Western Times Castle Special

Western Times Castle Special


In stock


by Andrew Malthouse

Availability: In stock SKU: WCS Category: Tag:


In this inaugural Western Times Special we look to mark and celebrate 100-years since the introduction into service of the legendary ‘Castle Class’. Over an enlarged issue of 96 pages, the life of these much admired locomotives is explored and explained utilising over 180 black & white and colour photographs, many appearing in print for the first time. The book is chaptered in such a way as to investigate the diverse and surprisingly complex history of the class, and the comprehensively captioned imagery is augmented with works drawings and an array of data presented in tabular form.

From an appraisal of the Great Western Railway’s motive power situation before the Castles, we examine their introduction into service and establishment as the mainstay of express passenger operations. The design development and improvements made throughout their careers is charted, including the successful application of double chimneys towards the end of their lives.

Unusually for a company noted for its regimented locomotive naming policy, the Castles experienced a number of identity changes over the years, and many of these ‘Non-Castles’ are highlighted. The class is extensively featured at work, on shed and in works throughout their service, and special attention is afforded to the final years leading up to withdrawal and scrapping. Finally, we chronicle the eight survivors, that avoided the cutter’s torch and made it into the preservation era.

This is the first of what is hoped to be the regular release of a Western Times Special, that will augment the regular series, but concentrate on a particular topic in greater detail than in the usual articles.

Preview Pages


Additional information

Weight 540 g
Dimensions 27.3 × 21.5 cm









273 x 215 mm



4 reviews for Western Times Castle Special

  1. 4 out of 5

    McEwen Head

    There are many books about GWR Castles class locomotives so it is interesting to find most of the information is available in one place, much of it supported by photographs.

  2. 5 out of 5


    Excellent photos and text as usual. A lot of the information is available elsewhere but great to have it all in one place. A very good value publication.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mark Crook

    What a great book, could not put it down, great picture, and well written , looking forward to the next special

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael Hunt

    This 5* book was published in great timing of the Castle Class 100th Birthday which was on august 11 1923 and the book truly celebrates these magnificent locomotives
    with fine photographs some not seen before and great captions to compliment them
    A must for Great Western Castle fans

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