5532 at Ebbw

Above: 5532 at Ebbw Junction Shed, Newport, on 31st July 1939. (RHG Simpson)

Tank engines of the 2-6-2 wheel arrangement, known as 'Prairie' tanks, were first introduced by the Great Western Railway for branch and secondary line use in 1905. George Jackson Churchward introduced two tank classes that differed mainly in wheel size. The classes were the 44xx (with driving wheels of 4 foot 1 inch) and 45xx (with driving wheels of 4 foot 7½ inches). Some of the earliest engines in the class were built in Stafford Road Works Wolverhampton, as well as the main works at Swindon. The 45xx class was the last to be built at Wolverhampton.

Between 1927 and 1929, Charles Collett introduced a modified class with larger water tanks; the 4575 class. The class worked extensively in Wales and the West of England. One of the star turns of the class was hauling part of the Cambrian Coast Express to Pwllheli in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as parts of the Cornish Riviera Express. Despite their apparently small size, they were capable of good acceleration, and could haul passenger trains of up to 11 coaches.

5532 at Plymouth North Road

Above: 5532 at Plymouth North Road during August 1959. (Keith Jones)

5532 was turned out from Swindon Works during June 1928 at a total cost of £3,602. After a few days running in at Reading, she was first allocated to Stourbridge Junction for duties in the West Midlands. Her next shed was Worcester. Later, whilst at Newport Ebbw Junction, 5532 was used to haul the Royal Train on 22nd October 1941. With classmate 5516, she hauled the train from Hereford to Monmouth Troy. Later the same day she hauled the Royal Train (with King George VI on board) from Monmouth Troy to Ross on Wye. She was based at a number of sheds in South Wales and South West England until being withdrawn in 1962. 5532 was also based at Oswestry for a short period in the Autumn of 1953.

5532 was withdrawn from service on 10th July 1962 from Laira, having travelled 705,111 miles in service. She was bought by Woodham Brothers Barry on 4th September 1962, and was to spend the next 20 years at Barry. She stayed there until 1982 when sold to the Dean Forest railway.

The Llangollen Railway Great Western Locomotive Group wanted to buy a Small Prairie tank from Barry in 1987, and from those that remained chose 5538. However, as this had a cracked cylinder, the group exchanged the frames and some other parts with 5532, as this was felt to be the most economic option. The numbers of engines are decided by their frames and therefore the Group became owners of 5532 when the exchange was made.

The Group bought a range of components over the years. They then helped build and pay for a part of the new engine shed, including an inspection pit. When the shed was ready, the frames were moved in during 1997, and restoration of the frames commenced. Additionally, the group bought connecting and coupling rods, paid for the repair and replacement of springs, contract work on the frames, and turning and reprofiling all the wheels. In all around £30,000 has been spent on restoration since the move into the shed.

Below: Cylinder Liners being fitted by Contractors from the Severn Valley. A complex £16,000 job requiring the use of Liquid Nitrogen (boiling point minus 196 deg C) a lot of care and thick gloves!

Photos - Charles Cooksley

Going in for cooling

Coming out cold (-196 deg C)


A quick inspection

Warming up and covered in frost

New Safety Valve

Photo: Brian Bristoll

4th May 2007 - Eccentric rods ordered in conjunction with 5539. Price about £6400. Now delivered

5532 at Ebbw

Above: A glimpse of the future. 5541 masquerades as 5532 in Llangollen yard to give the GWRLG a glimpse of what they are aiming for. (Charles Cooksley)

Left: During 1999, a visit by restored sister 5541 allowed 5532 to 'reappear' briefly on a service train, giving a taste of what is in store.

1) 5552 at the B&W

Boscarne Junction to Bodmin General

2) 5552 takes the grade (1 in 40)

CAB RIDE From Bodmin Parkway up the hill towards Bodmin General


If you like what you see here - why not become a shareholder and join the Group - even help on rebuilding the engine.

Pic 1 Left - 5532 frames (L) alongside 3802 frames 6th March 2004:

Pic 2 - finish painting the driving wheels before fitting 8th May 2005

Pic 3 -  Pony Truck finish painted and ready to be fitted.                             

