1924 G.W.R. Class 56XX 0-6-2T No. 5619

image002This powerful class of locomotives were built in Swindon and introduced by Collett for use on heavy coal trains in the South Wales Valleys.  5619 was built in 1924, working on coal traffic before finishing service on pilot duties from Old Oak Common, London.

When withdrawn, it was sent to Woodhams Scrapyard in Barry, from where it was purchased in 1973 by Telford Development Corperation and transported to Horsehay for static restoration and display in the Old Loco Shed.  However, Telford Horsehay Steam Trust convinced them to allow them to restore it to operating condition, which they successfully completed by 1981.

It was worked hard on many preserved railways until its ten year boiler certificate expired.  In 1998 lottery funding was secured to commence the restoration to running condition again.  This time a major strip down and full overhaul of motion and boiler was required.  Initial work was carried out by TSR and at Tyseley Railway works. In 2006 a major financial deal was arranged and the loco was completed at The Flour Mill. 5619 re-entered service in February 2008 and spent most of its time on hire to other railways, returning to Telford for galas and special events.

In 2014, due to boiler issues, 5619 returned to the Flour Mill for an early ten year overhaul, with the intended return to service in 2015. Again, until our line is longer, the loco is likely to work away from Telford, returning for some galas.

From GWR record cards:

Lot No.228. Built March 1925. Weight – Empty 53T 12cwt, Working – 66T 16cwt

Capacity 1900 Gallons. Cylinders 18in dia. * 26in stroke

Tractive Effort – 25,800

Cost £3,988 including £906 for boiler

Condemned 15 June 1964, sold to Woodham Bros. in Barry 18 August 1964

Total Mileage at withdrawal – 778,263


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