1400 Class live steam locomotive
- Material: Brass, Copper, Stainless steel.
- Wheel Configuration: 0-6-0.
- Scale: 1:32 ,45mm gauge track.
- Gas-fired live steam.
- Ceramic burner.
- All brass construction.
- Two working cylinders.
- Sliver soldered , copper boiler.
- Stainless steel motion.
- Water gauge.
- UK made pressure gauge.
- Reverser in cab.
- Sprung axles/buffers.
- Two working adjustable safety valves.
Available in black and green liveries.
The GWR 1400 Class Steam Locomotive
The Great Western Railway (GWR) 1400 Class comprised 75 lightweight steam locomotives used to haul passenger coaches on branch lines. Originally numbered under the 4800 Class beginning with their 1932 introduction, these locomotives built upon the successful but then-aging 517 design produced by George Armstrong for GWR in 1868. GWR Chief Mechanical Engineer Charles Benjamin Collett updated and modernized the time-tested 517 design, producing with the 1400 Class a generally successful locomotive, the last of which was retired from service in 1965.
A Closely Related Successor to the 517 Enters Service
Armstrong's 517 locomotive design was updated a number of times at Wolverhampton Works between its 1868 unveiling and 1885. The final major structural revision to the 517 left it with a wheelbase of 15 feet, 6 inches, an increase of nearly two feet compared to the original layout.
By 1924, many 517 class locomotives had been outfitted with upgraded fireboxes and boilers, as well, and most of the older units had been converted to longer wheelbases. A final update to the 517 provided several locomotives with the equipment needed to work with GWR's push-pull, driving-cab autocoach system, an arrangement that did away with the need to relocate the locomotive at each end of a train's journey.
In the early 1930s, Collett was tasked with designing a successor to the sixty-plus-year-old 517 that would combine its strengths and basic design with a variety of more modern equipment and features. The 4800 Class of locomotives that resulted, later to be permanently renumbered into the 1400 Class, stuck closely to the 517 in many significant respects. Some important dates for this class of locomotives included:
- 1932. Locomotive 4800 was finished at the GWR railway works in Swindon and put into service.
- 1936. Locomotive number 4874, the last of the 4800 series, emerged from the Swindon railway works, with 75 of this design then being in service. GWR had by then also produced 20 locomotives of the 5800 Class, using a design very similar to the 4800 Class engine but which was not outfitted for autocoach service.
- 1946. After GWR modified a group of 20 2800 Class engines to burn oil, the 75 members of the 4800 Class were renumbered from 1400 to free up their original designations for the recently converted, experimental locomotives. Although GWR put an end to the oil-burning trial only two years later, the 1400 Class would retain its new designation thereafter.
- 1956. A locomotive of the 4800 Class became the first of its kind to be retired and scrapped, with the rest to follow into retirement over the course of the next ten years.
- 1961. The last of the sibling 5800 Class locomotives was pulled from service, with a lack of autocoach capability having left little work for these engines since some time before.
- 1965. Engine numbers 1442 and 1450 were withdrawn permanently from GWR service at Exmouth Junction in May. The former locomotive would be preserved as an exhibit at Triverton Museum, with the latter becoming a functional part of the Severn Valley heritage railway. Engines 1420 and 1466 have also been preserved and are being overhauled by the South Devon Railway and the Didcot Railway Centre, respectively.
By the time the last 1400 Class locomotive was officially retired in 1965, a number of others had gone years seeing only occasional usage. Diesel engines had by that point mostly supplanted steam locomotives on the Great Western Railway and elsewhere.