Tag Archives: Broad Gauge

Some Early Lines – Old Railway Companies – South Wales Railway

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

South Wales Railway

South Wales Railway - laluciole.net

South Wales Railway – laluciole.net

Incorporated on 4 August 1845, this was supported by the GWR, which was aiming at Ireland. Its first section (Swansea-Chepstow, 75 miles) opened on 18 June 1850. The building of Brunel’s bridge across the Wye delayed opening east to Gloucester until September 1851 (the Company was authorised in 1847 to lease or buy the Forest of Dean Railway, and western extensions opened to Carmarthen on 11 October 1852, to Haverford West on 2 January 1854 and to Neyland on 15 April 1856. The line was leased to the GWR in 1846 at a guaranteed 5% and amalgamated with effect from 1 August 1863. Broad gauge, however, did not suit the valley lines, for which sharp curves were often necessary, and by 1866 freighters were petitioning for conversion; this had reached Cardiff by 1872.
The line now forms part of the South Wales Main Line and Gloucester to Newport Line.

S.Wales BridgeAnother Brunel Relic, this time the bridge across the River Wye at Chepstow, opened by the South Wales Railway in 1851. An up train crosses during rebuilding in 1962 (Rev W.Awdrey)

Some Early Lines – Old Railway Companies – Berkshire & Hampshire Railway + ext

Some Early Lines
Old Railway Companies
Berkshire & Hampshire Railway + ext

Although nominally independent (incorporated on 30th June, 1845). The Company was backed by the GWR, which absorbed it by an Act of 14th May,1846. It continued the GWR’s Newbury branch to Hungerford and a 13.5 mile line ran from Southcote Junction, Reading, to a separate station at Basingstoke. Opening from Reading to Hungerford was on 21st December, 1847, and to Basingstoke on 1st November, 1848. Broad gauge to begin with, authority to ‘adapt the broad gauge’ was obtained on 21st June 1873. It was extended to Devizes as the Berkshire & Hampshire Extension Railway.
This line was authorised on13th August,1859 to extend the Berkshire & Hampshire Railway along the Kennet Valley for another 24.5 miles from Hungerford to Devizes. It was opened on 11th November, 1862 and absorbed by the GWR on 10th August, 1882, having been further extended to the WS & WR at Westbury under Authority of 28th June, 1866.

Berks & Hants Ext PicBerks & Hants Ext Text

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1891 – Dean 2-2-2 ‘Convertibles’ and 4-2-2 Great Western Railway

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1891 – Dean 2-2-2 ‘Convertibles’ and 4-2-2

Great Western Railway

One of the ‘convertibles’, No.3024 during its short period as a broad gauge engine.

 As early as the 1870s it was becoming obvious that the Great Western was fighting a losing battle over the question of its broad gauge, and that it would only be a matter of time before it had to be abandoned in favour of the 4’ 8½” gauge universal for the rest of the country.  From 1876 onwards, therefore, several classes of engines were constructed for the 7’ 0” with a view to their conversion when the time came.  They had their driving wheels placed outside the frames and completely exposed, presenting a very ugly appearance.  After conversion they became outside-framed engines with a very considerable improvement in looks.  The classes involved were 0-6-0 engines, both tender and saddle tanks, some 0-4-2Ts (these after conversion to standard gauge went through various stages of rebuilding as 0-4-2T, 0-4-4T, 2-4-0, and 4-4-0 tender engines) three 2-4-0s and eight 2-2-2s.

Dean “Convertible” 2-2-2 No. 3024, later converted to narrow gauge and named “Storm King.” Photograph by F. Moore

The last mentioned belonged to a new class of thirty engines under construction by William Dean fro main line work on the standard gauge routes, but owing to the urgent need for increased power on the broad gauge during the last years of operation, eight of them were turned out as 7’ 0” engines to help the ageing ‘Iron Dukes’ on the expresses.  These engines were Nos. 3021-8, the complete series running from 3001-30.  They ran only for about a year as broad gauge engines, from 1891 until May 1892, when the 7’ 0” gauge was finally abolished.

No.3050 Royal Sovereign in 1915, the last of the class to remain in service.  It had then acquired an extended smokebox and top feed apparatus on the boiler.

