Living Museum of the Great Western Railway

4709 - 47xx Class

Churchward's last great masterpiece, the 47XX mixed traffic 2-8-0, is among the most iconic locomotives ever produced for the Great Western Railway. Only nine of these huge locomotives were built, primarily for fast overnight freight work, earning them the nickname 'Night Owls'.

Ironically the heyday for the class only came in the post-nationalisation years when the potential of these locomotives for use on heavy Summer Saturday passenger trains was recognised. In recognition of this they were turned out in fully lined BR passenger green livery.

None of the class survived, but over the years many people have expressed a desire to see a 47XX 2-8-0 in action again.

4709 is a new member of the class, which is being built using a mixture of new parts and others recycled from former Barry scrapyard locomotives. The Great Western Society project really began in 2012 with the cutting of new mainframe plates. The frames were duly assembled at Llangollen, and in August 2020 were transported to the premises of Leaky Finders at Hele, near Exeter, where the rolling chassis is to be assembled.

To learn more about recent progress see the latest 4709 Project Newsletter (August 2020) from the 4709 project website

Download the 4709 Appeal Leaflet (426kb .pdf document)

Download a 4709 Donation Form from the 4709 project website

Under Construction
Wheel arrangement
2 - 8 - 0
Route availability
Barrel diameter
5 feet 6 inches
Barrel length
14 feet 10 inches
Boiler pressure
225 lbs/sq in
Boiler type
Standard No. 7
Coal capacity
6 Tons
(2) 19 x 30 inches
Heating surfaces, firebox
169.75 sq ft
30.28 sq ft
Power class
Superheater area
323.9 sq ft
Tractive effort
30,460 pounds
Heating surfaces, tubes
2062.35 sq ft
Water capacity
4,000 gallons
82 tons
Wheel diameter
5 feet 8 inches

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