 1959, where it remained until
eventually withdrawn from there in September 1965.