History - 7200 Trust
Driven by Success
Built by the Great Western Railway in 1930 originally as 2-8-0T numbered 5275 for use in South Wales hauling heavy coal trains, the locomotive became redundant in this traffic as coal usage became less, and was later put into storage at Swindon Works. The original building cost of No.5275 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. After completion on August 31st 1934, 7200 left Swindon for the Welsh Neath division and was shedded at Llanelli until 1940, when she returned to Swindon Works for light repairs and again in 1942 for an 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 February 1947, 7200 then moved on to new pastures, the Newton Abbot Division. Regularly carrying out banking duties from Aller Junction to Dainton Tunnel, working the Stoneycome ballast trains and the monthly coal train up the Kingswear branch. She was even known to have worked holiday trains from Paignton to Newton Abbot. In February 1950, she moved to St. Blazey to help out in the china clay traffic for 2 years. 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 and 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). 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 on the 18th of February, 1962. 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, rusting 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 has started. Sixteen years and £200,000 later, the progress made has been impressive, but there is still much to do... it is hoped to use her when fully restored on visits to other preserved railways with lengthy track and steep gradients, when once again the sharp bark of her exhaust will be heard.