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Hornby R3105: GWR 4-6-0 'Wellington' Castle Class - GWR Green - Hawksworth Tender
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Based on G J Churchward's much earlier 'Star' Class, Great Western Railways 'Castle' Class was developed by Churchward's heir, Charles Collett. The 'Star' had been running over the previous two decades but by 1922 the need for more powerful locomotives was becoming apparent. Charles Collett began adapting Churchward's earlier design, the result being the larger, more powerful 'Castle'. Collett's lack of innovation was met with some criticism although axleweight restrictions in force on the West of England main line between London and Plymouth severely limited his scope for change.
Between 1923 and 1950, 171 Castle Class locomotives were built at the Swindon Works, all but 16 of these were new builds. These 16 locomotives were rebuilds of the Star Class, including 'The Great Bear', the only 4-6-2 owned by GWR. Hailed as the most powerful locomotive on any British railway track, GWR displayed the Class prototype at the 1924 British Empire Exhibition. The locomotive's ability to sustain high speeds and remain economical was enviable. The 'Castles' soon earned a reputation for excellence and reliability, setting a record in 1932 for a 77 mile journey between Swindon and Paddington at an average speed of 81.68mph. At the time, this represented the World Record for steam traction.
In 1947 all existing and new locos were fitted with a four-row superheater. The tender size was increased from 3,500 to 4,000 gallons and the last few of the Class to be built were fitted with Hawksworth flat-sided tenders, which were eventually used throughout the Class. A total of 65 locos were modified over the next few years achieving even better performances by this Class. The appearance of the 'Castles' remained unchanged until 1956, when they were modified to include a double chimney.
Withdrawal began in the early 1950s, ending in 1965. Although all Castle Class locos were destined to be scrapped, eight were saved and are in varying stages of restoration or overhaul. Nunney Castle is operational and main line certified.
Locomotive No. 5075, modelled here, was outshopped on the 31st August 1938 from the GWR Swindon Works and was originally named 'Devizes Castle' but was renamed as 'Wellington' in October 1940. It was withdrawn from Shed 84A Wolverhampton, Stafford Road on the 30th September 1962 and cut up by Cashmores of Newport on the 31st December that same year.
- Entered Service:
- Number Built:
5 Pole Skew Wound. Loco Drive
- DCC Ready:
- Sprung Buffers
- Loco drive
- NEM Couplings
- Tender Detail