Category Archives: Steam Locomotive Classes of a Leisurely Era

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1923 – ‘Castles’ Great Western Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era
1923 – ‘Castles’
Great Western Railway

No.7 'Great Western' as running in 1956

No.7 ‘Great Western’ as running in 1956

When C.B.Collett succeeded Churchward in 1922 he introduced no radical changes in the strongly individual characteristics of GWR locomotive practice built up during that gentleman’s twenty years of office, but proceeded to carry on the tradition which was to last for the remainder of the Company’s existence until absorption into the BR in 1948.Viscount Horne
Collett’s first engines were in effect an improved ‘Star’ and the resulting class, the ‘Castles’, became the principal express type for all but the heaviest duties for the next 35 years, and when they did finally begin to be superseded in 1959 it was not by a new class of steam locomotives but by diesels. Their exploits during this period are well known and considerations of space do not allow more than a passing reference to the exchange trials of 1924 and 1925 between the GWR and the LNE and LMS Companies, the results of which had no small influence on future locomotive design on the two last mentioned lines.

Clun CastleTheir brilliant performances on the high speed ‘Cheltenham Flyer’ will also not be forgotten. They eventually totalled 171 engines, of which Nos. 4073-99, 5000-82, 5093-9 and 7000-37 were built new as ‘Castles’ and Nos. 4000, 4009, 4016, 4032, 4037 and 5083-92 were rebuilds of Churchward’s ‘Stars. Finally there was No. 111, rebuilt from the 4-6-2 ‘Great Bear’. The majority were named after castles, but there were some variations, and there was a certain amount of renaming. Four notable commemorative names may be mentioned, No. 5069 ‘Isambard Kingdom Brunel’, 7007 ‘Great Western’, 7017 ‘G.J.Churchward; and 7037, the last of the class, and the last express engine built at the famous works, turned out in 1950, was appropriately named ‘Swindon’. No. 4082 ‘Windsor Castle’ was driven by the late King George V on the occasion of a Royal visit to Swindon works in 1924, and bore a suitable commemorative plate. It was desired to use this engine to haul the funeral train from Paddington to Windsor in 1952, but it happened to be in the works for repair and an exchange on name and number plate was made with No. 7013 ‘Bristol Castle’, which engine actually performed the duty under the guise of ‘Windsor Castle’, which it retained, as the plates were left as they were.Lyonshall CastleAll of the Castles were still in service in 1959 with the exception of No. 4091 and the rebuilds Nos. 111, 4000, 4009 (latterly numbered 100), 4016 and 4032. The only alteration of note has been the recent fitting of double blast pipes and chimneys to several of the class. No. 5005 ran in 1935 with a particularly ugly form of semi-streamlining, fortunately only for a short time.
Driving wheels – 6’ 8½”, Cylinders (4) – 16”x 26”, Pressure 225 lb., Tractive effort – 31625 lb., Weight – 79 tons 17cwt., Br classification – 7P

5005 streamlinedGWR 4-6-0 semi-streamlined ‘Castle’ class No 5005 ‘Manorbier Castle’ standing light engine on the middle road, Leamington Station circa 1936.

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1922 – 4-6-4T Glasgow & South Western Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era
1922 – 4-6-4T
Glasgow & South Western Railway

No.540 when new

No.540 when new

The last engines built for the G&SWR, five very fine 4-6-4Ts built by R.H.Whitelegg, one time superintendent of the LTSR and who had also designed some 4-6-4Ts for that railway.
The new engines were numbered 540-4, and renumbered by the LMS 15400-4. They did good work on the heavy shorter distance expresses, but being of non-standard type had no chance of survival under LMS policy, and were broken up in 1935 and 1936
Driving wheels – 6’ 0”, Cylinders (2) – 22”x 26”, Pressure – 180 lb., Tractive effort – 26741 lb., Weight 99 tons.

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1922 – 4-Cylinder 0-6-0T North Stafford Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1922 – 4-Cylinder 0-6-0T

North Stafford Railway

The engine as first builtThe engine as first built

This was an experimental locomotive built by J.A.Hookham in 1922, and was the only 4-cylinder tank engine to run in this country.  The cranks of the inside and outside cylinders were set in such a way that the engine gave eight exhausts to every revolution of the driving wheels in place of the customary four (this arrangement was later adopted on the SR by Maunsell in his ‘Lord Nelson’ class).

