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British Steam: GWR Collett Castle Class (Hardback)

Transport History Trains and Railways

By Keith Langston
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781473823563
Published: 16th April 2015

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The 'Castle' class 4-6-0 locomotives designed by Charles Collett and built at Swindon Works were the principal passenger locomotives of the Great Western Railway. The 4-cylinder locomotives were built in batches between 1923 and 1950, the later examples being constructed after nationalisation by British Railways.

In total 171 engines of the class were built and they were originally to be seen at work all over the Great Western Railway network, and later working on the Western Region of British Railways.
The highly successful class could be described as a GWR work in progress, because further development took place over almost all of the locomotives working lives. In addition to inspiring other locomotive designers the 'Castle' class engines were proved to be capable of outstanding performances, and when introduced were rightly described as being 'Britain's most powerful passenger locomotives'. Some of the 'Castles' survived in service for over 40 years, and individually clocked up just a little short of 2 million miles in traffic.

In this book, Keith Langston provides a definitive chronological history of the iconic class together with archive photographic records of each GWR 'Castle' locomotive. Many of the 300 plus images are published for the first time. In addition background information on the origin of the names the engines carried, including details of the many name changes which took place, are also included. The extra anecdotal information adds a fascinating glimpse of social history.

Collett CASTLE Class is a lavishly illustrated factual reference book which will delight steam railway enthusiasts in general and in particular those with a love of all things Great Western!

As seen in...

Best of British magazine

The aspect that makes this book a truly valuable resource is the rich selection of photographs. Any enthusiast or modeller who has tried to track down a photo of a particularly elusive engine will know how difficult that can be, but every single 'Castle' is here. And they are not just ordinary photos - there are some real gems and seldom seen ones among them, including many in colour. As a documentary record of one of the best-loved British locomotive classes, this will be a useful addition to any enthusiast's bookshelf.

Great Western Echo

About Keith Langston

Cheshire based KEITH LANGSTON is a widely published and highly respected photo journalist specialising in railway and other transport related subjects. His interest and vast knowledge of all things railway stem from being brought up in the North West of England as part of a railway family. Over the past 25 years he has operated as a contributor to heritage sector journals whilst establishing himself as an accomplished author in his own right. Keith has teamed up with Pen & Sword Books in order to produce the British Steam series for their Wharncliffe Transport Division. His British Steam titles to date have included: Past & Present, Patriot, BR Standards and Pacific Power, with others planned for release in 2013.

In addition Keith has produced two further books for Wharncliffe: Fred Dibnah a Tribute and Images of Fred Dibnah, both of which celebrate the life of the late TV personality steeplejack from Bolton, Lancashire.

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