GWR 4073 Class 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe

The GWR 4073 Class 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe is a steam locomotive of the GWR 'Castle' Class, built in March 1936. It was originally named Barbury Castle, and was renamed Earl of Mount Edgcumbe in September 1937 (the name coming from the GWR Dukedog Class no 3200/9000). It had a double chimney and 4 row superheater fitted in October 1958.

GWR 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe
5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe parked up around the turntable.jpg
5043 parked up on a turntable road at Tyseley LW next to sister 5080 Defiant in April 2018.
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
DesignerCharles Collett
BuilderGWR Swindon Works
Build dateMarch 1936
 • Whyte4-6-0
Gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading dia.3 ft 2 in (0.965 m)
Driver dia.6 ft 8+12 in (2.045 m)
Length65 ft 2 in (19.86 m) over buffers
Width8 ft 11 in (2.718 m)
Height13 ft 1 in (3.988 m) (Cut back from 13 ft 4+12 in (4.077 m))
Loco weight79 long tons 17 cwt (178,900 lb or 81.1 t)
89.4 short tons full
Tender weight47 long tons 6 cwt (106,000 lb or 48.1 t)
53.0 short tons full
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity6 long tons 0 cwt (13,400 lb or 6.1 t)
6 long tons 0 hundredweight (6.10 t; 6.72 short tons)
Water cap.4,000 imp gal (18,000 l; 4,800 US gal)
 • Firegrate area
29.36 sq ft (2.728 m2)
BoilerGWR Standard Number 8
Boiler pressure225 lbf/in2 (1.55 MPa)
Heating surface:
 • Tubes
1,857.7 sq ft (172.59 m2) (Collett)
1,799.5 sq ft (167.18 m2) (Hawksworth)
 • Firebox162.7 sq ft (15.12 m2) (Collett)
163.5 sq ft (15.19 m2) (Hawksworth)
CylindersFour (two inside, two outside)
Cylinder size16 in × 26 in (406 mm × 660 mm)
Valve gearInside cylinders: Walschaerts
Outside cylinders: derived from inside cylinders via rocking bars.
Valve typePiston valves
Loco brakeVacuum
Performance figures
Maximum speed25mph - (heritage railways) 45mph - (mainline, tender first) 75mph - (mainline, chimney first)
Tractive effort31,625 lbf (140.68 kN)
OperatorsGreat Western Railway
British Railways
Power classGWR: D
BR: 7P
Axle load classGWR: Red
WithdrawnSeptember 1963
Current ownerTyseley Locomotive Works
DispositionUnder Overhaul

Its first shed allocation was Old Oak Common; from June 1952 to February 1956 it was based at Carmarthen, before returning again to Old Oak Common. Like all other steam locomotives based there, with the dieselisation of Cardiff Canton TMD it was transferred to Cardiff East Dock shed in September 1962, its last shed allocation.

It was withdrawn in December 1963, and acquired by Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Barry, South Wales in June 1964.[1]

Renaming and Double ChimneyEdit

When built in March 1936 the engine was named Barbury Castle and it carried this name for the first eighteen months of its working life before being renamed by the GWR to Earl of Mount Edgcumbe in September 1937, this name it would carry for the rest of its working career. Its original Barbury Castle name would later be used by 5095 which was built in 1939.

In 1958 it became one of sixty-five engines to be fitted with a double chimney which was undertaken between 1956 and 1961. It is one of only two Castles in preservation to be fitted with a double chimney, the other engine being 7029 Clun Castle.[2]


The shed locations of 5043 during her career with the GWR & BR on particular dates.[3]

Shed allocations
Location Shed code From
Old Oak Common PDN 13 March 1936
Swindon SDN December 1941
Old Oak Common PDN 4 April 1942
(Stored) - Old Oak Common PDN 17 February 1951
Carmarthen 87G 14 June 1952
Landore 87E 21 February 1953
Carmarthen 87G 13 June 1953
Landore 87E 26 March 1955
Carmarthen 87G 23 April 1955
Old Oak Common 81A 25 February 1956
Cardiff Canton 88A 21 April 1962
Cardiff East Dock 88L 8 September 1962


It was sold to the then Birmingham Railway Museum and left as the 43rd departure from Barry in September 1973. Many of its parts were removed for safekeeping and the locomotive was stored, initially as a spare boiler for 7029 "Clun Castle". In 1996, Birmingham Railway Museum trustees announced the project to restore Earl of Mount Edgcumbe to main line running condition. The proposal was to restore the locomotive to late 1950s condition, with newly constructed Hawksworth tender and BR double chimney.

In 1998, the boiler was removed from the frames and prepared for inspection, with welding undertaken by Babock. In 1999, descaling commenced on the front end of the frames in preparation for repair. The axleboxes were removed and examined, and found to be in excellent condition, requiring only examination, repair and cleaning. In 2000, 5043 was moved into Tyseley Locomotive Works. The engineering team scraped down the frames, which once clean showed them to be in good condition, and given a coat of anti-corrosive green paint. The bushes for the coupling rods were cast, machined and fitted. While checking the inside crossheads for repair and refitting, which were found to have been fitted at one time to sister GWR Castle 5080 Defiant. The wheelsets were prepared for cleaning and refitting, and the bogie repaired and repainted, with fitting undertaken in 2003. TPWS equipment was acquired and fitted. In late 2007 the boiler was steamed up and approved, allowing 5043 to move under its own steam on 3 October 2008.

On Saturday, 16 October 2010, 5043 hauled a southbound excursion over the Settle-Carlisle line. On the climb to Ais Gill summit, 5043 is credited with generating an estimated 2030edhp.[4][5] As of Jan 2019 this is believed to be a power output record for the entire GWR Castle class, and also exceeds the maximum power outputs of the Western Region diesel-hydraulic locomotives built to replace them.[6][7]

On Sat 10 May 2014 5043 took an anniversary train from Tyseley to Plymouth to mark 50 years since the original Z48 train in 1964. Fellow resident 7029 Clun Castle worked the original train in 1964, working the Plymouth to Bristol section of the tour. And on that tour in 1964 she set a record of travelling non stop from Plymouth to Bristol in 133 minutes (2hrs 13mins), 5043 working the anniversary train in 2014 broke that record by just 2 minutes.

The locomotive has since returning to the mainline worked various special trains, alongside visiting Stratford upon Avon, Didcot, Cardiff and other locations over the former GWR system she has also visited locations and worked down routes she would never have visited or run along during her career with the Great Western Railway or even British Railways as GWR engines were known to be much wider than engines on other regions. New locations she has visited so far in preservation include: Liverpool, Llandudno, Chester, Carlisle, Salisbury, London Marylebone, Glasgow, Edinburgh & York.

Preservation PhotosEdit


  1. ^ Daniel, John (16 April 2013). "The Barry Scrapyard story, part 1". The Great Western Archive.
  2. ^ "GWR Collett "Castle" Class 4-6-0". BRDatabase.
  3. ^ "Great Western 5043". BRDatabase.
  4. ^ "Tyseley News No. 13" (PDF). Vintage Trains Society. Spring 2011. p. 8.
  5. ^ "The Pride of Swindon 5043 to Carlisle via the S & C -16th October". forums.[user-generated source]
  6. ^ Nock, O.S. (1985). British Locomotives of the 20th Century: Volume 3 1960-the present day. London: Guild Publishing/Book Club Associates. p. 59. CN9613.
  7. ^ BR Motive Power Performance. p. 122.[full citation needed]

External linksEdit