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Great Western, Pannier Tank Classes (ePub)

An Overview of Their Design and Development

Colour eBooks Photographic eBooks Transport > Trains & Railways

By David Maidment
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Locomotive Portfolios
File Size: 123.9 MB (.epub)
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781526734525
Published: 18th September 2019


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This is the tenth book by David Maidment in the ‘Locomotive Portfolio’ series and covers the large number of designs from 1860 onwards of 0-6-0 saddle tanks built for both the Great Western Railway and the independent railway companies in South Wales, most of which were converted to pannier tanks in the Churchward and Collett eras as they were reboilered with raised Belpaire fireboxes between the early 1900s and the late 1920s. As well as the Armstrong and Dean engines, the book goes on to describe the design, construction and operation of the largest class of steam engines built in the UK in the last century – Collett’s familiar 57XX class, examples of which were still being built after nationalisation. Collett also designed pannier tank engines for branch passenger and freight work – the 54,64 & 74XX series, and Hawksworth continued the GW tradition with a tapered boiler version, the 94XX, after the Second World War as well as the light 16XX and the outside cylinder Walschaerts valve geared 15XX. This is a very comprehensive book covering so many classes, valuable for the modeller, and has over 400 photographs, and a full colour section.

Review by Ian Button

There are many excellent photographs with detailed captions, including a central colour section of 16 pages (un-numbered), and the whole work is beautifully produced on heavy glossy paper – to Pen & Sword’s usual standard. The author’s notes & photos of various HO models of the type, and his own recollections of real railway operations, add a personal touch. This ensures that the book is not at all a tedious list of all the classes and their histories and features, but despite being fact-packed from cover to cover it remains an extremely interesting and readable volume for a wide range of railway enthusiasts. Also, we should not forget that the author’s royalties from sales of the book go to the Railway Children charity which he founded in 1995. (http://www.railwaychildren.org.uk/).

Bradford Railway Circle

Another of David Maidment’s scholarly works in Pen & Sword’s ‘Locomotive Portfolio’ series, this 366 page work is packed with historic and more recent photos in both monochrome and colour, with comprehensive captions and full background information on the various classes and their antecedents. I particularly liked some early views of locos in open-cabbed saddle tank form with outside frames and a moody colour shot of a goods working on the Bala to Blaenau Ffestiniog branch amongst the mountains and moorland. There is a lengthy appendix of loco drawings and shed allocations of each member of the various classes.

West Somerset Railway Association

A very comprehensive and useful volume.

Welsh Railway Circle newsletter

A fine selection of photographs (including a colour section) accompanies the well-written text; the author was a career railwayman with knowledge of the breed in the 1950s and 1960s, and some of his performance logs are also presented in this fine volume.

Railway Modeller, February 2020

The contents of the book are worth its weight in gold... Magnificent.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

As featured in

6024 Preservation Society

As featured in

Great Western Society

Once again David Maidment has produced a remarkable compendium about a group of Great Western Railway locomotives.

Welsh Railways Research Circle

It goes without saying that anyone contemplating building models of any of the classes described will find this book invaluable, and I recommend it.

BRM, January 2020 – reviewed by Tony Wright

Excellent book.

Steam World, December 2019

A very comprehensive volume covering so many classes, valuable for the modeler, and featuring more than 400 photographs (of which over 50 are in color), "Great Western, Pannier Tank Classes: An Overview of Their Design and Development" will prove to be an welcome and enduringly appreciated addition to personal, community, and academic library railroading history collections.

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Midwest Book Review

With over 400 photographs in a mixture of black and white and colour, this book is and joy to look at visually. The wealth of information provided in the text, tables, and technical drawings add to the completeness of the book.

While most of us know a little about the Great Western Pannier Tank, perhaps mainly from those in preservation, this book gives an opportunity to learn so much more about their long history and many design variations.

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Rail Advent
 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 four novels, two non-fiction works on street children and over eighteen books for Pen & Sword’s locomotive portfolio series, the royalties from all being donated to the charity.

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