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  1. ^ School Grants Single Moms (studentfinancequide.club)
  2. ^ How Long Do They Give You To Pay Back Student Loans (studentfinancequide.club)
  3. ^ Glenn Miller Plane Crash Aviation & Aerospace About.com (aviation.about.com)

Jan Ford's World: Review of the Year

Another wonderful year for which I’m very grateful. The notes below are not comprehensive, they just outline more memorable events.


There is an alphabetic list of most of the countries I’ve visited in the post Jan Ford’s Travels: Around the World in pictures[1], with links to each country’s pictures.

Singapore to Sandakan aboard the MS Caledonian Sky

I left home on the 24th January 2015, travelling from Birmingham Airport to Singapore (with a transit in Dubai) using Emirates. After a comfortable night at the Shangri-La Hotel, I joined the 100-odd fellow passengers on the Noble Caledonia party for a tour of the city by coach and river boat, including the famous Botanic Gardens before finishing at the airport for our overnight Air Niguini flight to Papua New Guinea. We first had a ‘day-room’ at the Crowne Plaza hotel before a bus tour of Port Moresby which included a brief visit to the impressive National Parliament Building. We were then made very welcome at the Country Park before being taken to our ship ‘Caledonian Sky’.

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year ‘Caledonia Sky’ visits Thursday Island, Australia.

During the first day on our well-appointed ship, we sailed across the Coral sea to reach Thursday Island (called ‘TI’ by residents) which is part of Australia, lying north of Queensland. A coach took us on a tour of the western part of the island then, after lunch, I walked around the eastern part of the island. I found it all fascinating. The whole of the next day we sailed across the Arafura Sea back to the New Guinea land mass but further west to the Asmat region which is part of Indonesia. We went ashore at Syuru by ‘Zodiacs’, met by around 40 canoes with fierce-looking, chanting native people who were fortunately friendly. We first watched traditional ceremonies for the launching of four new dugout canoes before walking through the local village of rather primitive buildings to reach the slightly more modern town of Agats, where our Zodiacs picked us up and took us back to the ship. The next day, following an early morning ‘Zodiac’ trip to see the mangroves and nipah palms, we sailed for Triton Bay, arriving the following day. In the morning, the ‘Zodiacs’ took us around some of the limestone pillars forming small islands, in the afternoon we landed at a sandy beach before sailing overnight for Andamatta. ‘Zodiacs’ took us to see the prehistoric rock paintings then the ship moved to Kokas where we landed at the more modern village by ‘Zodiacs’. We were entertained by a series of dances outside the school and there was time to wander among the friendly Indonesian people before returning to the ship. Overnight, we sailed to the Boo Archipelago. At Torobi Island, a nature cruise by ‘Zodiac’ in the crystal-clear waters revealed a little of the magical world of the coral reef below the surface. In the afternoon, we landed on the tiny island of Pulao Boo with its white beaches of crushed coral. Swimming was curtailed as the sea became rougher, but there was time to walk right around the island before returning to the ship. Our next destination was Ternate in the Molucca Islands but, before we arrived, there was a ‘Crossing the Line’ ceremony with King Neptune and his entourage where passengers who had not previously crossed the equator by ship were invited to ‘Kiss the Fish’. Ternate was the largest community we’d seen since joining the ship. Coaches took us to a fascinating visit at the Sultan’s Palace, a Lava Field left by a previous volcanic eruption of Mount Gamalama, the ruins of Portuguese-built Fort Tolucco, the former home of naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace and finally the Market. We sailed overnight to Sulawesi, another Indonesian Island (originally called ‘Celebes’ by the Portuguese). We docked at Bitung, an important port with a population exceeding 200,000. Once ashore, modern coaches took us to the nearby Fish Dock, the Local Market then the village of Sawangan where pupils at a Christian school sang for us. Nearby, we were given refreshment whilst performers sang and danced. The coaches took us back to the ship for lunch after which an hour’s drive took us to the Tangkoko Nature Reserve to see the rare Spectral Tarsier monkey. Overnight, we cruised to Bunaken Island, Sulawesi. The Marine Reserve here is one of the most important in the world and our ‘Zodiac’ cruise provided spectacular views of the coral reef. Around 1.00 p.m. we set off for Toli Toli, Sulawesi, our last port of call in Indonesia, which we reached around noon the following day. Tricycle rickshaws took us into town, where we looked at the Market. A mixture of public and Police coaches then took us to a former Sultan’s house, now a museum, where tents and seating had been arranged for us to watch a ‘cultural performance’. We were then taken in convoy to the Mayor’s Restaurant for refreshments and entertainment by a ‘Bamboo Band’ and a modern ‘Sing Along’. Impressed and exhausted, we returned to our ship.

