GWR Leo Class

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GWR Leo class
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
DesignerDaniel Gooch
BuilderRothwell & Co. (12)
R. & W. Hawthorn & Co. (3)
Fenton, Murray & Jackson (3)
Total produced18
 • Whyte2-4-0
 • UIC1B n2
Gauge7 ft 14 in (2,140 mm)
Leading dia.3 ft 6 in (1.067 m)
Driver dia.5 ft 0 in (1.524 m)
WheelbaseLoco: 12 ft 9 in (3.886 m)
 • Firegrate area
11.5 sq ft (1.07 m2)
Boiler50 lbf/in2 (340 kPa)
Heating surface:
 • Tubes
396 sq ft (36.8 m2)
 • Firebox71 sq ft (6.6 m2)
Cylinder size15 in × 18 in (381 mm × 457 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort2,868 lbf (12.76 kN)
OperatorsGreat Western Railway
Withdrawn1864 - 1874
DispositionAll scrapped

The Great Western Railway Leo Class 2-4-0 was a class of broad gauge steam locomotives for goods train work. This class was introduced into service between January 1841 and July 1842, and withdrawn between September 1864 and June 1874.

These locomotives were the first for the railway with coupled wheels as they were designed as goods locomotives, but they later found use on passenger trains too. All the class were altered to 2-4-0STs.

The locomotives were built by three different workshops, each with its own naming convention. The first three came from R and W Hawthorn and Company, who named them after strong animals. The next three were named after volcanoes by Fenton, Murray and Jackson, while the final twelve came from Rothwell and Company carrying the names of the twelve houses of the zodiac.


Name Manufacturer Serial
Built Withdrawn Notes
Elephant R. & W. Hawthorn & Co. 319 January 1841 December 1870
Buffalo R. & W. Hawthorn & Co. 320 March 1841 April 1865
Dromedary R. & W. Hawthorn & Co. 321 March 1841 December 1866
Hecla Fenton, Murray and Jackson 35 April 1841 September 1864 [Note 1]
Stromboli Fenton, Murray and Jackson 36 April 1841 July 1870
Etna Fenton, Murray and Jackson 37 June 1841 December 1870
Aries Rothwell and Company 66 June 1841 June 1871
Taurus Rothwell and Company 67 July 1841 December 1870 [Note 2]
Gemini Rothwell and Company 68 September 1841 March 1866
Cancer Rothwell and Company 69 October 1841 June 1874
Leo Rothwell and Company 70 October 1841 December 1870
Virgo Rothwell and Company 71 December 1841 December 1870
Libra Rothwell and Company 72 February 1842 June 1871
Scorpio Rothwell and Company 73 February 1842 December 1872
Sagittarius Rothwell and Company 74 April 1842 June 1871 [Note 3]
Capricornus Rothwell and Company 75 April 1842 July 1870 [Note 4]
Aquarius Rothwell and Company 76 June 1842 July 1870
Pisces Rothwell and Company 77 July 1842 June 1874 [Note 5]


  1. ^ Hecla: On 24 December 1841 it was involved in a fatal accident in Sonning Cutting near Reading. It was hauling a so-called "baggage train" consisting of both passenger and goods trucks, when it ran into an earth slip in the cutting, killing eight passengers. At the coroner's inquest on the passengers killed the jury returned a verdict of accidental death in all cases and a deodand of one thousand pounds on the engine, tender and carriages. The deodand was later overturned.
  2. ^ Taurus: worked the first South Devon Railway train from Newton to Torquay on 18 December 1848.
  3. ^ Sagittarius: worked the first train to Warminster on 9 September 1851.
  4. ^ Capricorn: Along with Pisces, worked the first train from Totnes to Laira, the temporary terminus of the South Devon Railway at Plymouth on 5 May 1848.
  5. ^ Pisces:Along with Capricornus, worked the first train from Totnes to Laira, the temporary terminus of the South Devon Railway at Plymouth on 5 May 1848.


  • Reed, P. J. T. (February 1953). White, D. E. (ed.). The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway, Part 2: Broad Gauge. Kenilworth: RCTS. pp. B16–B17. ISBN 0-901115-32-0.