GWR 2857

Built 

1918

Type

GWR 2800

Length

63ft 2¼”

Weight

75t 10cwt

Status

Active

You may have seen this loco on Netflix’s Enola Holmes!

The 2800 class were heavy-freight locos designed by Churchward for the Great Western Railway, with the first 84 locos being built between 1903 and 1919.  A further batch of 83 locos with only relatively minor changes was built between 1938 and 1942. It would be unheard of these days for a design with so few changes to be in production for so long!

The member of the class based on the SVR is No 2857.  It was built in 1918, and withdrawn in 1964 as dieselisation of the Western Region of British Railways was nearing completion.  No 2818 had been chosen to become part of the National collection, but along with 14 other locos of the class, 2857 was bought for scrap by Woodham’s at Barry.  It was hoped initially that one or two locos might be saved for preservation from those at Barry, but in the end nearly all of them were, and several of them have been steamed during the last 50 years.

2857 was purchased from Woodham Bros in May 1974 by the 2857 Society for use on the SVR, and after restoration work, was steamed for the first time in September 1979.  It has had several overhauls since, including the use of a cylinder block which had been discovered under a pile of coke during the demolition of Briton Ferry Steelworks in South Wales!

One unique event in 1985 happened during the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Great Western Railway, when 2857 took a number of SVR goods wagons to Newport; such an event would be impossible these days!

The locos weren’t built for speed, mostly hauling heavy freight, especially coal from south Wales, but for a railway such as the SVR with a 25 mph speed limit, that is no problem, and 2857 will happily pull the longest trains we run with ease!

Book your tickets for a journey behind GWR 2857

View the locomotive roster to find out when 2857 is next working