In 1893 all were named, many of them perpetuating names from the scrapped broad gauge ‘Iron Duke’ class.  From 1894 they were all converted to 4-2-2 tender engines, and between then and 1898 another fifty were constructed to this design, the whole class then running from Nos. 3001-80.  They did fine express work fro some years, but were gradually superseded by the larger coupled engines of the early 1900s.  In later years many acquired varying types of modified boiler, some of the larger domeless variety.  All were scrapped between 1908 and 1915.

Driving wheels – 7’ 8½”,  Bogie wheels – 4’ 1”,  Trailing wheels – 4’ 7”,  Cylinders – 19”x 24”,  Pressure – 160 lb.,  Tractive effort – 12738 lb.,  Weight – 49 tons.

GWR 4-2-2 Achilles class 7′-8” Single No 3050 ‘Royal Sovereign’ is seen at the head on an express near Knowle and Dorridge circa 1909. The class were then officially known as the 3031 Achilles class, but are frequently known as the 3001 class or ‘Dean Singles’. The rest of the class appeared in batches until the last, number 3080 Windsor Castle, was delivered in March 1899. The final ‘Dean Singles’ to be withdrawn were numbers 3050 Royal Sovereign and 3074 e- Princess Helena in December 1915.  http://www.warwickshirerailways.com

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era – GWR Broad Gauge

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Great Western Railway  1837   North StarAuthor Geof Sheppard  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

One of the earliest and best known GWR broad gauge engines.  It was one of two, built in 1837 by R.Stephenson & Co. fro the New Orleans Railway of the USA, to the 5’ 6” gauge, but never delivered.  They were altered to 7’ 0” gauge and purchased by the GWR, the first as North Star in 1837, and the second one, Morning Star, in 1839.  Ten others of the same general design but differing in detail appeared between 1839 and 1841.  Morning Star was non-standard from the others in having 6’ 6” driving wheels.  The others were also named after stars, and most of these names reappeared many years later on Churchward 4-cylinder 4-6-0s.

North Star was re-boilered in 1854 and worked until 1871.  On withdrawal it was preserved at Swindon, and it was joined in 1884 by one of the larger 4-2-2s, Lord of the Isles. Unfortunately in 1906 an unforgivable act of ruthlessness caused these fine historic relics to be broken up.  Some measure of atonement was made in 1925 by constructing a full sized replica of the North Star as it was first built, although this could never be quite the same as the preservation of the original machine.

Original dimensions:  Driving wheels – 7’ 0”,  Leading and trailing wheels – 4’ 0”,  Cylinders – 16”x 16”,  Weight 23 tons 7cwt.

 Another GWR Broad gauge design

Great Western Railway

Broad Gauge 4-2-2s

Bulkeley – Built in 1880

Working replica made by Resco Railways Ltd, 1983-1985, shown in Kensington Gardens, London. The locomotive represented by this replica was designed by Sir Daniel Gooch (1816-1889) to run on Brunel’s broad gauge tracks on the Great Western Railway (GWR). Gooch trained with Robert Stephenson in Newcastle and was the locomotive superintendent for the GWR for 27 years. The broad gauge measured 7 foot compared to Stephenson’s standard gauge of 4 foot 8 1/2 inches and was eventually superseded because of the inconvenience of having to transfer passengers and goods between the two standards of track. The ‘Iron Duke’ class locomotives were capable of attaining speeds approaching 80 mph.

 The initial engine was named Iron Duke and 22 of them were built at Swindon between 1847 and 1851, together with another seven by Rothwell & Co. in 1854 and 1855.  Most of them were nominally rebuilt from 1871 onwards, but the so-called renewals were in fact entirely new engines, although of the same general design as the originals and bearing the same names (none of them was ever given a number0.  24 of the rebuilds came out between 1871 and 1888, but as the broad gauge disappeared in 1892 the final three had a working life of only four years, the total mileage of the last one, Tornado, being but 192,203.  One of them, Lord of the Isles, was preserved at Swindon, along with North Star until 1906, when both of them were, regrettably broken up.  It will be noted that these engines were not bogie engines, the leading wheels being rigid within the sandwich framing.

Dimensions of the later built engines:  Driving wheels – 8’ 0”,  Carrying wheels – 4’ 6”,  Cylinders – 18”x 24”,  Pressure – 140lbs.,  Weight 41 tons 14 cwt