Great Western County Class 4-6-0
No. 1000 County of MIddlesex
Length Overall: 11.58m (37ft 11.75in)
Total Weight: 59,733kg (131.712lb)
– Built unnamed August 1945.
– First shed allocation Old Oak Common.
– Named March 1946.
– August 1950 shed allocation Old Oak Common.
– Modified double chimney fitted March 1958.
– March 1959 shed allocation Bristol, Bath Road.
– Last shed allocation Swindon.
– Withdrawn July 1964.
– Scrapped at Cashmore’s, Newport.
The only new class to appear on the GWR in the last years before nationalisation was the County class two-cylinder 4-6-0 of 1945. This might have seemed a curious series of departures from the precepts of Swindon works in that non-standard features were introduced without there being an obvious reason for them.
These locomotives were not notably successful in traffic in their early days, but now can be regarded retrospectively as guinea pigs. After Charles Collett had retired in 1941, the second World War precluded building a new design intended purely for high-class express passenger service. However, Collett’s successor, F. W. Hawksworth, had been considering post-war express passenger locomotive development.
Towards the end of the War authorisation was given for further 4-6-0 mixed traffic engines, and this provided the opportunity to try out a boiler of 19.69kg/cm2 (280psi). Hawksworth intended to use the Castle boiler, suitably modified, and so without any appreciably tooling the 19.69kg/cm2 (280psi) boiler was produced, of a weight suitable for the new mixed traffic 4-6-0. Thus emerged the County class, which was further distinguished by the double blast pipe and chimney which appeared on the first of class. Number 1000 County of Middlesex.
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