Query Corner

Q11.21. GWR 2-8-0 ROD class boiler replacements

What did Swindon do about boiler replacements for the GWR ROD locomotives? A member can't believe that the necessity never arose and yet, equally, was never aware of any receiving Swindon boilers, which surely would have been the logical choice.



The GWR locomotive and boiler records at the N.A. Kew (Rail 254 series) show that the GWR "Swindonised" 53 original ROD boilers in the late 1920's and these stayed with the class until they were withdrawn. There were no later additions and no other type of boiler was used on these locos. The boilers themselves were withdrawn between 14/02/48 (Boiler 3039) and 20/10/58 (Boilers 3013, 3971/4/81.
The 53 boilers were for the 50 locos that were retained from the original 100 that were brought. The low spare boiler ratio (6%) for a relatively small class was because the boilers were not expected to have to undergo heavy repairs that often. This time between heavy repairs actually happened in practise but, because the boilers were modified over a short space of time, they tended to bunch in terms of the need to carry out those heavy repairs -1943 to 1945 being years when the number of repairs were quite significant. It would appear that the GWR thought the design quite sound and, as the locos were virtually new (and very cheap!), they just needed a decent copper firebox and more GWR style boiler fittings to make them suitable for long term use. The society history of GWR locomotives states that there was a pre-war proposal to fit the locos with the Standard No 1 boiler but this were not pursued. I would guess that the war took away that opportunity and after it ended the Austerity 2-8-0 locos quickly arrived on the GWR scene. (AW:13235)

last updated: 22/09/11