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Great Western Castle Class 4-6-0 Locomotives – 1923 - 1959 (Hardback)

Transport 20th Century Trains and Railways

By David Maidment, Bob Meanley
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Locomotive Portfolios
Pages: 312
Illustrations: 30 Colour 300 mono integrated
ISBN: 9781399095303
Published: 30th October 2022


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RRP £40.00

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The Great Western Castles were one of the most successful locomotive designs of the twentieth century in terms of both performance and efficiency. Designed by Charles Collett in 1923, based on the 1907 Churchward ‘Star’ class, 155 were constructed almost continuously, apart from the war years, between 1923 and 1950, in addition to fifteen rebuilt ‘Stars’ and one rebuilt from the Great Bear pacific. Many were modernised with increased superheat and double-chimneys in the late 1950s and the class continued to be the mainstay of all Western Region express passenger services to the West Country, South Wales, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and the West Midlands until replaced by the WR diesel hydraulic fleet in the early 1960s. This book covers their design in a chapter written by Bob Meanley, who masterminded the restoration at Tyseley Works of the Castles Earl of Mount Edgcumbe and Clun Castle, and their history, operation and performance from the high speed of the 1930s through to their rejuvenation in the 1950s, leaving experience of their last years and preservation to another volume. David Maidment had close experience of the class when working at Old Oak Common between 1957 and 1962 and includes his personal experiences there and on the road from his first encounter with one as a six-year old boy. The book includes 350 photographs, some 40 in colour, and 23 detailed Swindon technical drawings.

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 David Maidment

About David Maidment

David Maidment was a senior manager with British Railways, with widespread experience of railway operating on the Western and London Midland Regions culminating in the role of Head of Safety Policy for the BRB after the Clapham Junction train accident. He retired in 1996, was a Principal Railway Safety Consultant with International Risk Management Services from 1996 to 2001 and founded the Railway Children charity (www.railwaychildren.org.uk) in 1995. He was awarded the OBE for services to the rail industry in 1996 and is now a frequent speaker on both the charity and his railway career and author of five novels,  a book of short stories, two non-fiction works on street children and over fifteen books for Pen & Sword’s locomotive portfolio series, the royalties from all being donated to the charity.

About Bob Meanley

Bob Meanley is a professional mechanical engineer with a lifelong love of steam locomotives and an involvement in the restoration and operation of preserved locomotives going back for almost 55 years. After many years professional involvement with the repair and construction of major power industry pressure vessels he took up a temporary task to turn round the fortunes of Tyseley Locomotive Works in 1994, a passing phase which lasted for 25 years and saw the company turned into one of the UK's foremost repairers of steam locomotives. Whilst he has now passed on that role to his son Alastair, he continues to provide advice on the repair and operation of main line steam locomotives to a wide range of owners, private railways and national institutions.

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