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Great Western Railway ‘Large Prairie’ 2-6-2T Locomotive 5164

(Martin Creese)

The Erlestoke Manor Fund is delighted to announce that it is in discussion with the 5164 Preservation Group and the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) regarding the future of Great Western ‘Large Prairie’ 2-6-2T locomotive 5164.

Following an approach from the 5164 Preservation Group regarding the future of locomotive 5164 and the possibility of transferring the locomotive to the ownership of the EMF, the Trustees of the EMF have, after detailed consideration, agreed in principle to accept this offer. This is subject to the existing SVR locomotive agreement being transferred to the Fund and discussions are now in progress.

The 5164 Preservation Group is an unincorporated organisation with a small, diminishing group of shareholders, who have agreed by a large referendum majority to offer the locomotive to the EMF for a nominal sum. If the transfer proceeds, this would secure the locomotive’s future within an incorporated, charitable organisation strongly affiliated to the SVR.

The EMF Trustees view 5164 as an appropriate and well-regarded locomotive which aligns with the Fund’s constitution and charitable objectives. The transfer of the locomotive would be an ideal addition to the Fund’s activities and would broaden the appeal of EMF to both current and future shareholders and supporters. Funding for current major overhaul and repair work on the two locomotives already owned by EMF – GWR 7802 Bradley Manor and 7812 Erlestoke Manor – would not be diverted onto 5164. Both Manors are progressing well towards their full return to operation on the SVR in the not too distant future.

Although requiring an overhaul, the locomotive is understood to be in reasonable condition and, if the transfer completes, 5164 would remain on display undercover at Barrow Hill Roundhouse for the present.

Jason Houlders

History of 5164:

5164 was completed at Swindon in October 1930 and allocated to the Wolverhampton District until 1957, when the locomotive moved to Newton Abbott to work local trains and as a banker on Dainton and Rattery Banks. Withdrawn on 5th April 1963, it was sold to Woodham Bros. of Barry and arrived there later that year.

5164 was selected by the 5164 Preservation Group as being in the best condition of the 10 large prairies in the yard and moved to Bewdley following purchase in 1973. Once restored, 5164 was steamed for the first time in 1979, running until 1984. After a period in storage, the locomotive re-entered service following a comprehensive overhaul in 2004 and enjoyed a successful period in traffic, prior to being withdrawn pending a further overhaul at the start of 2014. Since 2014, 5164 has been on static display under cover at Barrow Hill Roundhouse, near Chesterfield.

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