GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton
Knowle & Dorridge Station: gwrkd1602
Great Western Railway 2-4-0 3206 or
Barnum class No 3212 seen waiting at the starting signal with an up
local passenger train at Knowle and Dorridge Station circa 1910. The wooden lap
slatted building behind the locomotive is the original broad gauge goods shed.
No 3212 was built at Swindon Works as part of Lot 75 in June 1889. The class
comprised only nineteen locomotives, but were considered to be C.M.E. William
Deans most successful 2-4-0 locomotive design and were used as express
mixed traffic locomotives. The Barnum locomotives were almost the last type to
be built with outside sandwich frames by the Great Western Railway. The class
underwent many modifications including; the repositioning of the leading wheel
springs to a position above the frame by 1897, an increase in boiler pressure
from 150 lb to 160 lb, and a lengthening of the cylinder stoke from 24 to 26
inches between 1905 and 1913.
No 3212 was originally built with round dome less boiler,
but in October 1908 a belpaire domed boiler (type BR4) was fitted (as seen
above). The belpaire arrangement increased the efficiency of the boiler by
increasing the volume around the firebox. In February 1911 a second type of
belpaire boiler which was flush with the boiler barrel (type B4) was fitted. In
October 1920 No 3212 was superheated. These locomotives were classified power
group A and had a Yellow route code allowing them to operate over most lines.
In January 1921 No 3212 was known to have been allocated to Westbury shed, but
as larger more powerful locomotives, such as the 4-6-0 Hall class, were
introduced at the end of that decade, the Barnum class locomotives were moved
firstly north to the Wolverhampton division and then west to the lighter
constructed Cambrian lines. No 3212 was eventually withdrawn in April 1929.