Class: Hall Class
Designer: C. B. Collet / Frederick Hawksworth
Weight: 122 tons (including tender)
Purpose: Mixed Traffic
Information: Built between 1928 and 1943 the original Hall Class 4900 series were designed for mixed traffic use through-out the Great Western Railway. Construction continued with the later Modified Hall Class 6900 being built between 1944 and 1950, resulting in a total of 330 members.
Details: The prototype Hall was derived from rebuilding an earlier Churchward designed Saint Class locomotive, that itself was originally built in 1924. The rebuild to then modern standards under the tutillage of Charles Collett, involved fitting smaller driving wheels, realignment of cylinders, and provision of a Castle type cab. After being rebuilt the prototype 4900 “Saint Martin” was given a three year proving period where further adjustments were made prior to a further 258 units being produced at the GWR Swindon Locomotive Works between 1928 and 1943. A further 71 members known as the 6900 Modified Hall Class were later built between 1944 and 1950 under the direction of Frederick Hawksworth with minor variation to the original design.
As mixed traffic locomotives the Hall Class led a relatively unexciting work life hauling inter-regional passenger services and mixed goods workings through-out the entire area served by the Great Western Railway.
Liveries also were typical of mixed traffic locomotives and could be seen in either green or black through their working careers in both Great Western and British Railways variants.
With the exception of one class member, number 4911 “Bowden Hall” being destroyed by German bomb damage in Plymouth during 1941; the Hall class locomotives were gradually withdrawn between 1959 and 1965. No fewer than 11 examples of Class 4900 and 6 of Class 6900, many in working order, have made it into preservation; a testament to both their versatility and sheer production numbers.