Prairie returns to its former home

TYSELEY Locomotive Works has welcomed back an old resident – its first GWR large prairie in more than half a century.

No. 5199 was built at Swindon in December 1934. It was allocated to Tyseley to work suburban traffic and spent most of its working life in the Birmingham area. In 1949 it was transferred to Stourbridge Junction and after withdrawal spent 22 years in Barry before being purchased for restoration.

Old resident returning: No. 5199 on Tyseley’s turntable on January 19. MICHAEL WHITEHOUSE

Now based at Llangollen, No. 5199 arrived at Tyseley recently for winter maintenance and the opportunity was taken on January 19 to steam it for tests before work starts.

GWR large prairie No. 4146 in Tyseley roundhouse in May 1954. PAT WHITEHOUSE/MICHAEL WHITEHOUSE COLLECTION

Tyseley depot was home to many large prairies which were the mainstay of the Birmingham suburban services on the GWR North West Main Line for many years, up until DMUs took over starting from 1964.

Tyseley depot was opened in 1908 by the GWR as the hub of its expansion southwards, including the construction of the last new main line in Britain before nationalisation, running from Tyseley to Cheltenham.

It is unique in having had steam locomotives in working order based there every day since 1908.

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