We cruised through the night, then the whole of the following day and night before arriving at our final port, Sandakan on the island of Borneo. Sandakan, with a population around 400,000 is in Sabah, part of Malaysia. On leaving the ship, coaches first took us to Sandakan Memorial Park which commemorates the allied prisoners of the Japanese who died here during World War II. Next we visited the reconstructed house of American author Agnes Keith, who survived internment by the Japanese. Finally, we visited Sepilok, home of the world-famous Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and, more recently, the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre before enjoying the comforts of the Four Points by Sheraton hotel overnight. Most of the passengers travelled to Kuala Lumpur on the same flight, transiting to a London flight. I travelled with them as far as Kuala Lumpur and then by Emirates back to Birmingham. It was a memorable trip. There are 22 posts describing the whole voyage. You can find them all here[2], with links to pictures for each country visited. Pictures of the ship are here[3].

Trip to Burma

On the 17th April, I flew from Manchester to Yangon, via Doha, by Qatar Airways. Dr. Hla Tun met me on arrival in Yangon and in the evening, in a party including Emily, a young medical student from U.S.A. we drove south to Mon State and spent a few days visiting Drop In Centres forming part of the Orphans and Vulnerable Children Project. Our return to Yangon proved more exciting than expected as our car was hit by another vehicle and badly damaged. Fortunately, nobody was hurt but we were delayed awaiting a replacement vehicle to complete the journey. After a night at Dr. Hla Tun’s house, on Friday, 24th April Emily and I flew with the Doctor to Nyaung Oo and then on to Bagan Medical Clinic by car. I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday studying the work of the Clinic then on Monday Dr. Hla Tun and I, together with two newly-qualified doctors and the parents of one, visited the schools at Chauk Kan and Htee Pu. Later that day, the Doctor and I flew back to Yangon. The next day, I flew with a guide to the north of Burma, to Putao in Kachin State which overlooks the snow-covered mountains of the Himalayas. I spent an enjoyable few days seeing a little of this very different area, staying at ‘Putao Trekking House’ which was a very well-appointed and hospitable hotel. The tour included a 10-mile trek to Nang Kham village where a Guest House was opened especially for my overnight stay.

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Putao: view of snow-topped mountains at sunset (sorry about the electric cables).

I flew to Mandalay, explored the city (and its railways), and made a pleasant visit to Mingun with my friend Htein Lin and his family. Before flying back to Yangon, I met my friends Ko Hlaing and Ma Khaing with their vivacious young daughter. Back in Yangon, I explored a little on foot and made a couple of railway journeys around the city. I accompanied the Doctor on Orphanage visits organised by ‘Pencils for Kids Inc.’. The Doctor had also arranged visits to the diesel locomotive depot at Mahlwagon and the locomotive works at Insein. Another amazing trip to this fascinating country! My first trip report is here[4], with a link to the next post, and so on. All reports on this trip are here[5]. Each post has links to related photographs. All my pictures on the trip are here[6] (railway pictures have been added to the collection Railways in Burma[7]).


