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On its debut it hauled two carriages carrying 40 passengers and a truck from Twyford to Paddington at an average speed of 50 mph.
Following the success of the Star class locomotives introduced to the Great Western Railway by Daniel Gooch, Gooch set to work to develop a new class based on North Star, but with larger boilers. The result was the Fire Fly, later followed by 61 similar locomotives designated the same class.
From about 1865, the Fire Fly Class locomotives became part of the Priam Class, along with the Prince Class locomotives.