Pic 4 - Front end of the frames.

Pic 5 - 5532 in Llangollen Shed lined up behind 5539 -16th April 2008

Photos:   George Jones & John Rutter

5532 in Llangollen Shed:      

Pic1  Left - New bunker fitted 6th March 2004:  

Pic 2 - New rear frame sections welded in and new cross member riveted in

Pic 3 - The locomotive has a new bunker and cab roof, the driving wheels are in position and the pony trucks and wheels are due to be fitted during 2008.

All Photos John Rutter

Progress on Restoration

If you would like to know more about the group, or would like to help with restoration, either financially or physically, please get in touch:

Mike Fazey , Group Chairman, 27 Park Drive , Hoole, Chester CH2 3JR ... 01244 312769

The GWR Locomotive Group also has its own website.

Last updated 8th Feb 2015  by John Rutter- email webmaster

As of 23rd January, work completed in 2008 on 5532 by the Llangollen PLC and sub contractors amounts to £6,375.56 inc VAT.


VOLUNTEERING.. Many thanks to all those members who have helped in the restoration work and the shop

DONATIONS .. Many thanks to all who donated railwayana, books, calendars etc for the shop .

We also accept Railway magazines, but not other magazines as they don’t sell.

SHARES … Available from £25 in 5532 .

Please contact me for details

George Jones

Llangollen Railway Great Western Locomotive Group

24 Fairmount Road Wrexham LL13 9GX

ALSO  We have a range of railway uniforms


Body warmers

Long sleeve jumpers

Short sleeve jumpers

Full length mac


Zip front jacket

Guards jacket

Big range of ties and some shirts

5532 in the shed on 28th August 2008. Photo taken from the footplate of 80072.

The brake rigging is set out ready for fitting

Photo John Rutter

You are very welcome to visit our shop at Carrog, in the first coach behind the cattle dock

(the coach behind us supports the Standard Class 4 Tank loco no 80072 - now operational)


uniforms,lamps,posters,railway prints,  railway rule books,

some railwayana and timetables etc.
Non Fiction

GIFTS and toys

The range of stock is changing weekly.

One of our supporters has donated 00 Gauge SCALE drawings of Barmouth Station.  These show the original station as it was in about 1987 and are shown on 14 A4 pages.

 These have been skillfully dawn by a supporter who has given us Copyright and rights to sell on behalf of our Group.

 Depending on support, he may make other Cambrian and other North Wales scale drawings available to us.

 As far as I know there are NO plans of the Ruabon – Barmouth Junction line.

 The pack is a set of 14 fourteen 4mm scale drawings @ £5  and are available from the above address

00 Scale Drawings of Barmouth Station

The Llangollen Railway GWR Loco Group

2859 and 5532 were bought from Barry in 1987 by the GWR loco group, who are undertaking their restorations. At present 5532 is the focus of attention, and resides in Llangollen shed; for the future the group has bought many thousand pounds' worth of parts for 2859 including complete sets of rods, back head cab fittings and so on.

You can help the group by becoming a shareholder in the locomotives - from £25 - which entitles you to a free trip on the first train hauled by either locomotive; a share certificate; photographs of both locomotives and free newsletters.

5532 Shed Allocations

Stourbridge Junction


21st June 1928



20th November 1934


75 WOS

May 1935



23rd November 1935


75 WOS

July 1936



22nd April 1937

Ebbw Junction, Newport


August 1937



14th May 1945

Pontypool Road


October 1947

Pontypool Road





July 1952



November 1953

Bristol (Bath Road)


December 1953



8th November 1958



14th May 1959

Laira (Plymouth)


9th December 1959


10th July 1962



Dean Forest Railway





Principal Dimensions

Wheel arrangement


Power classification

C / 4MT

Nominal tractive effort

21,250 lbs


61 tons

Wheel diameters

3'2", 4'7½", 3'2"


Two 17½" x 24"

Boiler pressure


Valve gear


Route Availability