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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.







Entries in this blog

Barry Railway K Class

This first sketch is aimed at being post war, but pre grouping.   In 1899, the Barry railway desperately needed some new locomotives, but all British builders were at full capacity. To resolve this, the five locomotives of the K class was ordered from Cooke Loco and Machine Co in the USA. It seems the Barry railway really wanted something as close as possible to the B1 class and the Americans wanted to build something as close as possible to their standard product. The result was a dec

GWR 322 Class Tank Engines

I'm not sure how I came to omit a sketch of this class from my book, but I certainly did. I included the tender version. Perhaps I was unsure how many drawings of similar looking pre-group pannier tanks should be included.    They have one of the more complex histories. The 322 class tale started in 1864. They were thirty 0-6-0 tender engines,  entirely of Beyer Peacock design, twenty ordered under the Gooch regime (322-341) and the rest (350-359) by Joseph Armstrong. They had plate (n

Barry Railway D Class

I've rather struggled with this one. There were only four of them, and they were all built by one builder. How difficult can it be? Well, one source of confusion was that I had 4 drawings, one Barry weight diagram, two GWR weight diagrams and a distorted photo of a drawing by Trefor L. Jones, whose work is generally excellent, but I think may have been struggling with some of the same issues. They were contradictions all over the place. I also had few photos, and all of those were front 3/4 view

Rhymney Railway K Class 0-6-2ST

These were a version of the J class with a larger bunker, but I found more subtle differences than I expected. Again its very heavily indebted to the excellent WRRC volume on the Rhymney. This sketch represents a locomotive rather earlier in its career than the J class sketch, with the rather unusual long brass number plate.     Note that this one has Ramsbottom safety valves rather than the pop valves on the J. There was a horrific accident with one of these locomotives where a f

Barry Railway J Class

The J Class. Another fairly early version of this sketch. Interesting to compare the J class 2-4-2T with the G Class 0-4-4T. They both use the standard Barry boiler and cylinders, but the J is a longer and heavier locomotive with considerably more coal and water capacity. Sadly I don't know enough about locomotive design to understand the pros and cons of the 0-4-4 and 2-4-2 wheel arrangements. I need to focus a bit more on the differences between the Sharp, Stewart and Hudswell Clarke versions

Barry Railway H Class

This is a early version sketch of a Barry H class. There are some puzzles. Photos appear to show a much narrower dome than the various weight diagrams, Barry and GW, which I've tried to reproduce. More problems come from the underframe being in shadows on most photographs. No brakes shoes on the leading driving wheel, and although I've drawn them the same, I have a suspicion the brake gear on the second pair of drivers was different to the other two. Finally the best profile shot of the L/H side

GWR 666 Class (ex Alexandra Docks & Railway or Brecon & Merthyr Railway, ex ROD, ex Inland Waterways. Kerr Stuart Victory Class)

This sketch of the beast is intended to portray the later GWR configuration on at least some of the class with GWR dome and safety valve cover. They seem to have had new tanks in GWR days with prominent riveting, but I don't do rivets in my sketches. The drawing owes a lot to Planet Industrials and in particular the Don Townsley drawing on the web page for their upcoming model. However the beast is completely redrawn, and, for instance, I've steered something of an intermediate course between th

GWR Large Prairie Bunkers and Rear Tanks

I've sketched out the obvious principal variations in Large Prairie bunkers visible in Russell, both drawings and photos. I'm making the assumption that the lines of close spaced rivets on the bunker side did indeed follow the top seam of the water tank. It sees to me there must have been variations in coal and water capacity. I shall have to take a closer look at the RCTS volume.    

Dean's Larger Tank Engines

This is something of a followup from discussion in another Blog entry,  https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blogs/entry/24891-gwr-no-34-1890/ and is also relevant to this one. https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blogs/entry/24922-gwr-3521-0-4-2t-and-0-4-4t/. As I said, I'm beginning to further appreciate what a weird and largely unsuccessful bunch Dean's larger tank engines were, and what a contrast in style they were from the smaller 6 wheeled engines, conventional, successful

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 clas

GWR 3521 0-4-2T and 0-4-4T

No, sorry, I haven't made a drawing of these. I'm thinking I should, but there's not a lot of material about. There are some drawings at the NRM, but the catalogue descriptions don't give me immense confidence I want to go ordering half a dozen up at getting on 30 quid a time. Soon adds up! The GWS doesn't seem to have anything useful. Does anyone know of any other sources?

Port Talbot Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST - GWR 808 Class

These Hudswell-Clarke built locomotives were delivered to the Port Talbot in 1900/01. They weren't given any major rebuilds under the GWR but were lightly westernised and withdrawn, with some sold into industry, in the late 1920s/early 1930s. One has survived and is a popular and successful locomotive in preservation. In spite of being basically an industrial shunter type she works heritage line trains very capably.

GWR No 34 (1890)

One of a pair of small 0-4-4T constructed under Dean, its believed for branch lines with heavy curvature. They were superficially similar in concept to the ill-starred 3521 class, but considerably smaller, and like the 3521s went through a good number of changes in their early years. They started life in 1890 as 0-4-2 saddle tanks, with the same layout of much shorter spacing between the driving wheels than between the trailing drivers and the trailing wheels. In 1895 they were altered to the fo

GWR No 92

No 92 is 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 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 was only accessible from the righ

Rhymney Railway J Class

This one might be the last for a while, because I get a little weary of doing too many of these sketches at a time.  This one owes a huge debt to the Welsh Railway Research Circle's excellent publication on the Rhymney,  Welsh Railway Records Volume 1, which was the source not only for the drawing I used as a foundation, but also provided some excellent photos. The sharp eyed who have the book might be able to see a number of (minor) areas where my interpretation of the photographs differed from

GWR 1813 Class

The 1813 Class is intriguing. They started off as side tanks, and ended up as pannier tanks with saddle tanks fitted in between. The side tanks didn't last very long, and this was a period where there were any number of experiments with boilers. Consequently there is extraordinary variety, and it seems as if not only were there no two the same, but none of them stayed the same for very long either. These sketches are the fruits of a small joint research exercise with @Mikkel. Beware of thinkin
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