The purpose of the new No.23 was quick acceleration with suburban trains, but it does not appear to have been greatly successful in this capacity, and it was in 1924 converted to an 0-6-0 tender engine and used on freight work.

On being absorbed into LMS stock in 1923 it was allocated No.1599 in the tank series, but never carried this, as on conversion to a tender engine it became No.2367.  Again renumbered 8689 in 1928, it was cut up later in the same year.

Driving wheels – 4’ 6”,  Cylinders (4) – 14”x 24”,  Pressure – 160 lb.,  Weight – 56¾ tons


Hookham’s 4-cylinder 0-6-0T No. 23 of 1922, designed to speed up services by accelerating suburban passenger trains rapidly between stations. To ensure an even torque on starting the cranks were set to give 8 exhausts for each revolution of the driving wheels. A revolutionary design whose worth the LMS failed to appreciate.

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era – 1922 – Gresley ‘Pacifics’ Great Northern Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1922 – Gresley ‘Pacifics’

Great Northern RailwayNo.1473 as first built

No.1473 as first built

The final express design for the Great Northern, introduced by Mr. (later Sir) Nigel Gresley in 1922 just before the grouping.  Two engines were built initially, Nos.1470 and 1471.  They were a revolution in the size of power for express working on the GNR, which had hitherto been almost exclusively in the hands of the Ivatt ‘Atlantics’.  They were the only engines (apart from ‘Henry Oakley’) on that line ever to bear a name, No. 1470 being appropriately ‘Great Northern’, and 1471 ‘Sir Frederick Banbury’.  They may in some ways be regarded as a natural enlarged cross-development between the ‘Atlantics’, with their wide fireboxes, and the 3-cylinder K3 2-6-0s detailed in the previous post In this category.

Ten further engines quickly followed in 1923, Nos. 4472-81 (at first temporarily numbered 1472-81), whilst in 1924-5 there appeared Nos. 2543-82.60068

In 1925 No. 4474 underwent trials on the Great Western main line, being matched against the GWR engine No. 4079 ‘Pendennis Castle’, as a result of which No. 4480 was in 1927 rebuilt with a 220 lb. boiler, and four others were likewise treated a few months later.  Following the success of this conversion, further new engines were built with the higher pressure between 1928 and 1935, Nos. 2743-52, 2595-9, 2795-7 and 2500-8.  From 1925 onwards all the class were named, mostly after famous racehorses, but No. 4472, one of the best known of the whole lot had already become ‘Flying Scotsman’ after the train of that name, which it frequently worked.60103 Flying Scotsman

All eventually received the higher boiler pressure, and in 1945 Thompson rebuilt the initial engine No. 4470, when it was considerably modified, and as such became the prototype of a new class of his own, comprising in all fifty engines.  This locomotive received the number 113 under the 1946 renumbering scheme, whilst the remainder became 35-112, and later ran as BR 60035-60112, the Thompson rebuild and subsequent additions being 60113-62.

As Built – Driving wheels – 6’ 8”,  Cylinders (3) – 20”x 26”,  Pressure 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 29835 lb.,  Weight – ___ ,  GNR & LNER classification – A1 (later A10),  BR classification – N/A

As Rebuilt – Driving wheels – 6’ 8”,  Cylinders (3) – 19”x 26”,  Pressure 220 lb.,  Tractive effort – 32910 lb.,  Weight – 96 tons 5 cwt ,  GNR & LNER classification – A3,  BR classification – 7P6F

No. 4470, modified by Thompson – Driving wheels – 6’ 8”,  Cylinders (3) – 19”x 26”,  Pressure 250 lb.,  Tractive effort – 37400 lb.,  Weight – 101 tons,  GNR & LNER classification – A1,  BR classification – 7P6F60113


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1920 – 3-Cylinder 2-6-0 Great Northern Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1920 – 3-Cylinder 2-6-0

Great Northern Railway1935 as running in 1947

1935 as running in 1947

A powerful class of mixed traffic locomotives introduced by Gresley in 1920.  Ten engines were constructed for the GNR, Nos. 1000-9, and after grouping another 183 were built between 1924 and 1937, with slight modifications.  At the time of their appearance these engines had the largest boilers, 6’ 0” in diameter, yet seen in this country.  They were the first of Gresley’s engines to employ the rocking shaft device whereby the piston valve of the inside cylinder is actuated by levers connected with the tail rods of the Walschaert’s valve gear of the two outside cylinders, thus dispensing with the need for a separate eccentric or valve gear for the inside cylinders.  This arrangement was later used most successfully by Gresley for his ‘Pacifics’ and several other classes, and worked very well when kept in good order.   It is inclined, however, to become uncertain under conditions of poor maintenance so frequently met with towards the end of the steam era.

