British Railway History Item
GWR Class 4700 2-8-0
Built 1919-23, Designed by George J. Churchward.
Total Number Built 9 - Total to BR 9
Introduced 1919. Churchward GWR mixed traffic design. 4700 originally built with smaller boiler but subsequently rebuilt. Classification 7F. These were the last of Churchward's designs.
The performance of The Great Bear on fitted freight work had been partly successful and a request from the traffic department for a locomotive to work heavy fast vacuum-fitted freights led Churchward to produce the 4700 Class.
Only nine were built, the prototype loco 4700 had a standard No. 1 boiler, as used on 4-6-0 and 2-8-0 freight engines. However, it was found that the No. 7 boiler with outside steam pipes designed for the enlargement of the Star could be used on the 5ft 8in 2-8-0, without exceeding weight limits, 4700 being altered later.
From 1932 the 3,500 gallon tenders were replaced with the 4,000 gallon variety.
This 9 strong class was built principally for fast goods and freight services, although on many occasions they could be found on many passenger duties. With a tractive effort almost equal to that of the Castle Class locomotives, they were ideal for use on specials and excursions. Thet spent most of their lives working at night on express freights between London, Wolverhampton and Plymouth. Their weight and size restricted their availability, but in their latter years they were frequently seen in the summer working expresses between Paddington and the Devon holiday resorts and maintained schedules on all but the fastest workings. In the late 1950s, seven were allocated to Old Oak Common shed with the other two at Bristol St, Phillips Marsh.
Number Series 4700-4708.
Built at Great Western Railway Swindon Works.
4700 Lot No. 214 1919
4701-4705 Lot No. 221 1922
4706-4708 Lot No. 221 1923
No. 4705 achieved the highest milage for a member of the class of 1,656,564 miles.
The first withdrawal was made in June 1962 when 4702 was condemmed from Southall shed. The last locos withdrawn were 4703, 4704 and 4707 in May 1964. None are preserved.
Loco 82 tons 0 cwt
Tend 46 tons 14 cwt
Driving Wheel: 5' 8"
Boil Press: 225lb/sq in Su
Cylinders: Two 19" x 30" (outside)
Valve Gear: Stephenson (piston valves)
TE: 30,460 lb
Class Total: 9
Allocation and Withdrawal Details
Last Updated : Saturday 10th December 2011 05:55