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5600 class introduction

Running numbers: 5600 - 5699, 6600 - 6699.

Built:    1924-25   (5600 - 5649, built by GWR) to lot number 228,
           1926-27   (5650 - 5699, built by GWR) to lot number 235,
           1927-8     (6600 - 6629, built by GWR) to lot number 244,
           1928        (6630 - 6649, built by GWR) to lot number 252,
           1928        (6650 - 6699, built by Armstrong Whitworth) to lot number 255.

        Most of the locomotives used to transport coal in South Wales in the early 1920's were of '5600' class number 6688the 0-6-2 tank design as the Rhymney, Taff and Barry Railways had used this configuration for some years. After grouping in 1922 and new engines were required by the GWR, it was decided that this was arrangement was best suited for the work and the working conditions, and so Charles Collett designed the '5600' class.

        The first engine built was number 5600 - no prototype was needed - and was constructed using many standard Great Western parts such as Standard number 2 boiler, 4 feet 7½ inch driving wheels and the 3 feet 8 inch trailing wheel. One striking detail of the class was the smokebox overhang which ended at the buffer beam.

        Production continued with minor detail alterations, for example parallel buffers replaced the tapered type and balance weights fitted inside the driving wheels webs opposite the crank pin.

        The last batch of the class was built by Armstrong Whitworth between August and October 1928.

        One feature of this class is that they ran better in reverse than in forward gear, making the trailing wheel into a bogie wheel.

Modification.
        Some engines built by Armstrong Whitworth were modified by Swindon for noisy brakes.

        From 1934, the class were fitted with recesses in the rear of the bunker, and later on, sliding screens were fitted to the cab sides.
       
Withdrawal.
        The first withdrawals of the class were four locomotives in May 1962, while the last engine in service was 6668 which survived until the last month of GWR steam, December 1965.

Preservation.
        Due to these engines working in Wales, eight of the nine preserved examples were taken to Dai Woodham's yard at Barry after withdrawal. The nine preserved engines are numbers 5619, 5637, 5643, 5668, 6619, 6634, 6686, 6695 and 6697.

Specifications.
Cylinders (2) 18 x 26 inches Driving wheel diameter 4 feet 7 inches
Trailing wheel dia 3 feet 8 inches Tractive Effort 25,800 pounds
Boiler type Number 2 Boiler maximum dia. 5 feet 0 inches
Boiler minimum dia. 4 feet 5 1/8 inches Fire tubes, no. and dia. 218 x 1 5/8 inches
Flue tubes, no. and dia. 6 x 5 1/8 inches Superheater tubes, no. and dia. 36 x 1 inch
Boiler pressure 200 lbs/square inch. Boiler length 11 feet 0 inches
Area of firegrate 20.35 square feet Heating surfaces, tubes 1,144.94 square feet
Heating surfaces, firebox 121.8 square feet Heating surfaces, superheater 82.2 square feet




    

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