The Broad Gauge Engines of the Great Western Railway Part 1: 1837-1840 (Lightmoor)

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This book is the first in a series by Reverend Canon Brian Arman which tells the story of the Great Western Railway’s early broad gauge locomotives. The GWR’s early engines were a diverse selection, sourced by Brunel from a variety of manufacturers. The design and performance of the engines was not helped by the rather stringent conditions imposed by Brunel during the tendering process. Following on from these came the GWR’s first class of engines as such, the ‘Stars’, built by Robert Stephenson & Co. Many lessons were to be learned from these, which stood the company in good stead when Brunel’s young locomotive superintendent, Daniel Gooch started to design engines for the GWR in the early 1840s.

The Broad Gauge Engines of the Great Western Railway: Part 1 1837-1840 begins the story of the GWR’s broad gauge fleet of engines, looking at the design, construction and working life of the early locomotives. Arman starts by looking at the locomotives supplied for the opening of GWR’s main line between Paddington and Maidenhead in the early summer of 1838. There then follows a detailed study of the ‘Star’ Class, one of which, North Star, was to enter the annals of GWR history. To complete this first part of the story, detailed appendices present the relevant GWR chapters from Wood’s A Practical Treatise on Rail-Roads (1838) and Wishaw’s The Railway’s of Great Britain and Ireland (1840), including the seminal section on practical experiments, which gauged the performance of various GWR engines in service over several months in late 1839/early 1840. Although there are inevitable gaps, this is the first time that all known information has been brought together in one publication.

Arman has spent decades researching the engines of the broad gauge and has sourced numerous rare drawings, photographs and plans with which to illustrate the text. Hardback. 144 pages.

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