During the year I made a few trips (mainly by rail) to various destinations, some of which have blog posts.

Irlam Station

On 28th March, I attended the official re-opening of the restored station building at Irlam. My journey by rail is described here[8] and the re-opening here[9].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Irlam Station Launch: The restored building viewed from the Down platform.

By Rail to Guildford

I travelled to Guildford on 8th August for the OLCO[10] ‘Lionsmeet’. My journey by rail is described here[11].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year London Road (Guildford).

Visiting former ‘Southern’ stations in London

On Friday 21st August, I was in London for a meeting and found time to look at a number of former ‘Southern’ stations, described here and in the post Waterloo Station, London (Part 2)[12][13]

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year London Cannon Street Station.

Liverpool via Preston

On Saturday 17th October, I travelled by train to Crewe (taking a few pictures outside the station) then on to Preston. This journey is described in the post Wolverhampton to Preston by rail[14]). Then I caught the train to Ormskirk, changed to a ‘Merseyrail’ service and continued to Liverpool where I visited the Museum of Liverpool, made the (inevitable) Mersey Ferry journey to Birkenhead Woodside, took the train to Conway Park and then returned to Liverpool, this time by electric train through the tunnel. There’s a post on this part of the day here[15].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Ormskirk station building from the road side.

Merseyside in December

On 29th December, I decided at the last minute to make a trip to Liverpool. Changing at Crewe, I took more photographs of the station buildings and overall roof before continuing to Liverpool on the ‘London Midland’ service. I made the customary pilgrimage to the locomotive ‘Lion’ in the at the Museum of Liverpool. I then took the ferry across the river but the sun was so unexpectedly shining that I disembarked at Seacombe and walked to New Brighton, by which time I was happy to return to Birkenhead Hamilton Square by train. I then walked to Woodside Ferry Terminal and studied the full-size replica of the 1879 submarine ‘Resurgam’ before returning to Pierhead by ferry, giving an opportunity to look at the Cammell-Laird Shipyard. From Pierhead, I walked to James Street, took the ‘Merseyrail’ train to Lime Street and boarded the ‘London Midland service homewards. The good weather helped to make this a splendid trip, described here[16].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year The Wirral: The Promenade from Seacombe to New Brighton at Egremont, looking seawards.


During 2015, I continued to support the Old Locomotive Committee and remained an active volunteer at The Battlefield Line and Peak Rail.

The Old Locomotive Committee

On Saturday, 30th May, the OLCO Annual General Meeting was held in the Museum of Liverpool Museum. There’s a report here[17]. In 2015, ‘Lionsmeet’ was hosted by Guildford Model Engineering Society at Stoke Park, Guildford. My report is here[18]. You can find all my posts about OLCO here[19].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Lionsmeet 2015: Looking across the steaming bays towards the Carriage Shed.

The Battlefield Line

On Easter Saturday 4th April, I was booked out on ‘3803’ with Dave as fireman. The day proved more eventful that expected: a spring hanger on the tender broke. We limped home and, whilst Adrian effected a temporary repair, we made one round trip with the Diesel Multiple Unit. The last trip was back to steam operation. There’s a report here[20].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year 3803 back on its train for the final round-trip of the day.

I was driver on the diesel railcar on a number of dates during the year. There’s a post here[21] describing my ‘turns’ in June and July.

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Midweek 2-car Heritage Railcar, 21st July 2015.

The Battlefield Line held a Steam Gala on the weekend of 23rd, 24th and 25th October with four locomotives in steam. I drove ‘Austerity’ saddle-tank ‘Cumbria’. We operated a double-headed demonstration freight train with ‘Sir Gomer’ followed by the 12 o’clock and 3 o’clock passenger trains, as described here[22].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Battlefield Line Steam Gala, October 2015: 3794 ‘Cumbria’.

