The Great Western Railway made much use of its pannier tank designs for shunting, light freight and passenger work. By far the most numerous type was the 57xx class, of which 5786 is an example.
Eventually they numbered 863 and were to be found in almost all corners of the GWR system. They were introduced in 1929 and construction continued at various times until 1949. Slightly smaller versions appeared as the 54xx, 64xx and 74xx classes used for branch passenger and freight. The 16xx were the last in the long line of pannier tanks and were used on light branch line duties.
Examples of all these panniers soldiered on almost until the end of steam and many are preserved at various sites around the country. 5786 lasted longer than most as it was one of several sold to London Transport and survived working engineers’ trains around the LT system until steam ended at Neasden shed on the Metropolitan Line in 1971.
Numbered L.92, she was painted in London Transport’s attractive lined maroon livery. She was bought straight from LT service by the Worcester Locomotive Society and moved to the Severn Valley Railway before spending many years at the Bulmers Railway Centre at Hereford before that site closed and the Society moved its base to the South Devon Railway.
Sixteen 57xx class locomotives have been preserved. Of the 13 that saw service on London Transport, six have survived, namely 5764 (L.95) on the Severn Valley Railway, 5775 (L.89) on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, 7715 (L.99) at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, 7752 (L.94) and 7760 (L.90) both at the Birmingham Railway Museum as well as our own 5786 (L.92).
Current status: 5786 is in service and is in London Transport livery as L.92 (January 2018).