The GNR built engines became Nos. 4000-9 after the grouping, and the post-amalgamation ones had scattered numbers over the LNER range, between 17 and 3832.  At the 1946 renumbering the whole class became 1800-1992, and subsequently BR 61800-61922.61863

In 1945 No. 206 (now No. 61863) was rebuilt with two cylinders, and increased boiler pressure, but no further conversions took place.  Scrapping of the class commenced in 1959.

The general class – Driving wheels – 5’ 8”,  Cylinders (3) 18½”x 26”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 30030 lb.,  Weight – 72 tons 12 cwt,  GNR classification – H4,  LNER classification – K3,  BR classification – 5P6F

Engine 61863 -Driving wheels – 5’ 8”,  Cylinders (2) 20”x 26”,  Pressure – 225 lb.,  Tractive effort – 29250 lb.,  Weight – 71 tons 5 cwt,  GNR classification – N/A,  LNER classification – K5,  BR classification – 5P6F61935

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1918 – Urie and Maunsell 4-6-0 King Arthur Class, Southern Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1918 – Urie and Maunsell 4-6-0 King Arthur Class

Southern RailwayNo.745 Tintagel in 1925 before chimney & blinkers

No.745 ‘Tintagel’ in 1925 after being named but before receiving a Maunsell chimney and smoke deflectors.

R.W.Urie’s express engines were the direct forerunners of Maunsell’s later ‘King Arthurs’, into which class the Urie engines were later incorporated.

Nos. 736-45 came out in 1918-19, followed by 746-55 in 1922 and 1923.  Maunsell’s No. 453 ‘King Arthur’, which appeared in 1925, was Urie’s basic design, but with a greatly improved front end, incorporating long valve travel, the merits of which had long been recognised by Churchward and the GW, but which other engineers did not adopt until many years later, Maunsell being one of the first.  The new ‘King Arthurs’ eventually totalled 54 engines, numbered 448-57 and 763-806.  They were given names associated with the legend of King Arthur and the Round Table, as were the original Urie engines at the same time.30753

Amongst other modifications these also received Maunsell-type chimneys and smoke deflectors at the sides of the smokebox.  It was with the ‘King Arthurs’ that trouble with exhaust smoke obscuring the driver’s vision began to be experienced to a serious extent, and it was only after extensive experiments with various types of deflectors, some fitted to the chimney itself, that the remedy was found.  Many other large-boilered designs have suffered from the same trouble, and the fitting of side wing deflectors has latterly become more or less common practice.30755

Under Nationalisation the engines had 30000 added to their numbers.  The early Urie engines were scrapped between 1955 and 1958, and in 1959 a start was made on the later Maunsell machines.30789

Urie Engines – Driving wheels – 6’ 7”,  Cylinders – 21”x 28” (22”x 28” when built),  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Tractive effort – 23915 lb.,  Weight – 80 tons 7 cwt.,  LSWR and SR classification – N15,  BR classification – 5P

Maunsell Engines – Driving wheels – 6’ 7”,  Cylinders – 20½”x 28” Pressure – 200lb.,  Tractive effort – 25320 lb.,  Weight – 79 tons 18 cwt.,  LSWR and SR classification – N15,  BR classification – 5P30801

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era – 1917 – Maunsell 2-6-0 South East & Chatham Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1917 – Maunsell 2-6-0

South East & Chatham RailwayNo.816 as first built (they later had smoke deflectors)

No.816 as first built (they later had smoke deflectors)

R.E.L.Maunsell had come to the SECR from the Great Southern of Ireland, where he had built his earliest locomotives.

His first designs for the SECR were two engines of considerable importance, the first being a 2-6-0 mixed traffic engine and the second a 2-6-4T for passenger work.