In December, I had two driving turns on the ‘Santa’ trains. On Saturday 19th December, I drove ‘Cumbria’, as described here[23]. I was back on Wednesday 23rd December, this time on the ‘Collett Goods’, as described here[24].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Battlefield Line ‘Santa’ Train hauled by ‘3205’.

Peak Rail

In January and February Peak Rail operated a Winter Timetable where ‘Lord Phil’ worked the service between Rowsley and Matlock Riverside, running round at each end. My first turn of the year was cancelled because of locomotive failure but, on Sunday 22nd February, I operated the winter service with Dave R. (fireman) and Jacob S. (cleaner). The weather was rather mixed but we all enjoyed the day. A week later, the ‘Main Season’ timetable commenced, involving ‘Top and Tail’ working to Matlock Town with a diesel electric at the other end our. Phil M. was fireman and, once again, Jacob S. we cleaner. This time, the weather was foul, which encouraged me to title the report on the day Rain, Sleet and Snow[25]. My next turn was on Saturday 21st March, again with Dave R. Unfortunately, both injectors were playing-up, but we agreed to perform the two 1-hour driving experience courses. Then we discovered the ‘brown tank wagon’, from which we replenish the saddletank, was empty. Gordon B. (driver of ‘Penyghent’ at the other end of our train) and I agreed that that simplest solution was to swop the engines round so that we were at the north end and able to water from the ‘grey tank wagon’. Well, it was a bit of a struggle with two troublesome injectors but we ran the service, as described in the post here[26]. This was the last public appearance by ‘Penyghent’ until scheduled repairs are completed.

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year ‘Lord Phil’ at Matlock, ready to haul the service train back to Rowsley on 21st March 2015.

On Sunday, 12th April 2015, Rowsley was the destination for a Pathfinder Tours railtour operated by two ‘Class 20’ called ‘The Dimple, Darley and Dale’. I was driver on ‘Lord Phil’ operating the Peak Rail passenger service to a modified timetable, to leave a path for the railtour to arrive an depart, as described here[27].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year The Pathfinder Railtour passing Darley Dale en route to Rowsley.

The Peak Rail Preserved Bus Gathering was held on Sunday 21st June with 64 preserved buses attending! I was, again, driver on ‘Lord Phil’. The post here[28] has more information.

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Peak Park Preserved Bus Gathering 2015: ‘Lord Phil’ sets off for Matlock.

The Peak Rail 1940s Weekend was on 1st and 2nd August. I was driver with Dave P. fireman on Sunday 2nd August with a 7-coach train. The ‘Class 31’ was at the south end and ‘Lord Phil’ at the north end, which gave a bit of variety. My report is here[29].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Peak Rail 1940s Weekend, 2015.

I had two driving turns on the ‘Santa’ trains in December. The report for Sunday 6th December is here and that for Sunday 20th December is here.[30][31]

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Peak Rail – Christmas 2015: A choir from Matlock Musical Theatre performed on the platform at Rowsley.

Myanma Railways

During my ‘Trip to Burma’ (see above) I spent some time studying this little-understood system. In Mandalay, I took more pictures around the main station and found out more about the Ywa Taung Locomotive Workshop (there’s a post here[32]). Back in Yangon, I explored on foot and made a couple of railway journeys around the city (see posts Yangon (Part 1)[33] and Yangon (Part 2)[34]). Doctor Hla Tun had kindly arranged visits to the Mahlwagon Marshalling Yard and Diesel Locomotive Shed (post here[35]) and the locomotive works at Insein (post here[36].

All my posts on railways in Burma can be found here[37].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Mahlwagon Diesel Shed and Turntable.


The agreed harvesting was completed early in 2015 and ‘Ground Preparation’ was carried out prior to re-planting. This was the situation when I visited by car with Ann and Dean on 6th June. On 26th November, I made another visit a few days after re-planting had been completed (this time travelling by train to Wrexham) to discuss the maintenance programme with the forester, Rob MacCurrach. There are pictures here[38].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Ty Gwyn, November 2015: Maintenance work around the Pool.


