3205 was built by the Great Western Railway at Swindon Works in 1946 and is the sole surviving member of the 120-strong 2251 class of locomotives designed by C. B. Collett.
The class was built for use on lightly laid lines in Wales to replace the ageing locomotives that the GWR had inherited from the Welsh railway companies that it absorbed during the 1923 grouping, when Britain’s 123 railway companies were merged into just four companies, the GWR, SR, LMS and LNER.
They were the last design of 0-6-0 tender engines to be built in Britain and had fairly large driving wheels at 5’2″, sharing a boiler with the 94xx heavy pannier tank locomotives being built in the 1940s.
After nationalisation, the 2251 class also found employment on other lighter duties on the Western Region of BR and 3205 eventually found herself on Somerset & Dorset metals after that line was taken over from the Southern Region. When 3205 was withdrawn from service in 1965, she was bought for preservation by the 2251 Fund, whose principal trustee was preservation pioneer, the late David Rouse, and became the second locomotive to arrive at Buckfastleigh for preservation later that year.
She moved to the Severn Valley Railway in 1967 and hauled their reopening train in 1970. Staying on the SVR for several years, she moved to the West Somerset Railway before coming back home to the South Devon Railway in 1998.
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