She was built in 1923, and withdrawn from service in 1960. I was going to wait for the person in the wheelchair to move before I took the last pic, but then I realised that he did give a sense of scale to the machine.
Around the corner I came to a replica of the 1837 “North Star”, and it is really a comparatively simple loco when compared to the machines that rule the rails 100 years later.
The original was purchased by GWR and ran one of the first trains between Paddington and Maidenhead in 1837. There is no consideration for crew comfort in this machine, although I am sure these locos did not break too many speed records.
2516 is a Dean locomotive, built in 1897 and used on freight services. It has some resemblance to a cab, but has been split away from her tender. She is the only survivor of her class of 260 built at Swindon.
9400 is a relatively new machine, having been part of a class that was built between 1947 and 1956. She is an 0-6-0 Pannier Tank loco, and her class really had very short lives as the diesel made more inroads into their traditional roles. She is one of two survivors of her class
At this point we come to a replica station and the trains pulled up at the platforms. There are two locos here, namely 4003 “Lode Star”:
And 7821 “Didcheat Manor” She is a reasonably new loco too, having been built in 1950.
The art deco styling of this railcar must have really been a sight to see as it trundled along the route between Birmingham and Cardiff, and they were really the precursor to the DMUs that I travelled on so often in Salisbury. Unfortunately the railcar was not open so I could not see the interior except through the windows, and it did look really nice inside.
The museum also has a Buffet coach on display, and its green interior must have been very comforting to somebody having a cuppa and a sticky bun inside.
There is also a Great Western Royal Saloon on display, and it formed part of Queen Victoria’s Royal Train. Unfortunately part of the vehicle is closed off and I was not able to get much of an impression about the coach, which is a pity really because this is quite an important exhibit.
The rest of the museum has a lot of very interesting exhibits, in fact it is overall a very nice museum, although I would have liked to have seen more rolling stock and coaches, but then beggars can’t be choosers either.
The station is particularly interesting because it really shows most aspects of what stations may have been like so many years ago, and in the follow up to this post I shall add in some pictures of the other exhibits.Please turn the page to go to Part 2