Class: Class 2721
Designer: William Dean
Weight: 47 tons
Purpose: Shunting & Light Mixed Traffic
Information: Eighty members of the 2721 class were built between 1897 and 1901 at the Great Western Railway Locomotive Works in Swindon.
Details: These open cab tank locomotives were originally built as a saddle tank design. Subsequent rebuilds included provision of a Belpaire firebox necessitating replacement of the tanks in Pannier side tank fashion. This rebuilt design of the 2721 class is generally considered the predecessor of the more numerous and successful 57XX class, the second most numerous of steam locomotives in Britain.
The class was generally employed for branch-line passenger and mixed goods traffic through-out the Great Western Railway.
As 57XX construction kept pace with demand, withdrawal of the 2721 class commenced in 1945. By 1950 the class was extinct.