Great Western Star Class Locomotives, Hardback Book


Designed by G.J. Churchward, no. 40 was constructed at Swindon in April 1906. It was Swindons first 4 cylinder simple engine and was the forerunner of Churchwards famous 4 cylinder Star Class 4-6-0s.

Initially built as a 4-4-2 Atlantic, no. 40 was named North Star in September 1906, rebuilt as a 4-6-0 in 1909, and renumbered 4000 in 1913.

Including no. 40, the Star class eventually numbered seventy-three locomotives, all built at Swindon in batches between 1906 and 1923.

In service the Stars proved to be both free-running and reliable locomotives, and for many years were used to haul the Great Westerns top link services, including the world-famous Cornish Riviera Express.

The introduction of the Collett Castle Class 4-6-0s in 1923, and the King Class 4-6-0s in 1927, saw the Stars relegated to secondary passenger, freight and parcels services.

A number of Stars were rebuilt by Collett as Castles, including the prototype no. 4000 North Star, but the remaining Stars continued to give good service.

At Nationalisation in 1948, no less than forty-seven of these fine locomotives passed into Western Region ownership, the last example, no.4056 Princess Margaret, being withdrawn in October 1957. In this book, Laurence Waters charts the history of the class from the prototype, right through to the final workings in October 1957.

Using many previously unpublished photographs from the Great Western Trust photographic collection, accompanied by informative captions, every member of the Class is illustrated.

This book should appeal to those interested in the history of Great Western locomotive development as well as modellers of the Great Western and Western Region.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 149 pages, 20 colour illustrations & 180 black and white illustrations
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Trains & railways: general interest
  • ISBN: 9781473871021

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