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About this blog

I'm mulling over a supplement to my GWR locomotive development book.
New sketches I prepare will appear here (in small size).  Comments and corrections on the original (be nice!) and suggestions for content in the supplement welcome.

If you are planning a model of any of the locomotives featured in this blog you are very welcome to contact me and I'll see if there's anything I can do to assist you in researching for your model. 






Entries in this blog

Errors/Inaccuracies etc

Mistakes. We all make them, and if I was immune I wouldn't have to publish this errata sheet for my [hopefully first] book.  https://www.devboats.co.uk/gwdrawings/errata/GWRlocoDevelopmentErrataFirstEdition.pdf   At the moment I've been going through some of my sketches for the book, improving some of the older ones where I think I can do better now, and adding some new ones where I can. I reuse everything I can, so coming to do a 79 class (1858 0-6-0) based on the Ahrons drawing i

2-4-0s, and the Armstrong era in particular

When I wrote the first book I was rather guilty of somewhat glossing over the 2-4-0s in the Armstrong and Dean eras. There were so many of them, they were rebuilt so much and I just found them confusing and, dare I say it, not that interesting. I'm paying for it now! Working up my experimental chronologically based GWR locomotive history I'm in into the late 1860s, early 1870s, and they are becoming impossible to avoid! I have to wonder, incidentally, why, with standard goods engines and standar

First use of injectors?

RCTS states "Up to 1865 the general practice was to use crosshead driven pumps... At that date the Giffard injector (invented in 1859) was introduced on the GWR.". Which begs the question, what classes, were they rapidly retrofitted etc etc.  Does anyone know any more?   There's a photo in RCTS (Part 4 D113) of a 322 (Beyer) no 334 "as built by Beyer Peacock in 1864" which would appear to have an injector fitted. Similarly D119 shows a 360 class with injector, but the caption ma

GWR 111 Class (1863-1866)

Anyone following this will gather that I'm currently working on very early Wolverhampton classes. The 111 Class was the first real class to be designed and built by Joseph Armstrong at Wolverhampton, but to my mind its very much a development of the earlier singles I've previously sketched here.    The first six were built in 1863/4 under Joseph Armstrong. They had outside plate frames with the footplate rising in curves to clear the coupling rods, 6ft0in driving wheels and 16x24in cyli

GWR No 7 (1859) and 110 (1862)

Two very early ones. This is GWR No 7 from 1859, Wolverhampton works no 1, and the first Joseph Armstrong design for the GWR. Holcroft tells us that Armstrong, very much a member of the Northumberland school, was much associated with George Gray. Gray's designs for the Hull & Selby and LBSCR had the same feature of inside frames on the driving wheels and outside on leading and trailing wheels. They were also the inspiration for the well known Jenny Lind type. My sources are quiet on what mot

Book Format for Locomotive Development

I'm mulling over something different in the way of formats. Traditionally locomotive books have been written class by class, which in many ways is the most logical way to do it. But the trouble is that its difficult to get a sense of how design developed. Say for instance, you're looking at GWR 0-6-0 freight engines. You list the 57 class and its history from a cabless domeless sandwich frame locomotive in 1855 with Gooch motion, then maybe the renewals around the mid 1870s which were almost new

GWR Nos 34, 35 0-4-0s (Shrewsbury and Chester - 1853) and 0-6-0s (Wolverhampton, 1866)

Numbers 34 and 35 seem to have been reserved for oddities! Later there were a couple of Dean 0-4-4Ts. The original GWR 34 & 35 were a pair of locomotives built by the Vulcan Foundry which the Shrewsbury and Chester Railway bought off the shelf in 1853, and one may suspect at a bargain price. They could be described as long boiler 0-4-0 tender engines, but the drive was not to either wheel axle, but to an intermediate crank axle, somewhat in the position that the middle driving axle of a lo

Cambrian Small Side Tank (2-4-0T) Class

Three small side tank locomotives from Sharp Stewart, delivered in 1866. They received a significant reworking in Cambrian days which altered their appearance considerably. All survived to the GWR, who proposed to scrap two of them immediately, but they were reprieved and numbered 1192, 1196 and 1197. They soon received the full GWR treatment above the footplate. The boilers were thoroughly overhauled with top feed added and they were given new GWR smokeboxes, tanks, cab and bunkers. Thus utterl

