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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Solihull Station: gwrs1607

GWR 2-4-2T 36xx class No 3616 poses in new condition at Solihull circa 1902

GWR 2-4-2T 36xx class No 3616 is posed with its crew in new condition at Solihull circa 1902. The 36xx class were designed by William Dean and built at Swindon in three lots between 1900 and 1903. The initial trial locomotive No 3600 built to Lot 130 in 1900, followed by locomotives No 3601 to No 3620 to Lot 134 in 1902 and finally locomotives No 3621 to No 3630 built to Lot 143 in 1903. The class derived from William Dean having built an experimental 2-4-2T No 11 whose success led to the cancellation of another batch of 2-4-0 'Metro' Tanks and the construction of the 36xx class in their place. The new 2-4-2Ts had 5ft 2inch coupled wheels and 17inch x 24 inch cylinders. The second batch were slightly longer than the prototype, resulting in greater tank capacity, and the third lot, delivered under Churchward, were slightly larger again, and had taper boilers. The class gained the nickname 'Birdcage' due to their (for the GWR) unusually spacious cabs. The 36xx class were fitted with steam reversing gear, steam brakes, and two steam-operated water pick-ups for forward and reverse working. This reflects their intended work as fast suburban engines. About half were employed on such duties in the Birmingham area. The rest worked in the London area, though later a few worked Chester-Birkenhead trains, and some were allocated to South Wales sheds. They were essentially passenger train locomotives, and were eventually superseded by Collett's 2-6-2Ts. All were withdrawn in 1930-34.