The Brewood Garden Party was held at Brewood Hall for the third time on Saturday 11th. Once again, we were lucky with the weather. There’s a report here[39].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Brewood Garden Party 2015.

Following interest expressed by a number of people attending the Garden Party, pre-booked tours of the principal rooms of Brewood Hall were arranged for the 3rd and 4th October, as described in the post Tour of Brewood Hall, 2015[40].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Brewood Hall tour, 4-Oct-2015.

The informal Railway Group met once on Thursday 21st May. There’s a short report here[41].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Railway Group session at Brewood.


For a number of years, I’ve supported the charitable initiatives operated under the above name in Burma. When I visit Burma, I try to see as much as possible of the work in hand. The charity provides Educational Support to a range of schools and orphanages (including the Orphans & Vulnerable Children Project in Mon State) and Medical Treatment to all ages (centred on the wonderful Bagan Medical Clinic). You can find my posts on Educational Support here[42] and those on Medical Treatment here[43].

Jan Ford's World: Review Of The Year Group photograph at Ko Dut Drop In Centre: Monday 20th April 2015.




  1. ^ Jan Ford’s Travels: Around the World in pictures (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  2. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  3. ^ here (www.flickr.com)
  4. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  5. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  6. ^ here (www.flickr.com)
  7. ^ Railways in Burma (www.flickr.com)
  8. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  9. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  10. ^ OLCO (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  11. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  12. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  13. ^ Waterloo Station, London (Part 2) (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  14. ^ Wolverhampton to Preston by rail (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  15. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  16. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  17. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  18. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  19. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  20. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  21. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  22. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  23. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  24. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  25. ^ Rain, Sleet and Snow (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  26. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  27. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  28. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  29. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  30. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  31. ^ here. (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  32. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  33. ^ Yangon (Part 1) (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  34. ^ Yangon (Part 2) (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  35. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  36. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  37. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  38. ^ here (www.flickr.com)
  39. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  40. ^ Tour of Brewood Hall, 2015 (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  41. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  42. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  43. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  44. ^ 2014 (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  45. ^ 2013 (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  46. ^ 2012 (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  47. ^ 2011 (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  48. ^ 2010 (janfordsworld.blogspot.com)
  49. ^ 2009 (janfordsworld.blogspot.com)
  50. ^ 2008 (janfordsworld.blogspot.com)
  51. ^ 2007 (janfordsworld.blogspot.com)
  52. ^ 2006 (janfordsworld.blogspot.com)

Jan Ford's World: G.W.R. 0-6-0PT 'Pannier' tank locomotives

Early 0-6-0 tank locomotives of the G.W.R.

Early six-coupled tank engines produced by the Great Western railway varied considerably in design from lot to lot. The complex history is meticulously chronicled by Jim Russell in his book [reference 1]. All of these locomotives were provided with saddle tanks and many were outside-framed. At least one G.W.R. inside-framed saddle tank of the period survives – ‘813’ which is described in more detail below.

Introduction of pannier tanks

From 1911 onwards, as these saddle tank locomotives entered the works for heavy repair, pannier tanks progressively replaced the saddle tanks. The pannier tank is an ingenious way of solving the problem of storing water on locomotives without a separate tender. I discussed this in the post Water, water, everywhere[1].

Collett’s ’57XX’ class

The ubiquitous ‘Pannier Tank’ with 4 ft. 7.5 in. diameter wheels which I remember from the steam era was introduced by Collett in 1929, as a replacement for the elderly stock of ‘Pannier Tanks’. The initial build as the ’57XX’ class was based on the earlier ’27XX’ class after rebuilding with pannier tanks. When the last batch of ‘Pannier Tanks’ was built in 1950, ‘Pannier Tanks’ (including variations) totalled 863 locomotives.

