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GWR No 92 (and 342, 45, 95 & 96)


JimC

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040-92-Wolvrebuild-v21.jpg.2a055c09019069311b55ac17328c7b82.jpg

No 92 was one of five small 0-4-0STs, superficially rather similar in appearance, but which were not treated as a class.  With one exception they were late 19thC Wolverhampton reconstructions of older locomotives, and by the end of their long lives probably retained few original parts. 

The first of the group was no 45, built in 1880, which was a new engine, albeit given the number of a Sharp Stewart built locomotive withdrawn a very few years earlier. It had the odd feature of a cab that was only accessible from the right hand side. 

 

The next to appear were 95 and 96,which were originally Sharp Stewart built for the Birkenhead Railway, and their cabs only had entrances on the left hand side. In their final form they had rather vestigial spectacle plates at each end of the cab and a rather minimal roof. They were substantially reconstructed at Wolverhampton in 1890 and 1888 respectively when they received new boilers.
 

No 92 started life as two 0-4-2 saddle tanks, 91 & 92, built for the GWR by Beyer Peacock in 1857. In  1877/8, one good 0-4-0ST, 92 was made from the two. In 1893 it received a very major rebuild at Wolverhampton to gain basically the appearance shown here. Amazingly, it then survived until 1942, albeit only as a stationary engine in its latter years. A similar loco, 342, was built by Beyer Peacock in 1856, and bought by the GWR in 1864. This had a similar life to 92, converted to 0-4-0ST in 1881 and rebuilt in 1897.   The original 0-4-2ST form can be seen in this blog entry. 

 

 

A peculiarity of all these five was that the design had the firebox behind the trailing wheels with a distinctive long overhang. The result was much greater weight on the trailing wheels than the driving wheels and this high load on the second axle meant they were prohibited on uncoloured routes. They had long lives, mainly in the obscure northern reaches of the GWR around Wrexham.  At least two were cut down at one time or another for use on a route with a very low bridge, and this sketch of 92 is based on a photograph of the locomotive in cut down condition.

No. 342 was withdrawn in 1931 and No. 45 in 1938. No. 92 survived until 1942, with the boiler lasting a few more years in stationary use. One wonders whether the curious reluctance of Swindon to build 0-4-0Ts  was the reason for the long lives of these antiques, or contrariwise, their long lives were why Swindon didn't build any replacements.

 

Edited by JimC
link to No 342 page

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I've amended the drawing slightly based on new information in the photos Miss Prism uploaded. They might make a rather cute model. Sadly I lack the skills to make a chassis: I suppose I should try and research whether there's an RTR option with 16mm wheels and 29mm wheelbase.

 

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Cute indeed. I wonder if the wheelbase fits anything RTR. There are some slightly tricky shapes to deal with in terms of scratchbuilding the body, though. 

 

BTW that's a nice large image size now (when clicked), and the play with colours is very effective I think.

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I wonder if something might be done with the tank from a Dapol Pug - and a chopped up Triang Nellie Chassis?

Edited by JimC
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I've been given some GWR archive material, including a lot of locomotive diagrams, and to my surprise and delight they include weight diagrams of 342, 95/6 and 92. unfortunately the 342 drawing especially has suffered, but I may be able to work up some improvements on my drawings of these little oddities.

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The inaccessible side of 45. Rodless, presumably withdrawn on the scrapline, but I don't know when. 850 class tank/boiler fittings, with a cute top feed.

 

45-small.jpg.401fb3340d35fa3d3f5b08eb0702d78c.jpg

 

Edited by Miss Prism
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Why the steps and handrails on the inaccesible side of these locos?🙂

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4 hours ago, melmerby said:

Why the steps and handrails on the inaccesible side of these locos?🙂

 

For a shunter?

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5 hours ago, Miss Prism said:

The inaccessible side of 45. Rodless, presumably withdrawn on the scrapline, but I don't know when. 850 class tank/boiler fittings, with a cute top feed.

 

45-small.jpg.401fb3340d35fa3d3f5b08eb0702d78c.jpg

 

Hi Miss P

Any pictures of 850s with that type of tank?

I've only ever seen 3 panel or 5 panel versions.

(Or do you mean just the fittings so applied?)

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I meant only the fittings rather than the tank itself, which looks like a truncated 5-segment one.

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According to RCTS, 92 was originally changed to an 0-4-0 at Chester in 1878, by removing the trailing wheels and lopping off 2' 0", It's coupled wheelbase was 7' 4".

It had received the cylinders and frames from withdrawn 91 the year before. 

In Dec 1883 the 14" cylinders were replaced with new 15" ones.

 

In October 1893, No. 92 was completely rebuilt at Wolverhampton into it's later appearance and had it's wheelbase shortened to 7' 2"

It was withdrawn in July 1942 whilst being used as a stationary boiler at Wellington. The 50 yr old boiler lived on as a steam raiser there for a few years more.

 

At withdrawal it had run 785,000 miles in 84 years.

Not bad for such a small engine.

Edited by melmerby
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96 again, its rear buffers now solid wooden ones, lurking in a shed, possibly Birkenhead, Croes Newydd or Chester.

 

96-birkenhead-small.jpg.713a9a810961331a757d9d3e9d0801bb.jpg

 

Edited by Miss Prism
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Here's a reconstruction of how I hope No 96 might have looked when still in Sharp Stewart form, but after coming into GWR ownership. Apparently she and her sister were named Grasshopper and Cricket when in service with the Birkenhead Railway, and the brackets on the tank are presumably from where the name was removed. There is, apparently, some doubt as to which was Grasshopper and which Cricket. The sketch is worked up from a rather muddy photo of the opposite side of the locomotive, so a good deal is conjectural. Hopefully it gives a reasonable impression of the original. The photograph is presumably post 1876, which is when Great Western Way says the cabside plates replaced painted numbers.

 

040T-96.JPG.518d37cd15f20c972c35e9b787418278.JPG

Edited by JimC
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