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Album: The Story of Woodham Brothers Ltd and Barry Scrapyard

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BR/GWR Collett 4-6-0 Class 4900 Hall No. 5972 at Woodham Brothers Scrapyard 1966

BR/GWR Collett 4-6-0 Class 4900 Hall No. 5972 at Woodham Brothers Scrapyard 1966 - Low Resolution Image

BR/GWR Collett 4-6-0 Class 4900 Hall No. 5972 'Olton Hall' at Woodham Brothers scrapyard, Barry, Wales on 18th August 1966. Built at Swindon Works in April 1937. it was first allocated to Carmarthen, South Wales where it remained until 1951. After being fitted with a three row superheater at Swindon was initially allocated to Plymouth Laira TMD. It was withdrawn from 88B Cardiff East Dock in December 1963 and acquired by Woodham Brothers, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan for scrap in May 1964. Woodham Brothers sold the locomotive to Procor (UK) Ltd in Wakefield, and it left as the 125th departure from Barry in May 1981. It was based at National Railway Museum Shildon.

The Great Western Railway 4900 Class or Hall Class is a class of 4-6-0 mixed traffic steam locomotives designed by Charles Collett. A total of 259 were built, numbered 4900–4999, 5900–5999 and 6900–6958. The LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 and LNER Thompson Class B1 both drew heavily on design features of the Hall Class. After nationalisation in 1948, British Railways gave them the power classification 5MT.

The prototype was rebuilt from GWR Saint Class number 2925 Saint Martin in 1924 with smaller driving wheels. Additionally the cylinders were realigned in relation to the driving axle and a more modern 'Castle'- type cab was fitted. The rebuilt Saint Martin emerged from Swindon in 1924 and, renumbered 4900, embarked on three years of trials. During this period Collett introduced other modifications. The pitch of the taper boiler was altered and outside steam pipes were added.

Satisfied with no.4900's performance Collett placed an order with Swindon works and the first of the new two-cylinder Halls entered service in 1928. They differed little from the prototype; the bogie wheel diameter had been reduced by two inches from 3 ft 2 in (0.965 m) to 3 ft 0 in (0.914 m) and the valve setting amended to give an increased travel of 7.5 in (191 mm). The overall weight of the locomotive had increased by 2 tons 10 cwt (5,600 lb or 2.5 t) to 75 tons 0 cwt (168,000 lb or 76.2 t) but a tractive effort of 27,275 lbf (121.33 kN) compared favourably with the 24,935 lbf (110.92 kN) of the 'Saint'.

In what amounted to a trial run the first 14 were despatched to the arduous proving grounds of the Cornish main line. However they were so successful here and elsewhere on the GW system that by the time the first production batch of 80 had been completed in 1930 a further 178 were on order. By 1935, 150 were in service and the 259th and last Hall, No. 6958 Oxburgh Hall, was delivered in 1943.

In the 2000s the locomotive achieved fame after it was used to haul the "Hogwarts Express" in the Harry Potter films.

Since 2004 private tour operator Beyond Boundaries Travel has commissioned the train each summer for use on its Harry Potter Fan Trips tours of the United Kingdom. On 11 March 2007 vandals again targeted the coaches, causing £75,000 worth of damage at West Coast Railway Company's depot in Carnforth. Ten youths, aged between twelve and fourteen years, were arrested in connection with the incident — in which 337 windows on several coaches were smashed.

In the films the locomotive is depicted pulling a train of four British Rail Mark 1 carriages. Scenes were filmed inside King's Cross railway station, crossing over the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland and at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway — along with internal scenes on board the train.

When filming, Olton Hall carries a "Hogwarts Express" headboard on the smokebox, featuring the Hogwarts School crest. The same emblem is featured as part of the Hogwarts Railways' sigil on the tender and carriages. It retains its GWR number of 5972, but with alternative nameplates fitted, naming the engine Hogwarts Castle. It is painted in a crimson livery — a non-standard colour, as Great Western Railway locomotives traditionally used Brunswick Green.

Olton Hall is not the first real locomotive to be disguised for hauling the Hogwarts Express. To promote the fourth Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire, Southern Railway West Country Class locomotive 34027 "Taw Valley" was temporarily repainted and renamed. It was rejected by film director Chris Columbus as looking "too modern" for the film but carried the name and colour for some months later.

Three full-size replicas of the locomotive as 5972 Hogwarts Castle are at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Orlando Resort). Two as part of the Hogwarts Express train ride and the other is a static exhibit in the Hogsmeade area.

Date Photo Taken 18/08/1966
Date Uploaded 03/09/2014
Image Owner/Copyright Howie Milburn
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Steam Loco Information for BR/GWR Collett 4-6-0 Class 4900 Hall No. 5972 at Woodham Brothers Scrapyard 1966 - Low Resolution Image

Steam Loco Class Information for BR/GWR Collett 4-6-0 Class 4900 Hall No. 5972 at Woodham Brothers Scrapyard 1966 - Low Resolution Image

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