HERE'S something for the railway enthusiasts among our readers – a fine picture of a Black Country-built steam locomotive.
The photograph was taken at Stourbridge Junction some time in the 1920s, we think, and it shows locomotive number 646, a Great Western 645 Class 0-6-0 pannier tanker with a rake of two carriages.
The loco was built in 1872 at the GWR's Stafford Road Works in Wolverhampton. Designed by George Armstrong, it was originally built as a saddle tank but was rebuilt after the First World War with a Belpaire firebox and distinctive pannier tanks. This engine was scrapped at some point in the 1930s.
The Wolverhampton works were opened by the Shrewsbury and Birmingham Railway in 1849 and later taken over by the GWR, becoming the workshop of its northern divsion. Production ceased in 1908 and the works became a repair and overhaul centre.
The works declined after the Second World War and closed in 1963, the site becoming an industrial estate.