John Speller's Web Pages Snake

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Broad Gauge Locomotives

"Snake" was built by the Haigh Foundry of Wigan and delivered to the Great Western Railway on 7 September 1838. It had 6' 4" driving wheels, geared up in the ratio of 3:2 in order to achieve the low piston speed desired by Brunel. It was rebuilt in 1839 with the gearing removed and the wheel diameter reduced to 6 feet. At some point it seems to have been converted to a saddle tank. In 1846 it was temporarily renamed "Exe" and put to work on the South Devon Railway, but by the 1850 it had returned to the Great Western, regained its original name, and spent the rest of its life working in the Slough and Oxford areas. It was finally withdrawn and scrapped in November 1869.
A drawing of "Snake" from the "English Mechanic and World of Science", No. 1589, 6 September 1895, p. 64. To enlarge right click and select "view image"
"Snake," rebuilt as a saddle tank, after its return from the South Devon Railway. At Abingdon Road, Oxford in 1865
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