Tag Archives: Highland Railway Castle Class

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era – Highland Railway ‘Castles’

More from The Mercian June 1965 Vol.4 No.3

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era –  by Casey Jones

The Highland Railway ‘Castle’ Class

Model in Highland Livery – Scottish Scale Loco Works

Prior to 1900, the motive power on the Highland Railway had been of the 2-4-0 or 4-4-0 variety.  Economy had always been the watchword of the Company which relied to a great extent on interchange traffic with its neighbours, in fact the Company went so far as to use the parts of older, worn-out engines to produce others which surprisingly enough did the work for which they were required most economically.

Picture from Mike’s Railway History

The Earliest 4-6-0s designed by Jones were for goods traffic over the steeply graded main line, but in 1900, his successor, Peter Drummond, produced his first passenger 4-6-0s namely the ‘Castle’ class.  The first of the class, no.140, appeared followed by numbers 141-5 in the same year.  Successive batches were added in 1902 (146-9), 1910 (30) 1911 (35/26 – 8/43) and the final three (50/8/9) in 1917 when there was a drastic shortage of locomotives capable of handling the increased war-time traffic over the line, and a well tried type was urgently needed.  The dimensions as built were:

Cylinders   19½” x 26”

Driving Wheels  5’ 9”  (Nos.50/8/9 – 6’0”)

Boiler Pressure  180 lb/sq.in.

Total Heating Surface  2064 sq.ft.

Grate Area 26½ sq.ft.

Weight  59 tons  8cwt. 3qtrs.

The class had the distinctive Jones chimney with louvers and the upturned ‘meal-dish’ roof á la Stroudley and were turned out in the improved green livery.

In 1923 all passed into the hands of the LMSR, and apart from new chimneys and the removal of the smoke-box wing plates, they remained practically unchanged in appearance. 

Lined Crimson Livery Scottish Scale Loco Works

The ‘new’ owners renumbered them 14675 – 93 and using these numbers, the names carried were:

14675 – 9   Taymouth Castle, Ballindalloch Castle, Dunrobin Castle, Gordon

Castle, Blair Castle                            .

14680 – 4    Murthley Castle, Skibo Castle, Beaufort Castle, Cawdor Castle,

Duncraig Castle.

14685 – 9    Dunvegan Castle, Urquhart Castle, Brahan Castle, Thurso

Castle, Cluney Castle.

14690 – 3    Dalcross Castle, Brodie Castle, Darnaway Castle

Foulis Castle.

The names were painted in raised yellow lettering on the twin splasher over the first and second drivers.

The simple and robust design of the ‘Castles’ stood them in good stead for a considerable period and for most of their life they were stationed at Inverness, venturing seldom south of Perth where they took over the heavy through trains of the Caledonian Railway Company.

More modern types were tried on this section by the LMSR but it was not until the Stanier Class ‘5s’ became available to this section that the ‘Castles’ were gradually demoted to secondary duties prior to withdrawal.

To round off this rather brief glance at this milestone in the development of the 4-6-0 over the border, and by that I mean a design capable of doing the job and more, for that time in the Highland Railway Company’s history.  The class was taken out of service for scrap as follows:

1930 – 14680,  1935 – 14687/8/93,  1936 – 14679,  1937 – 14676/8/83,

1938 – 14691,  1939 – 14675/7,  1940 – 14684,  1943 – 14682,

1944 – 14689,  1945 – 14685,  1946 – 14681/6/92,  1947 – 14690.