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5552 - Steam Locomotive

Type: Steam Locomotive
Operation: GWR '4575' Class 2-6-2T
Number: 5552
Built Date: 1928
Built in: Swindon
Condition: Overhaul in progress
Livery: BR Lined Green


No 5552 was one of a class of 100       2-6-2T locomotives from the ‘4575’ Class, built by the Great Western Railway from 1927-29, which were largely the same as the earlier 75-strong 45xx class, but with sloping instead of the original flat-topped side tanks.  They were used on a variety of duties throughout the former GWR system and were a very regular sight throughout the West Country on branch lines, for which work they were ideally suited.   The 45xx and ‘4575’ class were very much “the Bodmin engines” for over 40 years.

          No 5552 was built by the GWR at Swindon Works in 1928 at a cost of £3,578.   It worked throughout Devon and Cornwall, and from 1937-55 was based at Newton Abbot shed.  No 5552’s last place of work was Truro, from where it was withdrawn and sent to Barry scrapyard in May 1961 after covering nearly 900,000 miles in service with the GWR and British Railways.

          No 5552 was purchased from the scrapyard in 1986 and brought to Bodmin.    After an extensive restoration, which included the manufacture of many replacement parts, the ‘small prairie’ tank re-entered service on the BWR in September 2003 and has been a regular performer on the line ever since.  In late 2012, the locomotive was withdrawn for its 10 year overhaul. It is planned to return 5552 to service in June 2019.

The engine is owned by the Bodmin & Wenford Railway Trust.