GWR 4575 Class - Preservation

Preservation

No fewer than 11 of these tank engines survived:

  • 4588, at Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway - under overhaul (GWR Green and for sale)
  • 5521, currently at Avon Valley Railway, Bristol, until mid August, 2012.
  • 5526, at South Devon Railway - Operational (BR Black) - auto-fitted
  • 5532, at Llangollen Railway - Under Restoration
  • 5538, at The Flour Mill, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire - Under Restoration.
  • 5539, at Llangollen Railway - Under Restoration
  • 5541, at LNWR Heritage, Crewe - Under Overhaul (BR Lined Green)
  • 5542, at Battlefield Line Railway - Operational (GWR Green) - auto-fitted
  • 5552, at Bodmin and Wenford Railway - Operational (BR Lined Green)
  • 5553, at LNWR Heritage, Crewe - Under Overhaul (BR Lined Green)
  • 5572, at Didcot Railway Centre - On static display awaiting overhaul

Number 5521 was built at Swindon in 1927 and spent most of its working life on branch lines in the West Country. After withdrawal, having run just over a million miles, it spent time at Barry and Bishops Lydeard before Richard and William Parker bought it in 1980. It moved first to the Dean Forest Railway, then to the industrial estate in Lydney, then to Swindon Works, then to the Swindon & Cricklade Railway and back again to the DFR before it was finally restored at The Flour Mill in the Forest of Dean from 2004 to 2007. In April 2007 5521 went by sea from Hull to Gdynia in Poland via Helsinki and featured in the Wolsztyn Parade. It then travelled with Hungarian (ex Sudbahn) 4-6-0 109.109 to Budapest, Hungary where it worked intermittently with MAV Nosztalgia, the heritage rail operator. In September 2007 it piloted the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from Budapest Keleti to Kelenfold stations on its return from Istanbul to Venice before competing in the Zvolen Grand Prix in Slovakia and the Central European Steam Locomotive Grand Prix at the Railway Heritage Park in Budapest. It returned to Poland and in May 2008 again appeared in the Wolsztyn Parade before operating suburban services from Wroclaw to Jelcz Laskowice, to the timings of the electric multiple units it was replacing, for several periods of up to nine days at a time, each with 36 scheduled stops and starts. In 2009 it returned to England the way it had come, after appearing at the Wolsztyn Parade for the third time. Since then it has visited the National Railway Museum, the North Norfolk Railway, the Dean Forest Railway, the Spa Valley Railway and the Bodmin and Wenford Railway. After Railfest it will return briefly to the DFR for a gala at the end of June before spending August 2012 at the Swindon & Cricklade Railway. 5521 is in Great Western livery as built, with the addition of a Westinghouse air pump on the driver's side, so that it has, along with a hand brake and a steam brake, the ability to brake trains fitted with both vacuum and air brake systems.

Number 5553 was the last steam engine to leave Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, in January 1990.

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