Jan Ford's World: G.W.R. 0-6-0PT 'Pannier' Tank Locomotives

Whilst the leading and driving axles had leaf springs, the trailing axle had a dual coil springs on each wheel, which stood up into the cab, making the fireman’s job a little harder. The Great Western didn’t build all the ‘Panniers’ itself and batches were sub-contracted to private builders. For instance, Birmingham Railway Museum’s Pannier Tanks 7752 and 7760 (shown below) were both built by North British Locomotive Company Limited in 1930. There’s a short article on North British here[2].

Preserved ‘Pannier’ 7752 at Tyseley (Photo: Birmingham Railway Museum).

The design survived because of its practicality. Although officially designated as a ‘light goods and shunting engine’, they were very versatile – my friend John frequently makes fun of me for my off-the-cuff remark once when being interviewed for a railway video that “You can do anything with a Pannier”. There’s a detailed history of the ’57XX’ class on Wikipedia here and in the Great Western Archive pages Introduction and Details of Allocation.[3][4]

Collett’s ’54XX’/’64XX’/’74XX’ classes

In 1932, ‘Pannier Tanks’ with 5 ft. 2 in. diameter wheels, 165 p.s.i. boilers and fitted for ‘Auto Train’ working were introduced, as a replacement for similar elderly locomotives. The ’54xx’ class had 25 members. A further batch of 40 locomotives, also ‘Auto’ fitted, were produced with 4 ft. 7.5 in. diameter wheels, forming the ’64XX’ sub-group. Finally, between 1936 and 1950, 50 locomotives of the ’74XX’ group were constructed with boilers uprated to 180 p.s.i. but not ‘Auto’ fitted. There’s further information on the ’54XX’ class and the sub-classes in Wikipedia here and in the Great Western Archive pages Introduction and Details of Allocation.[5][6]

6412, 6430 and 6435 have been preserved.

Collett’s ‘1366’ class

In 1934, six ‘Pannier Tanks’ with 3 ft. 8 in. diameter wheels and outside cylinders were built to replace life-expired types for dock and similar shunting. There’s further information on the ‘1366’ class in Wikipedia here and in the Great Western Archive pages Introduction and Details of Allocation.[7][8]

1369 has been preserved and there is a detailed history of this locomotive here[9].

Hawksworth’s ’94XX’ class

The story goes that the Chairman of the G.W.R. Sir James Milne[10] (1883-1958) had decided that a more modern design of locomotive was required for bringing empty coaching stock into Paddington to promote the proper corporate image to passengers as they joined their train. Certainly, Collett’s ’57XX’ locomotives then in use, with a large dome and cast chimney appeared to be from an earlier era. Accordingly, Frederick Hawksworth[11], the Chief Mechanical Engineer, was tasked with producing a suitable design. Hawksworth used the cylinder design and boiler from Collett’s successful 2251 class. Swindon Standard Boiler Number 10 was a tapered, domeless Belpaire boiler pressed to 200 p.s.i. with a sloping grate of 17.4 square feet area.

I love the story but don’t know if it’s true. Certainly, James Milne was opposed to nationalisation of the railways and, when the G.W.R. was nationalised after World War II, he declined the offer of the chairmanship of the Railway Executive of the British Transport Commission which would run the nationalised railways, instead taking retirement. Swindon managed to produce the first ten ’94XX’ locomotives prior to Nationalisation in 1948. In the post The End of an Era[12] I talked about the Nationalisation of the railways in Britain in 1948 and the subsequent building of 999 steam locomotives of various modern designs, intended to help to unify the former ‘Big Four’ railways into a single unit. However, in what may be seen as a final act of defiance, the Great Western Railway placed an order with private contractors for 200 more of the ’94XX’ class, leaving British Railways to pick up the bill. There’s more about the ’94XX’ class in Wikipedia here and in the Great Western Archive Introduction and Details of Allocation.[13][14]

Hawksworth’s ’15XX’ class

This was a remarkable Hawksworth design to conclude the ‘Pannier Tank’ story. It adopted some of the ’94XX’ design and used the same Swindon Standard Boiler Number 10 but featured a short wheelbase, two outside cylinders and Walschaerts motion! Ten were built at Swindon, post-nationalisation, in 1949 and all had a short working life. ‘1501’ is preserved.

