GWR 0-4-2T 1420 (4820)

The 14xx class (originally numbered in the 48xx series) was introduced in 1932.

75 were built fitted with 'push-pull' apparatus and a further 20, numbered 5800 to 5819, were built without push-pull control. They were a development of the old 517 Class 0-4-2 tanks built in the 1870s. The push-pull or auto train apparatus enabled the 14xx to work the specially constructed auto coaches (known as trailers) which the Great Western so much favoured for its branch line and some suburban services. The engine could work its train in either direction without the need to run round at termini.

No 4820 was completed at Swindon in November 1933 at a cost of £2285 for the engine and boiler, plus a further £70 for the automatic train control and auto-gear (push and pull equipment) with which she was fitted. Her life was spent in Wales, having been allocated to Pontrilas and Pontypool Road throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Renumbered from 4820 to 1420 in November 1946 at Cathays Shed (the idea being to make space in the numbering scheme for oil burning 2-8-0 locomotives), she found herself at Fairford in 1953, Oxford in 1956 and Exeter in 1959. After a time at Hereford shed, where she worked the Leominster to Kington branch, she was finally withdrawn from Gloucester shed having travelled over 600,000 miles in October 1964 and entered preservation, arriving at Buckfastleigh in 1965.

Three other 14xx locomotives are preserved - 1442 at Tiverton Museum, 1450 in private ownership, based on the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway and 4866 at the Great Western Society, Didcot.  

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1420 is owned by the South Devon Railway Association. She has been a regular and very reliable performer on the line right back to our re-opening four decades ago and is now patiently awaiting her turn for overhaul. 


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