Not quite “Back to black” 42xx class 4270



Although not especially fitting in with the theme of the gala, 4270 was definitely one of the stars of the weekend, hauling her first service trains for the first time in 50 years or so. After a 10 year long restoration she only had steam in her belly 4 days before the gala and was only painted two days before! There was some speculation she would be turned out in BR black, but that clearly (and thankfully!) didn’t come into fruition.


the 42xx class was the only British tank engine to have a 2-8-0 configuration, and they were designed to work the South Wales coal fields with short haul heavy trains. 105 42xxs were built, and they were constructed at Swindon between 1910 and 1923, with 4270 being built in 1919. Over the years members of the class were modified in a number of ways, some were converted to 2-8-2Ts, others had outside steam pipes added whilst some were even given curved frames at the front. 4270 survived all of these modifications and of the preserved 42xxs, she is the most original.


Withdrawn in 1962 after good service, the locomotive made a short journey from its last shed allocation at Cardiff docks to Barry scrapyard, where it languished until 1985, whereupon it was saved by the now defunct Swansea Valley Railway. As far as I can work out not an awful lot happened to her whilst here, other than bad corrosion. In 2003 she moved to the GWSR , (presumably when Jeremy Hosking bought her) where her long restoration began.


Her boiler arrived back from Tyesley freshly overhauled a couple of years ago and since then the long job of putting her back together commenced, with 4270 returning to steam on the Tuesday before the gala for test running, before being hurried into the paint shop for a quick paint job. I expect now that the gala is over the loco will disappear for a bit, the aim is to get her as close looking as possible to her appearance in 1919. That includes changing her current G W R stickers on her bunker to “Great Western” lettering professionally sign written, and presumably some suitable buffers too. There’s probably a bit of fettling to do as well as there really wasn’t much time, but we’ll see, you can keep an eye out for her by checking the Loco roster


2 thoughts on “Not quite “Back to black” 42xx class 4270

    • I heard that too, I think it’s got a couple of outings planned this year, I presume it’s staying at the GWSR as a base, don’t know what the situation is with that, it’s owned by Jeremy Hosking not the railway or a local group for example though.


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