John Speller's Web Pages Rebuilt Pearson 4-2-4 Tanks (B&ER)

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Broad Gauge - B&ER

Rebuilt Pearson 4-2-4 Tanks
In their rebuilt state the 4-2-4 tanks proved more satisfactory for express passenger work. In 1877, following the Long Ashton accident, all the 4-2-4T's were rebuilt as 8 ft. 4-2-2 tender engines. In its rebuilt form No. 2002 achieved 81.8 m.p.h. on Wellington Bank (Railway Magazine for 1908). No. 2002 was the last survivor, being withdrawn in December 1890. The rebuilding was done on the ground that tank engines were unstable at speed --"nasty, dangerous engines" G. N. Tyrrell called them -- but in actuality the Long Ashton accident was due to faulty track and there is no evidence that there was anything wrong with Pearson's design. In fact they are said to have been particularly smooth running locomotives. It seems the GWR just took against them.
Bristol & Exeter Railway No. 40 was rebuilt at the Bristol Works in 1873. The wheels were reduced to 8' 10", a cab was added and brakes fitted to the bogies. To enlarge right click and select "view image"
No. 40 is shown here at Exeter St. David's in 1876-77 as GWR No. 2002. The photograph is said to have been taken by H. Davey of Exeter. According to W. J. Scott in the "Locomotive Magazine" for 1904 it was about to take the "Flying Dutchman" to Bristol. Rather curiously, the cab has been removed
Pearson 4-2-4 tank engine No. 2001 (B&ER No. 42) as rebuilt at Swindon as an 8' 0" 4-2-2 tender locomotive. Here shown outside the old B&ER works at Bath Road, Bristol
4-2-2 No. 2001 at Dawlish in 1883. Photograph by the Rev. A. H. Malan
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