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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.
|Dimensions||27.3 × 21.5 cm|
273 x 215 mm
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