C & PRR Railway

GWR No. 12

Sentinal - GWR12 -DSC_4460a GWR No.12 stands in Chinnor platform on 4th July 2012. (C&PRR)

GWR No.12 is a Sentinel engine similar to the LNER Y1 class (BR Nos. 68130 - 68153) introduced in 1925. It has a direct chain drive between the crankshaft and axles. Delivered new to the GWR, it was taken into stock as their No.12 on 1 October 1926. Fitted with equipment for working train vacuum brakes and steam heating, it was based at Swindon for use on the Malmesbury branch, and then sent to work at Brentford Goods Yard. These trials were not successful and the loco was taken out of stock in December 1926, being returned to Sentinel the following month.

Modifications were carried out in 1927, including the fitting of a larger boiler, which enabled further trials, including passenger working, to take place on the Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Railway during the latter part of the year. The loco then returned to the GWR where more trials were undertaken on the Malmesbury Branch on 2 October 1927. During these trials a speed of 38 mph was attained, hauling a train of three four-wheel coaches, taking just 16½ minutes to cover the 6½ miles from Malmesbury to Dauntsey. The loco then returned to Shrewsbury, where it was used by Sentinel as a works shunter until April 1929, when once more it underwent trials, this time on the LMS at Shrewsbury. More works shunting followed until it was sold in October 1934 to Thomas E. Grey Ltd. of Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, where it was numbered 2 and carried the name Isebrook. It worked until 1958 when a more modern Sentinel replacement arrived.

The boiler and parts of the engine were removed and it was used as a brake van until condemned in 1972, shortly afterwards being purchased for preservation and moved to the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton on 31st May 1972. Restoration work took seven years and included fitting a reconditioned boiler and engine unit, extensive bodywork replacement as well as a complete renewal of pipework. The first steaming for over twenty years took place on 26 August 1979. The locomotive was restored to lined black livery. During 1981 vacuum brake equipment was refitted enabling light passenger trains to be worked.

GWR No.12 left Quainton on 31st May 2001 for Rosemary Vineyards on the Isle of Wight, before moving onto the Lavender Line. June 2008 saw her return to Quainton. During 2009 vacuum brake equipment was again refitted enabling light passenger trains to be worked. The loco is due for its next 10-year overhaul in 2013.

GWR No.12 has come to Chinnor on loan for the Summer 2012 season and will operate in passenger service as well as performing shunt release duties. The Sentinel will be rostered for service on the following dates:

  • Sunday 15th July
  • Sunday 29th July
  • Sunday 5th August
  • Sunday 12th August
  • Sunday 26th August
  • Sunday 9th September
  • Sunday 23rd September

5th August and 9th September are Gala days and it is intended that the Sentinel will operate two/three of the top and tail Wainhill shuttles with either Peckett 1859 “Sir Gomer” or the Class 08, No. D3018. On the other dates the Sentinel will work the regular 10:00 passenger service train (instead of the normal diesel locomotive) and then carry out Shunt Release duties between 14:00 and 18:00.

Running Number:GWR No.12
Date Built1926
Works No6515
Wheel Arrangement0-4-0T
Boiler Pressure275 psi
Cylinder Dimensions6¾" x 9"
Weight20t 17c
Driving Wheel Diameter2' 6"

The Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway is indebted to the current owners of GWR No.12 and the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton for the loan of the locomotive and for the provision of the historic and technical details shown here.

©CPRRA 2012 Updated: 9/7/2012 E&OE