John Speller's Web Pages North Star

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Broad Gauge Locomotives

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Apart from Robert Stephenson's "North Star," the motley collection of locomotives ordered by Brunel for the opening of Great Western Railway proved to be pretty much a complete failure. The GWR did, however, get one bonus in Henry Appleby, who came from Stephenson's along with "North Star" and stayed to becopme shed foreman at Swindon. The problem with the early engines was largely due to Brunel's insistence on locomotives with low cylinder speeds and light axle loadings. Brunel is often blamed for this, though he didn't claim to know a great deal about steam locomotives and a lot of what he did was probably a result of advice from his friend the engineer Thomas Eliot Harrison (1808-1888).
Broad gauge locomotive "North Star," built by Robert Stephenson & Co., 1837 and later rebuilt with increased wheelbase and domeless boiler. As preserved at Swindon, 1871-1906. Image courtesy of John Lewis. To enlarge right click and select "view image"
1927 Swindon Replica of "North Star" as originally built
The "North Star" replica on display in the STEAM Museum in Swindon
90 Years of Great Western Locomotive Development: a publicity shot of the "North Star" replica next to "King George V"
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