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GWR Route: The North Warwickshire Line

GWR Route: Stratford Upon Avon to Hatton

Stratford on Avon Station: gwrsa505c

Close up showing an unidentified GWR 0-6-0ST 'Dean Saddle Tank' standing at the down platform on a local passenger service to Honeybourne

Close up of image 'gwrsa505' showing an unidentified GWR 0-6-0ST 'Dean Saddle Tank' standing at the down platform on a local passenger service to Honeybourne. Note the wheel tapper by locomotive talking to the crew. The 1076 Class were 266 double-framed 0-6-0 tank locomotives built by the Great Western Railway between 1870 and 1881; the last one was withdrawn in 1946. They are often referred to as the Buffalo Class following the naming of locomotive No 1134. The reason this locomotive was given a name is unclear. It was certainly named within a few years of construction but there was already a Buffalo 0-6-0ST which gave its name to the the South Devon Railway Buffalo class. The nameplate was removed from 1134 in 1914 when it was fitted with its pannier tanks. These large tank locomotives, with their 4 feet 7 inch (1398 mm) wheels and 17 inch × 24 inch (127mm × 610 mm) cylinders were capable of working trains on the main line.

The class followed on from Joseph Armstrong's 1016 Class built in 1867 and were perpetuated by his successor, William Dean, until 1881. Modernised saddle tank locomotives of similar size were then produced in the 1813 Class. The first six were built with side tanks. The following locomotives had saddle tanks covering their boilers and fireboxes, but from 1874 longer saddle tank extending to the front of the smokebox were the norm. All the earlier locomotives were eventually fitted with these larger tanks. Most were reconstructed with pannier tanks from 1911 onwards. The first locomotives had just a spectacle plate to give protection for the crew, but then small cabs, open at the back, were fitted. Later on most of the surviving locomotives were given full cabs so that there was protection when running in reverse. Other changes to various locomotives over their long lives were Belpaire fireboxes, enlarged coal bunkers, and even superheating and one or two were fitted with spark-arresting chimneys whilst 21 were fitted for working autotrains.