7200 newly converted, standing outside Swindon works

№ 7200 2‑8‑2T

Built by the Great Western Railway, originally as 2‑8‑0T № 5275 for use in South Wales hauling heavy coal trains, the loco became redundant in this traffic as coal usage became less, and was put into storage at Swindon. The original building cost was £4,380 which included £933 for the boiler.

She re-entered the Factory on the 23rd July 1934 for alteration to 2‑8‑2T arrangement, and was renumbered 7200. The modifications cost £200.

Old photograph of 7200 in GWR days

After completion and running in, 7200 left Swindon for the Welsh Neath division and was shedded at Llanelli until 1940, when she returned to the Swindon pool for light repairs and again in 1942 for a intermediate repair. For some reason in 1943, 7200 ended up at Tyseley for repairs, leaving soon afterwards to return to her home ground. In 1944 after completing 226,294 miles she was shopped at Caerphilly, where she received her second boiler C2606 and then returned to Llanelli and Landore for a short while.

In 1947 7200 then moved on to new pastures, the Newton Abbot Division. Regularly carrying out banking duties from Aller Junction and for a short while being used on the heavy china clay traffic out of St Blazy, she was even known to have worked holiday trains from Paignton to Newton Abbot. Returning to the Swindon pool in 1952 for a heavy general overhaul 7200 received her third boiler C3174 after 408,686 miles. On completion of the overhaul 7200 returned to her old stomping grounds of Llanelli, Ebbw Junction, Landore, completing only a further 75,281 miles before returning to Caerphilly in 1956 for her third heavy general and her fourth boiler C5218 (which she still carries to the present day).

7200 outside an engine shed

From there 7200 moved on to DanyGraig, Llanelli and Landore, clocking up another 70,000 miles with general freight and iron ore duties, before returning from Duffryn Yard in 1960 for her last heavy intermediate repair at Caerphilly. During the last two years of service 7200 managed to clock up a further 50,000 miles including a trip to Stafford Road Wolverhampton for her final light casual in February 1962.

7200 awaiting restoration at Quainton Road

A year later, on the 2nd July 1963, 7200 was condemned - aged 33 years, and with a total of 605,523 miles. On the 9th October 1963 she was sold to Woodham Brothers at Barry Wales, where she stood in a siding for eighteen years.

In September 1981 she departed barry - the 137th engine to do so - and was moved to the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, where she stood in a siding for a further fifteen years.

The 7200 Trust was formed in 1996, and restoration started. Many years later, and much sweat (and blood and tears), the progress made has been impressive, but there is still much to do...

7200 facts & figures

Origin Great Western Railway
Class 7200 (72XX)
Wheel arrangement 2-8-2T (Mikado)
Designer Charles Collett
Introduced 1934
Number built 54
Tractive effort 33,170 lb
BR power classification 8F
Boiler class Swindon standard № 4
Working pressure 200 lbs psi
Barrel diameter, front 4' 11"
Barrel diameter, rear 5' 6"
Length of tubes 11'
Large tubes (14) 5⅛" diameter
Superheater elements (84) 1" diameter
Small tubes (235) 1⅝" diameter
Heating surface, tubes 1350 sq ft
Heating surface, superheater 192 sq ft
Heating surface, firebox 129 sq ft
Firebox outside measurements 7' x 5' 9" / 4' 0"
Firebox inside measurements 6' 2½" x 4' 8½" x 3' 2¾"
Grate incline to front 10°
Grate area 20.56 sq ft
Cylinders (2) 19" diameter
Piston stroke 30"
Cylinder centre to 1st coupled 5'
Adhesion weight 73 tons
Engine weight full 92 tons 12 cwt
Engine weight empty 73 tons 11 cwt
Wheel diam coupled 4' 7½"
Wheel diam front pony 3' 2"
Wheel diam rear trailing 3' 8"
Axle weight front pony 9 tons 7 cwt
Axle weight first coupled 18 tons 14 cwt
Axle weight second coupled 18 tons 10 cwt
Axle weight third coupled 17 tons 1 8cwt
Axle weight rear coupled 17 tons 13 cwt
Axle weight rear trailing 10 tons 10 cwt
Outside engine overall length 44' 10"
Height to smokebox centre 8' 2"
Height to cab roof centre 12' 10"
Water tank capacity 2500 gallons
Coal capacity 6 tons
Minimum curve 6 chains normal; 5 chains slow
Maximum speed 30-35mph

The 7200 Trust

Read about the work of the 7200 Trust.

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7200 class

History of the 7200 class (72XX) Locomotives.

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