GWR Pannier 7714
A Collett 5700 class GWR pannier tank, 7714 is currently owned by the SVR Pannier Tank Fund. The 5700 class was designed by Charles Collett for the GWR in the late 1920s to replace an ageing fleet of Victorian engines. Collett’s versatile design was highly successful and more 5700 pannier tanks were built than any other GWR engine; 863 locomotives were out-shopped between 1929 and 1950, of which only 16 survive. Designed primarily for light goods and shunting duties, they proved themselves as all-rounders and found use on both freight and passenger services. After nationalisation, British Railways’ Western Region rated the class as 4F, although elsewhere the class was rated 3F.
The sheer number of these pannier tanks built meant that the GWR’s Swindon works alone could not out-shop them all. Two hundred and fifty 5700 class locomotives were built by outside contractors, including 7714, which was built by Kerr Stuart in Stoke-on-Trent. The rivets visible on the water tanks are a sign of its non-Swindon origin.
7714 was one of the earliest class 5700s, out-shopped in 1930. A two cylinder 0-6-0PT, 7714 is just over 31ft in length. Compared to the other GWR engines working at the SVR, 7114 has a much smaller grate of 15sq ft, as well as a slightly lower working boiler pressure, operating at a maximum of 200psi.
Initially allocated to Tyseley, 7714 moved around sheds until 1959 when it was withdrawn from service, having clocked up over half a million miles. It was sold to the National Coal Board for use at the Penallta colliery in south Wales, where it mainly acted as a spare engine. Despite this, by the time 7714 was rescued for preservation in 1973 by the SVR Pannier Tank Fund, it was in a much-worn condition and a lengthy restoration followed.
In 1992, 7714 first steamed in preservation, seeing regular use on the SVR, as well as visiting other railways. Overhauled twice since then (and displayed at The Engine House whilst waiting in the overhaul queue) this former GWR workhorse has proved itself a mainstay of the SVR, recording 85,063 miles in preservation.