The outstanding feature of these designs, which did not attract much attention at the time, was the use of long valve travel.  Churchward alone, on the GWR many years before, had realised the value of this, but no other engineer appreciated its significance until Maunsell came along.  It was not until the locomotive exchanges of 1924-5 between the GWR, LNER and LMS that its superiority became generally recognised, and since then it has become normal practice in locomotive design.31414 last

The new SECR engine, No. 810, embodied much of the Great Western practice, including the coned boiler, but there was a good deal of the Midland there also, as exemplified in the design of the cab, tender and other details.

After extensive trials fifteen more were built, Nos. 811-25, No. 822 was fitted with three cylinders.

Largely to avoid unemployment at Woolwich Arsenal, the Government ordered a hundred of the design to be built there after the termination of the First World War.  Fifty of them were eventually acquired by the Southern Railway as 826-75 (later 1826-75).

Of the remainder it may be mentioned that six sets of parts were sold to the Metropolitan Railway and emerged as 2-6-4Ts, whilst another 26 went to the Great southern of Ireland, who thus acquired a number of Maunsell’s design after he had left that railway.31879 1930s

Six more of the three cylinder variety similar to No. 822 were constructed in 1930 at Ashford, Nos. A876-80, and another fifteen of the 2-cylinder engines between 1932 and 1934, numbered 1400-14.  In 1930 No. 816 was taken into Eastleigh works and underwent extensive experiments as a condensing engine, but it never ran in traffic and was eventually reconverted to standard.

These engines have always been most useful additions to the SR stock.  Many of them spent much of their existence in the West of England.  All were still in service in 1959 as BR 31810-75 and 31400-14.

2-Cylinder engines – Driving wheels – 5’ 6”,  Cylinders 19”x 28”,  Pressure – 200 lbs.,  Tractive effort – 26035 lb.,  Weight – 61 tons 4 cwt,  SECR & SR classification – N,  BR classification – 4P5F

3-Cylinder engines – Driving wheels – 5’ 6”,  Cylinders 16”x 28”,  Pressure – 200 lbs.,  Tractive effort – 27695 lb.,  Weight – 64 tons 5 cwt,  SECR & SR classification – N1,  BR classification – 4P5F31869


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1914 – 2-8-0 – Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1914 – 2-8-0 – Somerset & Dorset Joint RailwayNo.81 as originally built with tender cab

No.81 as originally built with tender cab

This railway was jointly owned by the Midland and the London & South Western Railways, and the former was responsible for the provision of motive power. It was not surprising therefore that the locomotives were based largely on Derby practice, and the 2-8-0s introduced in 1914 by Sir Henry Fowler were pure Midland, although, strangely enough, that railway never built anything larger than an 0-6-0 for its own heavy freight traffic. Six engines, Nos. 80-5, came from Derby in 1914, and in 1925 a further five, Nos. 86-90, were built by Stephenson & Co. These latter had larger boilers, but as these were of non-standard Derby dimensions the engine in later years were rebuilt to conform with the original ones as the boilers required replacement.

The S & DJR locomotive stock was absorbed into the LMS in 1930, and the 2-8-0s at first took the numbers 9670-80, but they were soon afterwards altered to 13800-10. On passing into BR hands they became 53800-10.53800

The class remained intact until 1959, when the first one, No. 53800, was withdrawn. The engines were built for working freight traffic over the steeply graded main line of the S & DJR between Bath and Bournemouth, on which route they have spent their entire working life. To assist in coping with the heavy holiday traffic on Saturdays during the summer months they have frequently been called upon to work passenger trains. For a few months during 1918 No. 85 was lent to the parent Midland Railway which used it on coal trains between Wellingborough and Brent, with a view to constructing some for its own use, but nothing came of the idea. Owing to the absence of a large-enough turntable they worked for many years always facing south, and because of the large amount of tender-first running involved, Nos. 80-5 were fitted with cabs to the tenders, but these were later removed.53808

Nos. 80-5 – Driving wheels – 4’ 8½”, Cylinders (2) 21”x 28”, Boiler diameter – 4’ 9”, Pressure – 190 lb., Tractive effort – 35295 lb., Weight – 64 tons 15 cwt, BR classification – 7F

Nos.86-90 as built – Driving wheels – 4’ 8½”, Cylinders (2) 21”x 28”, Boiler diameter – 5’ 3”, Pressure – 190 lb., Tractive effort – 35295 lb., Weight – 68 tons 11 cwt, BR classification – 7FWSR No.88 No.88 preserved on the West Somerset Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era – Hawthorn Leslie, 3837 of 1934

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

Hawthorn Leslie, 3837 of 1934

Bernard Mettam Collection IRSBernard Mettam Collection – IRS Collection

R. & W. Hawthorn Leslie and Company, Limited, usually referred to as Hawthorn Leslie, was a shipbuilding and locomotive manufacturer.

