Unsung Heroes

Having recently completed the third book in a trilogy about the life and times of the Great Western Railway’s magnificent ‘Castle’ class steam locomotives, my most recent completed project, in complete contrast, was one about four-coupled tank locomotives that were built by the same company. The author was David Maidment, who had also penned the ‘Castle’ trilogy. Mr Maidment’s prolific pen has produced a most interesting and unusual addition to his collection of books about Great Western motive power. Most steam enthusiasts will automatically think of the GWR’s 14XX and 58XX 0-4-2 tank locomotives, built from 1932 onwards for branch line and pick-up freight work – however, Mr Maidment’s story goes back to broad gauge days and the engines of this type that were built before the demise of the gauge in 1892, followed by a miscellany of machines constructed from then until 1932. A collection of appropriate pictures, both colour and black/white, complement the lively text, telling the story of these unsung heroes of the more rural and workaday parts of ‘God’s Wonderful Railway’.


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