Today’s model is the first GWR member of the Locoyard fleet of locomotives to be featured in the model of the week series. Bachmann’s model is excellent and worth checking out (click here for it’s review). Without further ado, let’s look at this classic GWR locomtive.4612 was built in 1942 at Swindon and is a member of class 8750 – which is effectively a sub-class of the 57xx type. The main difference between the 8750 and 57xx class is the cab which has larger windows for better visibility.
Pannier tank’s were built for light goods and passenger duties and performed these tasks very well. The 57xx/8750 class were descended from those introduced by Dean in 1897 – the open cab 2721 class. The 57xx/8750 class was one of the most successful in the UK, with no less than 863 being built between 1929 and 1949.
4612’s story after withdrawal is very interesting. It found it’s way to Barry scrap yard, South Wales; a fate that was luck for many steam engines. Most locomotives that went to Barry survived, were not scrapped and found homes. 4612 was purchased by the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway – but simply as a source of spares for the line’s other pannier tank. 4612’s fate, appeared to be a long death as it was robbed for parts over time.
By 1987; 4612 was only a set of wheels, frames and a boiler that had been written-off. Despite this, it was purchased privately for restoration into working order. Restoration began at Swindon and then moved on to the Flour Mill in the Forest of Dean.