GWR Pannier 9600
Built : Swindon 1945
Withdrawn : 1965 (BR)
Withdrawn : 1973 (NCB)
Restored : 1997
Mainline Certified : 1999
Mainline Re-Certified : November 2009
Photograph Features :
Images : click on an image to enlarge
9600 is one of the three 57xx class Great Western Pannier Tanks within the Tyseley Collection - 7752, 7760 & 9600. These locomotives were to be found practically all over the GWR system and were equally at home on shunting duties, freight trains and local passenger dutes.
9600 was built at the Swindon works of the Great Western Railway in 1945, as one of the hugely successful '57xx' class of 0-6-0 Pannier tank locomotives, which eventually totalled 790 locomotives in all. It represents the final development of the 57XX class, having a slightly enlarged cab with rounded eaves.
Officially designated 'light goods and shunting engines', 9600 was seen on a variety of trains, including the occasional local passenger train. 9600 spent most of its early years working from Swindon running shed, as well as around the works, however in early 1961 it was transferred to St. Phillips Marsh shed, Bristol.
From October 1962 it was moved to Aberdare shed, where ite stayed until 1964, apart from the usual repairs and overhauls at Swindon works.
Withdrawn from Neath shed in 1965, it was sold in September 1965 to the National Coal Board’s Merthyr Vale Colliery, from where it was withdrawn in April 1973.
Bought by 7029 Clun Castle Ltd, owning group of the locomotive collection at Tyseley, the engine's overhaul to the highest standards was completed in 1997. It was outshopped in British Railways mixed traffic black livery, which brought howls of protest from enthusiasts claiming that it was not authentic. However, photographic archives prove that some of Paddington’s panniers used for empty coach stock movements did receive this livery, rather than the plain BR freight black. So 9600 carries ‘the flag’ for its former Old Oak Common sisters.
The engine gained National Rail certification after hauling a passenger carrying trial to Stratford. Since then it was the first engine to hauled a mainline charter commencing from Vintage Trains' own Tyseley Warwick Road platform.
9600 has been used on main line excursions to Wolverhampton, Nuneaton, Cosford, Birmingham Surburban, East Midlands Circular, Mince Pie Specials and the Heathfield Branch.
9600 has a further claim to fame! A very unusual working from Tyseley occurred in August 2000 when GWR Pannier 9600 ran to Peak Rail with 3 Mark I compartment coaches for exchange for 3 Mark I open coaches. 9600 was selected for the job because there was not another engine approved to run on the entire National Rail network (steam or diesel) that had an axle load that could be used on the line between Ambergate and Matlock.
The locomotive has just completed an overhaul and has had OTMR & TPWS fitted to enable it to return to the mainline. It has already headed a Vintage Trains popular enthusiasts trip to Ironbridge and Kidderminster.