Tyseley Locomotive Works is home to three ex-Great Western Railway 57XX pannier tanks, all of which have run on the main line in preservation. These engines are great workhorses, powerful for their size and flexible in their use. None is currently available for main line use but as the little stars of the Tyseley Locomotive Works fleet they receive many enquiries as to their current state of use - so here is an update on all three.

Pannier twins 7752 and 7760 were built within the same Lot number by the North British Locomotive Works in 1930.  7752 was shedded at Tondu and 7760 at Oxford, working the Morris Cowley branch. Both ended their commercial working lives working for London Transport. 7752 ran the last official LT steam train but 7760 was the last loco in steam finalising the shunting on the same day in 1971.

9600 was built at Swindon Works in 1945 and was shedded at Swindon, Bristol, Aberdare and Neath, finishing its commercial working life with the NCB at Merthyr Vale colliery.

Vintage Trains intends that all three panniers will be returned to steam to operate from their historic Tyseley depot and on the main line, also to support the development of the Shakespeare Line as Britain’s premier heritage main line railway, but progress to achieve that aim will depend largely on workshop capacity.

Whilst both 7760 and 9600 await their turn in the boiler overhaul queue, both are in good condition and neither will require extensive work to return them to main line service. 7752 still has two years to run within its current 10 year boiler period but its wheel tyres are now too thin for main line operation. 7752 was on hire to the Paignton & Dartmouth Railway for the last two summers earning money to buy a new set of tyres, which have now been ordered and are due to be fitted over the winter of 2019/20, so that it can return to the main line during 2020 resplendent in Great Western green livery once again. This year, 7752 is on loan to the West Somerset Railway fulfilling a dual role: assisting WSR operations and also improving its condition with the fitting of a new chimney, minor motion work and a repaint in original GWR livery. It will return to Tyseley for both the June and September open weekends, in the new livery, to operate the site shuttle trains, also being available for WSR services in between times.

Vintage Trains intends to market 7752 and 7760 in identical liveries as twins to promote their origin at the North British Locomotive Works and their London Transport operations, so they will be available to run both double-headed and singly. Their future lives will be focussed on running steam trains around the West Midlands network.