Issue Date: 20/02/2014
Issue Name: Classic Locomotives of Wales: BR 5600 No.5652
Producer: Buckingham Covers
The railways of South Wales seem to have had a particular liking for the GWR 5600 Class. These Welsh locomotives were taken over by the GWR in 1923 and later, many passed into British Railways (BR) ownership in 1948, including the train on our cover, number 5652.
This cover was NOT reserved for club members as it is a special extra edition
BR 5600, No.5652 - a quick history
The GWR 5600 Class is a class of 0-6-2T steam locomotive built between 1924 and 1928. They were designed by C.B Collett for the Great Western Railway (GWR), and were introduced into traffic in 1924.
After the 1923 grouping, Swindon inherited a large and variable collection of locomotives from historic Welsh railway companies, which did not fit into their standardisation programme. GWR boiler inspectors arrived en mass and condemned many of the original locomotives. The systematic destruction of many examples of locomotives, most still in serviceable condition, followed. Of the Taff Vale Railway, many engines continued to operate up to the 1950s, but today only two locomotives survived, TVR 'O1' No.28, the last-surviving Welsh-built engine, and TVR 'O2' No.85.
Two hundred GWR 5600 class replacement locomotives were built and remained in service until withdrawn by British Railways between 1962 and 1965. Nine of the class have survived into preservation.
The railways of South Wales seem to have had a particular liking for the 0-6-2T type. This was because the nature of the work they undertook demanded high adhesive weight, plenty of power with good braking ability, but no need for outright speed, nor large tanks or bunker as the distances from pit to port were short. The 0-6-2 configuration was discovered to confidently handle the sharp curves so prevalent in the area.
These Welsh locomotives were taken over by the GWR at The Grouping in 1923 and some were rebuilt with GWR taper boilers. A number of them passed into British Railways (BR) ownership in 1948.
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Sir John Wigston is a member of the Guild of Railway Artists and has signed this lovely cover for us.