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GWR Absorbed locos on Carmarthen Junction

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GWR  Absorbed locos on Carmarthen Junction


As requested by others here: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/70438-gwr-4-4-0s-on-carmarthen-junction/, I have prepared a brief account of my models of some GWR absorbed locos. These are not meant to be museum-quality examples, but robust (almost bullet proof!) models that can withstand some handling by children when shown at my church's annual model railway shows. They all now show varying signs of long use.


1. Introduction


Carmarthen Junction is a fictional loco depot and station, imagined to be somewhere on the South Wales main line.


The layout (and especially the depot) were designed to showcase a large collection of (mainly) GWR and BR(W) locos and rolling stock. Most of the collection represents the types of vehicles that ran either on the South Wales main line and valleys or the Mid-Wales (ex-Cambrian) line.


The layout can be populated with stock (and cars/trucks) for either the mid-1930s or the 1957-62 periods. 


Some exceptions to these themes have crept in over time “because I liked them”.


This paper focuses on my models of locos absorbed by the GWR – not just at Grouping, but at other periods also.


2. 19th Century Acquisitions


0-6-0T 1376



This loco came with the absorption of the Bristol & Exeter Railway in 1876, worked on the Weymouth branch for a time, but ended up working out of Oswestry in the 1930s.


This is a very recent model, whose construction is documented here:




3. Locos absorbed at the Grouping of 1922-23


0-4-4T 23



This is one of the few locos of this wheel arrangement owned by the GWR in the 20th century. It came with the stock of the Midland & South West Junction Railway. The model is a conversion from an old, battered Tri-ang “jinty” and is described here, together with details of the construction of suitable matching coaches:



2-4-0T 1196



This loco was taken over from the Cambrian Railway and extensively rebuilt for use on the Tanat Valley Light Railway. The prototype was originally named “Gladys”, my grandmother’s name. Inspired by an article in the Railway Modeller, I scratchbuilt a very crude brass body, to run on a modified Tri-ang 0-6-0 chassis in the mid-1960s, but scrapped this a few years later. I scratchbuilt a replacement in 2000, devising a sprung suspension for the leading wheels that works well to steer the model through curves and over irregularities in the track. It uses a Hornby mini-open-frame motor with 2-stage nylon gears: crown wheel & pinion followed by worm & wheel, mounted in a gearbox that is integral with the frame. Here are some images of it under construction:





0-6-0 908



With a Welsh surname (Evans), it shouldn't be much of a surprise to know that part of my family came from Wales. In fact, my great, great grandfather was Jonah Bowen Evans, vicar of St Harmon's church in Radnorshire from 1845 to 1876. According to his biographer, he was one of many who lobbied for the construction of the Mid-Wales Railway and was invited to its opening ceremony. He also successfully lobbied for the halt which was built near his church in St Harmon.


Since learning more about him, my interest in the Cambrian part of the GWR has deepened. I did start to gather some information about GWR 908 (Mid-Wales No.5) while still at school in 1966, but did not actually complete a model until 2009, using drawings from Railway Modeller (1966) and Russell's "Absorbed Locomotives of the Great Western Railway".


This used the chassis block and footplate from a Lima H0 4F, Hornby J94 wheels, scratchbuilt loco superstructure and a Mainline Dean Goods powered tender.


Another image is here:



0-6-0T 2161



2161 was one of three Kerr Stuart “Victory” class ex-WD locos taken into GWR stock (B.No. 3070/1917; ROD No. 604; B&M No.35). 2161 came via the Brecon & Merthyr. 666 and 667 came via the Alexandra Docks. This model was constructed from a Centre Models whitemetal kit and now has a Portescap motor/gearbox. Slow and powerful, it can pull the nails out of the wall!


0-6-2T 1670



1670 is another contribution from the Brecon & Merthyr, a typical Welsh Valleys 0-6-2T. The model started life as a Hornby Dublo 3-rail LNER N2 class loco. It came to me as a battered, incomplete wreck. I built a new brass channel chassis, with Romford wheels, axles and gears, powered by a Tri-ang X04 motor. I modified the body with a mix of automotive bodyfiller and polystyrene sheet. Boiler fittings, buffers and handrail staunchions were commercial items. I used Precision Paints and Humbrol enamels to finish the model.


Both 2161 and 1670 are illustrated also on the GWR Modelling website:



4. ROD Locomotives


2-8-0s 3026 & 3040





Robinson-designed RODs are a particular favourite, as I was privileged to see, hear and photograph a couple of survivors here in NSW during the 1970s (eg the photo used currently in my profile).The 30XX (“ROD”) locos came to the GWR in both pre- and post-grouping batches, purchased from the British government. Some survived to nationalisation in 1947. I have two models – both from K’s kits. These are seen above in “just built” condition, before numbering.


3026 (in GWR colours) was built from a kit I purchased while in the UK in 1975. I assembled it in 1977. As mentioned elsewhere (http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/70333-what-have-you-done-with-your-keyser-kit/) , this loco came with plastic-centred wheels which worked loose and had to be replaced by Romford wheels on self-quartering, square-ended axles.


3040 (shown unpainted in 2007) was purchased cheaply at auction in 2001, but not assembled until 2007. It has old-pattern Romford wheels on solid (not self-quartering) axles. Both work well and can haul very long strings of open coal wagons.


5. Other Post-Grouping


0-6-0T 5 “Portishead”



When the Weston, Cleveland & Portishead Railway was wound up in 1940, the GWR (one of the creditors) gained a couple of ex-LBSCR “Terrier” class 0-6-0Ts. These, surprisingly, remained active for a few more years, to be taken into BR stock in 1948. No.5 was condemned in 1954. This model was one I purchased from a workmate who had bought it to convert into an H0 NSWGR 18-class loco – a project he did not proceed with. It is another very old K’s kit with solid axles. Completed around 1968, this model has seen a lot of use and now serves the coal stage on Carmarthen Junction. It does occasionally still come out for a run and is seen above on my terminus to fiddleyard layout being dwarfed by a C10 clerestory coach.


6. References

  1. Anon.: “The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway – Part Three – Absorbed Engines, 1854-1921” (RCTS, 1956)
  2. Anon.: “The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway – Part Ten– Absorbed Engines,1922-1947” (RCTS, 1966)
  3. C.C.Green: “Cambrian Railways Album – 2” (Ian Allan, 1981)
  4. R.W.Kidner “The Cambrian Railways” (Oakwood Press, 1954)
  5. R.W.Kidner “The Mid-Wales Railway” (2nd ed., Oakwood Press, 2003)
  6. E.R.Mountford: A Register of GWR Absorbed Coaching Stock 1922/3” (Oakwood Press, 1978)
  7. Brian Reed: “Loco Profile 21 – ROD 2-8-0s” (Profile Publications – undated)
  8. J.W.P.Rowledge: “Heavy Goods Engines of the War Department – Volume 1 – ROD 2-8-0
  9. J.H.Russell: A Pictorial Record of Great Western Absorbed Engines” (OPC,1978)
  10. Casserley & Johnson: “ Locomotives at the Grouping – No.4 – Great Western Railway” (Ian Allan, 1966)
  11. Colin L.Williams: “More Great Western Steam in Wales and the Border Counties” (Bradford Barton, 1975)
  12. David H. Williams: “A NEGLECTED RADNORSHIRE CLERIC: THE REVEREND JONAH BOWEN EVANS, B.D. ('Cattwg'). Vicar of St. Harmon 1845-76 (Journal of Welsh religious history Vol. 1 – 1993)
  13. Railway Modeller: March 1965; Sep 1966; May 1967; Jan 1968
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