John Speller's Web Pages Gooch Iron Duke Class

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Broad Gauge Locomotives

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Named after the Duke of Wellington, Gooch's 8 ft. 4-2-2 "Iron Duke" Class were the world's finest class of their day, capable of speeds of 80 m.p.h. Most of them were "renewed" as "Rover" Class engines and in this form they lasted until the end of the broad gauge.

"Hirondelle" was the thirteenth of the "Iron Duke" Class 4-2-2 locomotives, and was built under "Swindon 3rd. Lot Passenger" in December 1848. In the early days Robert Harle was "Hirondelle's" regular driver. The locomotive was withdrawn in May 1873 and rebuilt into conformity with the "Rover" Class or "Iron Duke Renewals." It was scrapped in December 1890, making it the only "Rover" Class locomotive not to survive until the end of the broad gauge in 1892. It is shown here outside the engine shed at Oxford. The photograph was probably taken around 1870 -- certainly before 1872 when the line was converted to narrow gauge. Note that the locomotive still retains its shelter on the tender for the "Travelling Porter."
"Hirondelle" outside the broad gauge engine shed at Oxford in around 1870
"Lightning" on the turntable with Sir Daniel Gooch on the footplate
"Lord of the Isles" at Westbourne Park in 1856 decorated for bringing returning guards from Plymouth on their victorious return from the Crimean War. This is believed to be the first case of a locomotive being decorated for such an occasion
Cross-section of "Iron Duke" from John Timbs, Wonderful Inventions (1882)
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