Thursday, 24 May 2012
Great Western Railway Locomotive 5322, 1917
Built in 1917 at the Great Western Railway's Works in Swindon, Wiltshire, GWR Locomotive 5322 is a typical general purpose '43xx' class 2-6-0 steam locomotive used by the GWR for all sorts of trains. As soon as it was completed in 1917, 5322 and 19 others of the same class were immediately sent to France to be used by the Railway Operating Division, part of the Royal Engineers who ran the vital supply trains in France to transport men, ammunition, food, vehicles, Tanks and other supplies from the Channel Ports to near the front line. They were extremely useful, and the ROD men were mostly railway workers before the war, so appreciated the brand new locomotive.
5322 wasn't 'demobbed' until 1919 and went into Great Western Railway service. It was used until the 1960's, and is now preserved by the Great Western Society at Didcot Railway Centre. After 5322's latest overhaul, it was painted in it's 1917 ROD khaki colour scheme, (complete with clips for rifles if needed by the crew!) which it is seen in in these photographs