Ron Buckley's striking photographs show the changing locomotive scene throughout the Great Western Railway and its successor the Western Region of British Railways from the mid 1930s until the end of main-line steam traction in the mid 1960s.Whilst the modern express passenger locomotives plied the main lines, a wealth of pre-grouping locomotives carried out the more mundane suburban passenger, branch-line and shunting work. Many routes continued to be worked by a series of ageing Victorian 4-4-0s and 0-6-0s until after the grouping when the Great Western supplied a series of very able 4-4-0s and later 4-6-0s, which continued operating into the 1950s and '60s when some of the British Railways Standard classes started to appear.Great Western Steam is an evocative retrospective of a treasured and iconic company.
DIV God’s Wonderful Railway”, it was called if you were a fan; the “great Way Round” if you took a rather more jaundiced view of some of its circuitous branch lines. But 175 years after its foundation, the Great Western Railway company is remembered with the most nostalgia, even love, of all Britain’s pre-nationalisation railway companies. It built, and ran, the great main line from London to the West Country and Cornwall (today’s First Great Western franchise). It was engineered by the greatest of them all, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who built such wonders as the Box Tunnel and the Saltash bridge. Its steam locomotives were designed by great men like Churchward and Hawkesworth. But also it had wonderful stations like the soaring Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads, as well as innumerable idyllic country halts with little more than a pagoda shelter and a couple of milk churns awaiting collection. Its engines were painted a deep green, its carriages chocolate and cream. Its Cornish Riviera Express train, and the line alongside the beach at Dawlish sprayed by the waves, became the stuff of legend. Now Andy Roden has written the first comprehensive history of the GWR for 20 years, to tie in with its 175th anniversary. It will appeal to everyone who bought his Flying Scotsman or Christian Wolmar’s railway histories. /div
GWR; Great Western Railway; George Jackson Churchward; Boilers; Valves; GWR 4-6-0; De Glehn Compound; 4-4-2 Atlantic; Star Class; Scissors Valve Gear; L&NWR; London and North Western Railway; WWII; LNER; London and North Eastern Railway; LMSR; London Midland and Scottish Railway; Castle Class; Cheltenham Spa Express; King Class; Shrivenham Collision; 1948 Locomotive Exchanges; railway preservation; William Dean; Swindon; steam engine; Belpaire locomotive firebox; 5043 Earl of Mount Edgecumbe; R.M. Deeley; Lode Star; North Star; Dog Star; Evening Star; Morning Star; Polar Star; Red Star; Rising Star; Royal Star; Shooting Star; Western Star; Swallowfield Park; Knight of the Garter; Knight of the Thistle; Knight of the Patrick; Knight of the Bath; Knight of St. John; Knight of the Golden Fleece; Knight of the Black Eagle; Knight of Liège; Knight of the Grand Cross; Knight Templar; Knight Commander; William Stanier; Caerphilly Castle; Caldicot Castle; Cardiff Castle; Carmarthen Castle; Chepstow Castle; Pembroke Castle; Pendennis Castle; Powderham Castle; Warwick Castle; Windsor Castle; Midgham derailment; King Edward VII; King William IV; King George IV; King George III; King George II; King George I; King William III; King James II; King Charles II; King Charles I; King James I; King Edward VI; King Edward VIII; King Henry VII; King Richard III; King Edward V; King Edward IV; King Henry VI; King Henry V; King Henry IV; King Richard II; King Edward III; King Edward II; King Edward I; King Henry III; King John; King Richard I; King Henry II; King Stephen; steam locomotive; British Railways; Shakespeare Express; The Bristolian; Cornish Riviera Express; Cheltenham Flyer