GWR 1360 (Ex Pembroke and Tenby Railway)

This one is really much too conjectural... The Pembroke and Tenby Railway was taken over by the GWR on 1st July 1896, and this Shrp Stewart 2-2-2T, one of two biuilt in 1863, was taken out of service in July 1897, so there must be some considerable doubt as to whether it ever carried its allocated GWR number or was painted in GWR livery. Apparently it hung around until 1908 before finally being scrapped, so photographs might exist. My drawing is worked up from a handful of dimensions in RCTS and

GWR Nos. 24, 26, 30, 31, 202-205

This design was specified by the Locomotive Superintendent of the Shrewsbury & Chester, Edward Jeffreys, and built by the Vulcan Foundry.  Four were ordered in 1852, and delivered in 1853. They were double framed, and quite powerful locomotives for the time.  In the meantime Jeffreys had left the Shrewsbury & Chester and was now Locomotive Superintendant of the Shrewsbury and Hereford.  Four more of the design were built for the S&H in 1853/4.  The S&C locomotives came to the GWR

GWR Nos. 28 & 50-53

More very early locomotives. These ones were designed and built by Robert Stephenson's.  Like No 25 et al these were built for the Shrewsbury and Birmingham, and the one with an out of sequence number had been sold to the Shrewsbury and Chester. A raised firebox and a dome rather than the gothic firebox of the Longridge engines, but similarities seemed very marked as I came to draw them. The very early days of steam traction seems to have been a very small world based round Northumbria. I was st

GWR Nos 9, 10, 12, 14, 22 & 23 (Ex Shrewsbury & Chester)

These were built in 1847 by Sharp Stewart for the Shrewsbury & Chester, and  came to the GWR in 1854 as part of the merger that formed the Northern Division and brought narrow gauge to the GWR. They were of a type known as Sharp singles that were delivered to a number of lines. One was converted to a tank engine, and a couple more had replacement cylinders but otherwise they were not greatly altered.  They were in service until the 1870s (1885 for the tank engine conversion). It's disappoint

GWR Nos 25 & 46-49

Very early stuff this time. I've got an idea for a new publication, but the concept means I will have to have much better coverage of the early locomotives than I did in "Introduction to". So I think I'm going to have to do a lot of drawing, and this one is starting very near the beginning! Its tempting to simply reuse the E.L. Ahrons drawings in RCTS, which are out of copyright, but I don't feel comfortable doing it. As far as I can see no-one really talks about classes this early, but thi

GWR No 40 (Ex Shrewsbury and Birmingham Railway)

This was one of those locomotives which, for no reason apparent at this distance, was rebuilt time and again for a very long life. This is the  first GWR No 40, which was officially withdrawn in 1904! It was constructed as a long boilered 0-4-2 tender engine with outside cylinders in 1849 by R.B. Longridge & Co of Bedlington, for the Shrewsbury and Birmingham Railway, and was so well regarded that the S&B attempted to sell it without success. In 1854 it became GWR property. In 1858 Armst

GWR No 92

No 92 was one of five small 0-4-0STs, superficially rather similar in appearance, but which were not treated as a class.  With one exception they were late 19thC Wolverhampton reconstructions of older locomotives, and by the end of their long lives probably retained few original parts.  The first of the group was no 45, built in 1880, which was a new engine, albeit given the number of a Sharp Stewart built locomotive withdrawn a very few years earlier. It had the odd feature of a cab that w

GWR No 342 0-4-2ST

from an E.L. Ahrons sketch, this is No 342 in original or at least very early form. It was built in 1856 by Beyer, Peacock for the Commissioners of Chester General Station, which was jointly owned by the GR, the LNWR and the Birkenhead railway, and was bought by the GWR in 1865.         In this form it was really a slightly earlier version of Nos 91 and 92, also from Beyer, Peacock. In 1881 it was altered into an 0-4-0ST of much the same form as its cousins. The reb

