GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton
Moor Street Station: gwrms1719
Three Great Western Railway designed locomotives running
light past Moor Street Station on the down main line to Snow Hill station in
1959. The line through Snow Hill tunnel was a 1 in 45 incline and 59 yards
south of the tunnel, catch points were provided on the down line to divert any
break-away vehicles into a specially constructed sand drag. This prevented the
break-away vehicles from rolling back any further along the main line. The sand
drag can be seen in the photograph, it was 180 yards long and comprised a pair
of narrow troughs, in each of which was a normal rail covered by about four
inches of sand. Leading the trio, tender first is a 2 cylinder 4-6-0, 68xx
(Grange) class, mixed traffic locomotive, followed by a 0-6-0PT 57xx class,
pannier tank engine and in the rear nearest the camera is 2-6-2T 51xx class,
large prairie locomotive No 4173. Locomotive No 4173 was built after
nationalisation in October 1949 at the Swindon works as part of lot 369, so
never carried GWR livery, but was turned out in lined black. Designed for
suburban passenger services, the prototype of the class (No 99) was introduced
in 1903 by Great Western Railway CME Jackson Churchward.
The basic design remained the unchanged, but over the years
incremental design improvements were incorporated, including; larger coal and
water capacity, curved front end and struts, increased boiler pressure,
superheating and outside steam pipes. A total of 306 locomotives of this design
were built, with lot 369 being the last batch. The original Great Western
Railway classification was; power D / route limitation - Red, but
following a weight redistribution, the locomotives were reclassified to also
travel on the lighter Blue routes. The British Railways power class was - 4MT.
Locomotive No 4173 was known to have been allocated to Stourbridge shed (84F)
in August 1950 and March 1959. After a relatively short service the class were
displaced by the introduction of diesel multiple units (DMUs) with No 4173
being withdrawn from Stourbridge shed in December 1964 and scrapped at J.
Cashmore, Great Bridge in April 1965.