Locomotive 5542 


News Page
History of 5542
Is currently at...
Restoration of 5542
Chairman's Message
Map of Railways
Getting Involved
Fans Photographs
Site Map

This is the website for ex GWR Locomotive 5542

5542 is a GWR 4575 Class 2-6-2T "small prairie" tank engine which was built in 1928 and withdrawn by British Railways in December 1961, she spent the next fourteen years in a scrapyard before being acquired for preservation.

After many years of hard work restoring her she entered traffic on the West Somerset Railway in autumn 2002, she has since moved to work on a number of other heritage lines and her first 10 year boiler overhaul in preservation has just been completed.  While she was on the West Somerset she was dubbed "The Planet's Favourite Prairie" by her dedicated bunch of followers - many of whom have photos of her on this site.


Important News August 2019

We have today (1 August 2019) concluded an agreement whereby 5542 will be operated and maintained by the South Devon Railway for the next 30 years.  It means that the long term future of nit only our steam loco but also our other rolling stock currently located on the SDR will be maintained and, if necessary restored, using their resources.  The deal will see 5542 in particular guaranteed a long period of activity potentially on railways all around the country.  The agreement recognises our origins on the WSR and the input of many WSR supporters in its restoration.  We believe this secures the best possible future for Locomotive 5542 Ltd.


5542 is currently at the South Devon Railway where she is often working with one of our autos W233W, there are lots photos on our Facebook page

Work has started on our Mk1 BSK, 34991, there's photos on BSK 34991 with more added 16/6/16.

Don't forget our Auto Trailers, 169 and W233W, progress with their restoration is covered on Auto 169

If you require some space on your bookshelves we will be pleased to receive your surplus transport related items for resale.

 2012 10 year boiler overhaul  click here for the full story and photos - updated 30/05/2012

If you've been impressed with the timescale of the overhaul process and our 'blow by blow 'account of what's involved a quick visit to the 'Donations' page might just help us a little.



On this site there are details of this overhaul, current and archived news of her working, technical details, histories of her mainline service and initial restoration; and photos of her at work on Fans Photographs and Railways  There's a full list of pages on Site Map.  There's new videos of her working on Videos

We have been asked how you can help us with donations so there is now a new page Donations

5542's owning group are also restoring GWR Autotrailer 169 and W233W. click on the banner to visit the site with all the news and details of the appeal for this project.

5542 with autocoach near Bishops Lydeard, WSR

With the 15.30 Auto service from Bishops Lydeard to Norton Fitzwarren on 02/10/2011 5542 propels its penultimate service of the first 10 year boiler certificate past Longlands Farm. Photo copyright John Wood












5542 being loaded at Bishops Lydeard for transport to the SDR

Within 90 minutes of the above photo 5542 was loaded and departing for Buckfastleigh Photo copyright John Wood














5542 with an engineers train at Williton

With just 4 days remaining on its 10 year boiler certificate 5542 drifts into Williton at the head of a short engineers train 29/09/11 (copyright John Wood)
















We restored this rusted hulk over many years, help us keep her running by Getting Involved


For enquiries about 5542 please e-mail Chairman of 5542 Ltd

For matters relating to this website, link requests or to submit photos please e-mail Webmaster


I'm a poet and didn't know it
Said the driver for a fiver.
As he made his cup of tea
with water from the PFP.
Now steam is up, 'tis time to start
a journey along beside the Dart
up and down the Devon line
push and pulling 169
'til at last it's back to shed
and head for home and then to bed.

(C) Chris Osment 2009



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This site was last updated 02/08/19

Site 2012 Locomotive 5542 Ltd/S G Huddy