Restoring Small Prairie 4561

Fundraising to support the restoration of Steam Locomotive Small Prairie 4561 to run again on the West Somerset Railway.
by 31 supporters
RCN 1041901


Designed by G J Churchward and built at Swindon Works in 1924, Small Prairie 4561 is typical of the steam locomotives that would have run in the West Country and beyond between the 1920s and the mid-1960s. It spent 32 years of its working life on branch lines in Devon and Cornwall, before finally being withdrawn from service at Laira shed, Plymouth, and scrapped in May 1962.

The next 13 years were spent lanquishing at Woodham Bros scrap yard in Barry, South Wales. In 1975 it was purchased by a group from the West Somerset Railway and transported to the WSR. In 1982 it passed into the ownership of the WSRA and restoration work got underway in 1985, with a mainly volunteer workforce, funded by voluntary contributions. 4561 steamed for the first time in preservation on 15 August 1989.

Having run 43,000 miles in preservation, 4561 was withdrawn in 1998 pending a major overhaul. Unfortunately due to a number of factors, the restoration was sidelined for several years.

Now regular work is being undertaken on the locomotive at the Railway's restoration works at Williton. Regular updates on progress will be posted on our website

About the charity


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RCN 1041901
The West Somerset Railway Association promotes education in the heritage of the railway from Taunton to Minehead by restoring, preserving and displaying railway locomotives, carriages,wagons and other artefacts of historical interest and the buildings connected therewith.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £248.75 Gift Aid
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