1501, GWR 1500 Class 0-6-0 pannier tank
Photographed in the Engine House, Highley, Shropshire, on 7 March during the Severn Valley Steam Gala.
Despite being a GWR design, all ten (nos 1500-9) of this class were built by the Western Region of British Railways in 1949.
Unlike all their forebears, these locomotives had outside cylinders, Walschaerts valve gear, and a very short wheelbase of 12' 10" to go round curves of 3½ chains. Above footplate level they were very similar to the 9400 class. The surprises were below the (very small) footplate, where they resembled the USATC S100 Class that the GWR ando other railways had used during the Second World War. Although a sound design, they had limited usefulness as they were very heavy and thus route restricted, and thanks to the short wheelbase, unsuitable for fast running. Their use was largely confined to empty stock workings at London Paddington station and their lives were short; for example 1509 lasted barely ten years in BR service.
1501 was one of the first of the class to be withdrawn in 1961 but was sold with 1502 and 1509 to the NCB for use at Coventry, which led to its preservation in 1970. on the Severn Valley Railway. In 2006 its boiler certificate expired and since then it has been awaiting overhaul.
Picture added on 14 March 2009