GWR No 1490

Built in 1898 this odd experimental locomotive is arguably significant only as having the first set of pannier tanks. It had outside frames and an unconventional firebox, wider than it was long and  initially featuring water tubes inside the firebox. Apparently it was unsuccessful in its designed role as a passenger engine and was relegated to shunting duties before being sold off. Initially it went to the Ebbw Vale Steel and Iron Co, then to the Brecon & Merthyr at a time when they were par

Cross-fertilisation in design... Locomotive/Marine

Browsing through Steamindex having awoken in the early hours I happened on a mention (by LA Summers) of a GWR Dean era proposal for a water tube boiler on a 4-4-0. You'd think that came out of nowhere, but a couple of months ago I was given sight of part of the Swindon drawing office register of drawings for the time when the 3521  0-4-2Ts were being worked on. One thing that struck me was the number of drawings being produced at Swindon for the GWR's ships. They clearly didn't maintain a separa

GWR 157 Classes (1862 and 1878)

There were actually two 157 classes. The first, above, was specified by Gooch and built by Sharp Stewart in 1862. They could be regarded as a development of the earlier 69 class with larger driving wheels. They were numbered 157-166. They were little altered in their lives, with only one receiving a new boiler, from an Armstrong Goods. They did receive weatherboards and it is possible that some may have been given open cabs. Most were scrapped in 1878/9 when the new 157 class took over thei

Barry Railway F Class

The F class was very similar to the A class except for the saddle tank. The F class is one of the trickier ones to sketch out, because there were several different batches from builders, and variations between the batches, front overhang for example, definitely existed. There are two styles of foot plate valance too.  The first five at least had a straight valance, the remainder curved as drawn.      This second sketch shows a lightly swindonised version of the F class, still

GWR 9 and 10 Dean Experimental Single Wheelers

These were Dean prototypes. Superficially rather ordinary looking 2-2-2s by the time they went out of service, they are perhaps more interesting and influential than sometimes given credit to. I don't think I really said enough about them in the printed version of the book. I shall try and produce a series of sketches, although material can be rather sparse. No. 9 started life in 1881 as a rather absurd express 4-2-4 tank engine with 7ft 8in driving wheels and was so prone to derailment it pr


JimC in GWR Locomotive Sketches

GWR Nos 93 & 94

Another early bird this one. These two were the first GWR built 0-6-0T, and belong to the Gooch era - built in 1860. They were quite small engines with 4ft 2in (or possibly 4ft) wheels. They were fairly typical Gooch designs with domeless boilers, raised fireboxes and Gooch valve gear. They had inside frames, small side tanks and a well tank under the bunker. When renewed in the 1870s, they were turned out as members of the 850/1901 classes, so it is probable that no significant parts were reuse

GWR 1741 (655) Class

Enthusiasts often refer to this Wolverhampton built class as the 655 class, but the GWR usually described them as 1741s. Thirty-two were built from 1892. They were essentially similar to the earlier 645 and 1501 classes, but were just a little larger with longer overhangs front and rear. The bunker was actually the same size as the 1501 bunker, so the extra three inches of overhang presumably provided more room in the cab. Again they were built with T class boilers. They were numbered rather ecc

Rhymney Railway L Class

These were saddle tanks with double frames. Five were built in 1891 by the Vulcan Foundry. They had started life with a polished brass safety valve cover as well as the dome, not to mention elaborate lining out. As shown here the lining is omitted completely and its intended to be a post WW1 configuration.   The frames are rather different to the general run of 19thC RR saddle tanks.  By GWR days three had been converted to L1 Class 0-6-2ST, one of which had already been withdrawn.  

Rhymney Railway L1 Class

The L1 class were built as L class 2-4-2 saddle tanks with double frames. By GWR days two of them had been converted to 0-6-2T, given new design boilers based on those of the K class, and called class L1. A third conversion had been scrapped in 1921. The rebuilds presented an odd appearance, since the 2-4-2s had a small rise in the footplate over each crank on the drivers, but this was not repeated over the new leading driving wheel. The 0-6-2s, allocated diagram J, were scrapped in 1922 and 192

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