The 2884 Class was an updating of the original 28xx class of G. J. Churchward by C. B. Collett. Various small detail differences were made to the later class, the most noticeable being the fitting of window cabs. The 28xx class was built between 1903 and 1919 (84 Locos), and the 2884 between 1938 and 1942 (83 Locos). They were withdrawn from Service between 1958 and 1965.

The class was designed to handle long distance Heavy Freight trains, so their average job would have been to haul large rakes of wagons (probably around 500 tons) at speed around 20-30 mph over distances of 100-200 miles. Most of the engines were allocated to the South Wales, Wolverhampton and London Divisions. They were all shedded at main line depots as their axle loadings kept them off most branch lines; also their wheelbase limited their use in the Welsh Valleys.

The G. W. R. built 3822 at Swindon and it was out shopped on 25th April 1940 at a total cost of £6,640.00, and it was then shedded to Llanelly. It was always allocated to South Wales sheds, the longest being to Pontypool Road (1947-1960). It was withdrawn from Cardiff East Dock on 15th January 1964 and sent to Woodham Brothers Scrap Yard at Barry on 25th March 1964. The G. W. S. purchased the engine during the summer of 1975, and it left Barry on the evening of 21st March 1976, arriving at Didcot the following morning.


As built - unlined green with the GWR "roundel" type monogram on the tender.

August 1944 - Unlined black with GWR on tender sidesheets.

September 1946 - Unlined green with GWR on tender sidesheets. Cabside windows fitted.

July 1951 - Unlined black with first BR crest. Smokebox door numberplates fitted. Backgrounds to cabside numberplate painted red.

November 1957 - Unlined black with second BR crest.

Information from the "Heavy Freight 28xx and 38xx consolidations of the Great Western"