The Company was formed by the merger of the shipbuilder A.Leslie & Hebburn with the locomotive works of R & W Hawthorn at St.Peter’s in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1886. The Company disposed of its locomotive manufacturing interests in 1937 to Robert Stephenson & Co. which became Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn Ltd.

After the merger the locomotive side continued manufacturing for main-line, light and industrial railways, including a large number built for export, usually to the designs of the Crown Agents.

John Hill Collection IRSJohn Hill Collection IRS Collection

R.W Hawthorn Leslie 0-6-0 ST, 3837 of 1934

3’ 8” wheels, 16”x 24” outside cylinders.  New to Stewarts and Lloyds, Corby Steelworks, Northamptonshire, originally No. 10 but later renumbered 16.  Initially entering preservation at the Nene Valley Railway, Cambridgeshire around June 1974 the locomotive has experienced a somewhat nomadic existence since.

A move to the Battlefield Line, Shackerstone, Leicestershire took place on March 7th 1981 (where No.16 joined sister loco Hawthorn Leslie 3931 of 1938, another ex Corby loco, their No. 21).  No.21 had been at Shackerstone since October 1973 but both locos moved on to the Swanage Railway, Dorset on 17th December 1982.

Information ends there regarding HL 3837 but her sister loco HL 3931 is currently based on the Ribble Railway, Preston. (My thanks to Barry Bull for this information).Leatherhead 1985Leatherhead 1985

From the Hawthorn Leslie 3837 Preservation Society website

The Hawthorn Leslie 3837 Preservation Society purchased 3837 from Mole Valley District Council where she had been standing for over 25 years behind Leatherhead Leisure Centre.

The loco is now based at Isfield, East Sussex at the headquarters of The Lavender Line for restoration.

After a working life of 35 years at Corby Steelworks, Northamptonshire and many years languishing behind Leatherhead Leisure Centre, 3837 now requires your help!Leatherhead 2010Leatherhead 2010

We are always on the look out for volunteers and people who would like to get involved in the restoration project and become members of our society, so if you are interested please contact us

- See more at:

http://www.hl3837.orgFinal Touches to PaintworkFinal touches to the paintwork

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era – More from David Ives archive

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

More from David Ives archive

4247 Preservation Society Leaflet 198-Literature sent to Chasewater Railway in the 1980s

4247 Pres. Society Application Form

A report from the Flour Mill Locomotive Repair Shop


On behalf of the Bodmin & Wenford Railway Trust we overhauled the boiler of 1916-built GWR 2-8-0 tank 4247 (owned by 4247 Ltd), which needed a complete new steel backhead along with other significant work: the work also involved a lot more than just the boiler. It took just over a year and 4700 hours, 60% on the boiler. 4247 returned to Bodmin in November 2011.

4247 GWSR Toddington  8-8-2004Phil Scott’s Pic at Toddington 8-8-2004

 This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Great Western Railway (GWR) 4200 Class is a class of 2-8-0T steam locomotives. They were designed for short-haul coal trips from coal mines to ports in South Wales, working 1000+ ton coal trains through the Welsh valleys. The locomotives were built with large boilers and narrow side tanks; these engines would pass numerous water stops along their routes so the limited tank capacity was not a constraint. Because of the class’s heavy water consumption and limited tank capacity they were nicknamed “Water Carts”.

Many of the lines in South Wales had sharp curves. To traverse these curves, the locomotives were constructed with side play in the trailing driving wheels and coupling rods with spherical joints to allow for movement in any direction.

The later 5205 Class were very similar.

105 4200s were build between 1910 and 1923. Fourteen of these were rebuilt between 1937 and 1939 as 2-8-2T of the 7200 Class. In later years many of the remainder were upgraded to 5205 specification with outside steam pipes, larger cylinders and in some cases curved frames at the front end.