Peto's Register of Great Western Railway Locomotives: Volume #02 'Manor 4-6-0s' (IR678)
Product No.: IR678
Title: Peto's Register of Great Western Railway Locomotives: Volume #02 'Manor 4-6-0s'
Author(s): Not Stated
Publisher: Irwell Press
Dust Jacket: New
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Year: 1996
Features: 96 Pages with Black/White Photos.
Lots of detailed historic information of all the class members. This is volume 2 of Peto's Register of Great Western Railway Locomotives which concentrates on the Manor 4-6-0s. - the volume describes the background history of the class, operation and details and modification, then looks at each locomotive in turn charting its history from construction to withdrawal.
The Great Western Railway 7800 Class or Manor Class was a class of 4-6-0 steam locomotive. They were designed as a lighter version of the GWR Grange Class, giving them a wider Route Availability. Like the 'Granges', the 'Manors' used parts from the GWR 4300 Class Moguls but just on the first batch of twenty. Twenty were built between 1938 and 1939, with British Railways adding a further 10 in 1950. The first of the Manors No.7800 Torquay Manor entered traffic in January 1938 and 20 were in service by February 1939. They used the driving wheels, motion components and tenders from withdrawn GWR 4300 Class moguls.
A new standard boiler, type No. 14, was developed for the class. The outbreak of war forced the cancellation of construction of a further batch of 20 locomotives. The Manor class, with an axle loading of just over 17 tons, could be utilised on many lines from which the heavier Granges were barred. The first examples were despatched to depots at Wolverhampton, Bristol, Gloucester, Shrewsbury, Westbury in Wiltshire and Neyland in South Wales. In October 1938 No.7805 Broome Manor underwent clearance tests between Ruabon and Barmouth. Subsequently the class were used over the main lines of the erstwhile Cambrian Railways. The Manors were also successfully employed in the West Country where they were used for banking and piloting trains over the Devon banks between Newton Abbot and Plymouth.
Their light axleloading allowed them across the Tamar Bridge and on to the branch lines of Cornwall. Unlike the Granges of 1936 where the use of standard components and the re-use of existing ones had produced a masterpiece the initial performance of the Manors was comparatively mediocre. Were it not for the constraints of war there is every reason to expect that Swindon would have recalled the engines for modifications. After nationalisation, the newly created Western Region was authorised to build ten more of the class. Nos.7820-29 were outshopped from Swindon in November and December 1950.
There was no attempt to improve the steaming; a British Railway edict permitted construction only of existing pre-nationalisation designs. Subsequent trials showed the engines did not require too much work to correct their faults. Internal alterations to the blastpipe and an increase in air space in the firegrate added to the new type of narrow chimney noticeably improved the draughting. After trials on 10 of the class, the improvements became standard after July 1954. By 1959 21 Manors were congregated in Mid- and South Wales.
Their most prestigious working was the Cambrian Coast Express, where a Manor took over from a King or Castle at Shrewsbury and worked through to Aberystwyth. Others of the class operated in the Birmingham, Gloucester and Hereford areas while the handful stationed at Reading frequently ventured on to the Southern Region line to Guildford and Redhill. The first Manor to be scrapped was No.7809 Childrey Manor, withdrawn from Shrewsbury depot in April 1963 and cut up at Swindon. By May 1965 the numbers had been halved and the final two, No.7808 Cookham Manor of Gloucester, and No.7829 Ramsbury Manor of Didcot, were condemned in December 1965.