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Great Western Large Wheeled Outside Framed 4-4-0 Tender Locomotives (Hardback)

Atbara, Badminton, City and Flower Classes

Transport History Trains and Railways

By David Maidment
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Locomotive Portfolios
Pages: 212
ISBN: 9781526700957
Published: 1st November 2017
This Week's Best Sellers Rank: #3


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This volume covers all the large wheeled outside frame classes, of 4-4-0 tender Locomotives, that once ran on the Great Western Railway.

The book has full details on each of the classes, with good quality pictures, diagrams name and number lists.

This work is also very useful to model makers, giving full details of mechanical and livery changes, that took place from the 1900s through to the early 1930s, when all except the preserved 3440, City of Truro, were withdrawn and scrapped.

A noble effort has been made to include photographs of as many individual locomotives as possible, often portraying them at several stages in their lives making these outstanding reference works for historians and modellers, or just enthusiasts who will be fascinated by the illustrated story of these important locomotives.

Great Western Echo No.219

This volume on the Great Western large-wheeled outside-framed 4-4-0s covers the fascinating period of transition from the elegance and style of the Dean era to the bold and forward-thinking practicality of Churchward.

As beautiful as Dean’s engines may have been, it was the revolutionary approach adopted by Churchward, drawing upon ideas pioneered in Europe and the USA, that would place the GWR at the forefront of British locomotive development for many years. The large-wheeled 4-4-0s provided the test bed for Churchward to develop his thinking as he tried different boiler and firebox configurations, as well as valves and ports designed to smooth the flow of steam. In rebuilding some of Dean’s engines – notably the supremely beautiful ‘Armstrong’ 4-4-0s – Churchward was accused of having scant regard for the appearance of locomotives and some of his early designs were certainly ugly ducklings. Yet the standards he established came to define the Great Western and influenced almost all the great steam designs subsequently produced in Britain.

Setting the pattern with the ‘fast ‘Badmintons’ and ‘Atbaras’, this superb series of 6ft 8½ in 4-4-0s culminated in the famous ‘City’ and ‘Flower’ classes which, for a few brief years, handled the crack GWR expresses. In some ways they were the victims of their own success; as traffic grew and loads increased Churchward responded with his magnificent two and four-cylinder 4-6-0s, largely rendering the bigger 4-4-0s redundant. All were withdrawn by 1931, the sole survivor being City of Truro.

One of the things that makes this book truly remarkable is the number of photographs of these engines at speed. David Maidment has made extensive use of images from the archives of the Great Western Trust, the Manchester Locomotive Society and the Model Railway Club and it’s wonderful to see so many previously unpublished pictures being brought to a wider audience. Remember that many of these photographs were taken at a time when the equipment was cumbersome and photographers had to work on location with heavy tripods, glass plates and slow emulsions.

A noble effort has also been made to include photographs of as many individual locomotives as possible, often portraying them at several stages in their lives. This book is surely destined to become not only an indispensable work of reference, but also a great enjoyment for all who love the Great Western Railway.

Adrian Knowles, Great Western Society
 David Maidment

About David Maidment

David Maidment was born in 1938. He began his railway career in 1961 and although he retired from the railway industry over eighteen years ago, he is still busy as a writer, activist in the voluntary sector and as a speaker in schools, church groups and general interest clubs. In 1996, David received an OBE for services to the railway industry and, in 2012, he received a Life Achievement Award at the National Rail Awards. His published works include articles on railway history, safety, practice, performance and nostalgia, and several books including The Other Railway Children and Lives on the Line, among other publications.

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