There’s more about the ’15XX’ class in Wikipedia here and in the Great Western Archive Introduction and Details of Allocation.[15][16]

Hawksworth’s ’16XX’ class

Between 1949 and 1955. 70 off of this ‘Pannier Tank’ were built at Swindon. With 4 ft 1.5 in diameter coupled wheels and height kept to an minimum, they could work on routes with low clearances but their working life was short. One locomotive,’1638′, was preserved. Wikipedia has details here and the Great Western Archive pages has information on Introduction and Details of Allocation.[17][18]

Saddle Tank ‘813’

‘813’ was not actually G.W.R.-built. She was built by Hudswell Clark in 1901 for the Port Talbot Railway and Docks Company[19]. The G.W.R. operated this line for the Port Talbot company from 1908 and finally absorbed the company in 1922. This locomotive served the G.W.R. for some years (acquiring various ‘Swindon’ features) before finally being sold off in 1934. There’s a more detailed history of this interesting survivor on the GWR 813 Preservation Fund website here[20]. When this locomotive visited The Battlefield Line in 2007, I had a couple of enjoyable days driving her. There’s a brief report here[21]. The rather lop-sided headboard ‘Greendale Express’ visible in the picture below was carried during a ‘Postman Pat’ weekend. If you know as little about Postman Pat as I do, the Wikipedia article here[22] is a useful primer.

Jan Ford's World: G.W.R. 0-6-0PT 'Pannier' Tank Locomotives ‘813’ being prepared at Shackerstone on 5th May 2007.

I’ve worked on six preserved ‘Pannier Tanks’, listed below:-


I’ve driven this ‘Pannier’ many times, on passenger trains, demonstration freight trains and supervising Driving Experience Courses at three locations: Birmingham Railway Museum (as it was then), the Battlefield Line and the Avon Valley Railway. She’s always been in green Great Western Railway livery.

Jan Ford's World: G.W.R. 0-6-0PT 'Pannier' Tank Locomotives 7752 displayed on the Turntable at ‘Tyseley 100’.

There’s a detailed history of this locomotive on the Tyseley Locomotive Works website here[23].


I’ve driven this ‘Pannier’ many times, on passenger trains, demonstration freight trains and supervising Driving Experience Courses at both Birmingham Railway Museum (as it was then) and the Battlefield Line. The locomotive has been in both green Great Western Railway livery and red London Transport livery (as L90).

Jan Ford's World: G.W.R. 0-6-0PT 'Pannier' Tank Locomotives 7760 displayed on the Turntable at ‘Tyseley 100’.

There’s a detailed history of this locomotive on the Tyseley Locomotive Works website here[24].


Built 1945 at Swindon in the final form with enlarged cab and larger, rectangular spectacles. I’ve driven this ‘Pannier’ a number of times at Birmingham Railway Museum (as it was then), always in British Railways lined black livery .

Jan Ford's World: G.W.R. 0-6-0PT 'Pannier' Tank Locomotives 9600 on a passenger train at ‘Tyseley 100’.

There’s a detailed history of this locomotive on the Tyseley Locomotive Works website here[25].


I’ve worked on this locomotive once, when I was invited fire a round trip on the Severn Valley Railway – I think it was in 2004. I believe she was withdrawn from traffic in 2011 and is currently in store awaiting restoration.

Jan Ford's World: G.W.R. 0-6-0PT 'Pannier' Tank Locomotives
5764 at Bewdley in 2008 (Photo: Peter Broster via Creative Commons).


