Peckett 1738 was resident on the SVRSevern Valley Railway between 1968 and 1995, and returned as a Gala visitor in October 2000.
Peckett and Sons of Bristol produced more than 50 of their W5 class 0-4-0ST locomotives between 1926 and 1940, of which more than half were still in existence as late as 1968. This particular locomotive was built as Works No 1738 of 1928 to the order of the City of Birmingham Electricity Service and delivered in July of that year to their Hams Hall Power Station at Coleshill, near Birmingham. An identical W5 class Peckett had been delivered there a few months earlier.
The locomotives' main duties at Hams Hall were shunting coal wagons between the exchange sidings on the LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway line and the power station. As the power station grew, larger and more powerful locomotives were obtained and by the 1960s the Pecketts were relegated to lighter duties and eventually stored out of use, with much of the traffic being worked by more modern diesel locomotives.
In early 1968 seven steam locomotives at Hams Hall were declared surplus to requirements by the CEGB and offered for sale by tender, of which 1738 (CEGB No 4) was considered in the best condition.
By mid-1968 the Severn Valley Railway Society had established a presence at Bridgnorth and the first five steam locomotives had arrived,[note 1] although opening to Hampton Loade was still several years off. 1738 was purchased by SVRSevern Valley Railway member Jim McNally who was already one of the SVRSevern Valley Railway's drivers at the time, and was intended for stock shunting at Bridgnorth without the need to raise steam in one of the larger locomotives (all shunting at that time was by steam locomotives as the first diesel shunter did not arrive until 1971).
1738 arrived at Bridgnorth by road on Saturday 13 July 1968 and was steamed shortly after arrival. Concerns that it would be too small for use were allayed when it was found "possible to shunt in Bridgnorth Yard at 2 hours' notice with a few shovelfuls of coal". It was used on shunting duties for the rest of the year and also gave footplate rides during the August 1968 Gala.
1738 was steamed again in 1969, although the nature of its role at Bridgnorth meant that only 2 miles of use had been recorded when the locomotive was withdrawn for a major overhaul. By mid-1970 it had been dismantled and was "in the midst of major restoration" at Bridgnorth On 30 June 1973 it had been steam tested and was turned to face north using a hired crane, before being finished in GWRGreat Western Railway livery. It was steamed twice in 1973, although only for working around Bridgnorth yard. In September 1975 1738 was again recorded as undergoing a major overhaul, requiring a set of new tubes to be fitted. It was expected to re-enter traffic at some time in 1976, probably for shunting at Bewdley. However no further reports appeared in SVRSevern Valley Railway News until the locomotive returned to traffic in September 1984. It was used at Bewdley during the April 1985 Enthusiast Weekend but saw little use thereafter. By winter 1991 it was again out of use having accumulated a total of just 14 miles in service, and in spring 1994 SVRSevern Valley Railway News reported that "Anyone interested should contact Jim McNally, the owner". It eventually left the SVRSevern Valley Railway circa November 1995, moving to the South Devon Railway.
Around 2005 the locomotive was taken into private ownership at Titley Junction Station in Herefordshire, where it was still used as ‘Percy’ from time to time as seen in the 2013 photograph. The Kingfisher Line and Titley Junction Station are privately owned and entry to the public is strictly forbidden. The former website is archived but in 2018 the line was still extant: a 'Steam and and Tea Afternoon' was organised on 18 August with a steam train ride. The present status of 1738 is however unclear.
One other W5 class Peckett survives in preservation at the Appleby-Frodingham RPS, Works no 1438 of 1916 ex-CEGB, Nechells Power Station, Birmingham. The article in SVRSevern Valley Railway News 10 suggested that several of the class worked at the power stations at Ironbridge and Stourport on the Severn Valley Branch. However the three preserved examples which saw service there are the later W6 class which shared the same wheelbase, wheel diameter and cylinder dimensions but was slightly longer, wider in the boiler, tank and cab, and was not fitted with smokebox wing plates.
- GWRGreat Western Railway 3205, LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway 46443, MW 2047, GWRGreat Western Railway 813 and LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway 47383
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 10
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 13
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 26
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 18
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 29/30
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 37
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 75
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 76
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 101, 110
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 134
- Archived Kingfisher Line website
- Hereford Times, 18 June 2018
- RMWeb Forum
- Titley Junction Station on Facebook - last post 2015
- Titley Junction railway station on Facebook from 2017