Bluebell Railway (12): 3217 / 9017 Earl of Berkeley

Posted: October 25, 2014 in History, Trains
Tags: , ,


Originally known as the ‘Duke of Cornwall’ Class these engines were designed to run on the Cornish lines of the GWR. The first engines were built from 1895 -1899 and then a similar engine known as the Bulldog class replaced them from 1899-1910. In 1936 the Bulldog chassis were fitted with Duke class boilers and the class became known as the ‘Dukedog’.


92-051  Ex GWR 4-4-0 No. 3217 'Earl of Berkeley' at Sheffield Park
Photo by Hec Tate (

Photo by Hugh Llewlyn (

3217 was rebuilt at Swindon works in 1938 from Bulldog chassis No.3425 (built 1906) and the boiler and cab from “Duke” class No.3282 (originally named “Chepstow Castle”) built in 1899. Although it was originally intended to name them after Earls, certain of the people involved made it known that they were not particularly impressed about their names being carried on such engines and so the idea was dropped. At the time of nationalisation only 10 Dukedogs were still running and the majority of these were withdrawn in the first years of BR.

3217 arrived at Bluebell railway in February of 1962 and was renamed Earl of Berkeley. It was withdrawn from service in 2011 and is currently awaiting a major overhaul.

Photo by Hugh Llewlyn (



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