I’ve enjoyed one day driving this ‘Pannier’ in October 2010 at the Battlefield Line. I think the unlined black livery with the early totem suits the locomotive (not so sure about the face for ‘Day out with Thomas’). This locomotive was preserved by the Worcester Locomotive Society in 1969 and there’s more information on the South Devon Railway Association site here[26].

Jan Ford's World: G.W.R. 0-6-0PT 'Pannier' Tank Locomotives 5786 being prepared for duty at Shackerstone in October 2010.


I’ve driven this ‘Pannier’ a number of times, always in green Great Western Railway livery, on passenger trains at the Battlefield Line. green at the Battlefield Line. I think the last time was in 2008. This locomotive was built by R. Stephenson in 1952 as their works number 7617 (so the G.W.R. livery is historically incorrect). This engine is kept in immaculate condition, is fitted with a speedometer, AWS/TPWS and an OTMR (Automatic Warning System, Train Protection and Warning System, On Train Monitoring Recorder) and is approved for running on the National Rail Network.

Although they were certainly capable engines, most of the former British Railways enginemen I’ve spoken to still preferred the earlier Collett ‘5700’ design. One particular problem drivers complained about was that because the design used the ‘2251’ boiler and wider cab, the driver’s brake valve ended up too far ‘inboard’ for the driver to operate it conveniently when leaning out whilst closing up to vehicles. This was fixed with an official brake valve extension link, placing the handle closer to the side of the cab.

Jan Ford's World: G.W.R. 0-6-0PT 'Pannier' Tank Locomotives
Cab view of 9466: The brake valve, with a large copper pipe descending through the floor, is hidden by the regulator handle. A curved link connects the valve to a separate brake lever provided with a turned wooden handle towards the right.

Jan Ford's World: G.W.R. 0-6-0PT 'Pannier' Tank Locomotives The Battlefield Line, May 2008: ‘9466’ waits to depart from Shackerstone as the DMU (with a face for ‘Day out with Thomas’) arrives.
There is an album of pictures showing the construction of this locomotive at portrait at Portrait of a Pannier’.[27]


[ 1] A Pictorial Record of Great Western Engines by J. H. Russell (Oxford Publishing Company Vol. 1 & 2 1975: reprinted as one volume 1978) SBN 0 86093 02 6.


  1. ^ Water, water, everywhere (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  2. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  3. ^ here (en.wikipedia.org)
  4. ^ Introduction and Details of Allocation. (www.greatwestern.org.uk)
  5. ^ here (en.wikipedia.org)
  6. ^ Introduction and Details of Allocation. (www.greatwestern.org.uk)
  7. ^ here (en.wikipedia.org)
  8. ^ Introduction and Details of Allocation. (www.greatwestern.org.uk)
  9. ^ here (www.southdevonrailwayassociation.org)
  10. ^ Sir James Milne (en.wikipedia.org)
  11. ^ Frederick Hawksworth (en.wikipedia.org)
  12. ^ The End of an Era (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  13. ^ here (en.wikipedia.org)
  14. ^ Introduction and Details of Allocation. (www.greatwestern.org.uk)
  15. ^ here (en.wikipedia.org)
  16. ^ Introduction and Details of Allocation. (www.greatwestern.org.uk)
  17. ^ here (en.wikipedia.org)
  18. ^ Introduction and Details of Allocation. (www.greatwestern.org.uk)
  19. ^ Port Talbot Railway and Docks Company (en.wikipedia.org)
  20. ^ here (www.gwr813.org)
  21. ^ here (janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)
  22. ^ here (en.wikipedia.org)
  23. ^ here (www.tyseleylocoworks.co.uk)
  24. ^ here (www.tyseleylocoworks.co.uk)
  25. ^ here (www.tyseleylocoworks.co.uk)
  26. ^ here (www.southdevonrailwayassociation.org)
  27. ^ Portrait of a Pannier’. (www.flickr.com)