John Speller's Web Pages Venus

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Broad Gauge Locomotives
"Venus" was one of the six locomotives ordered by Brunel from Charles Tayleur & Co., Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows. It was delivered on 7 September 1838, withdrawn from service in 1843, rebuilt as a tank engine in 1846 and returned to service. It was used as a stationary engine at Reading from 1868 to 1870 and finally withdrawn in July 1870. As originally built "Venus" was a 2-2-2 with 8 ft. 0 in. driving wheels and 4 ft. 6 in. carrying wheels, but these were reduced to 6 ft. 0 in. and 3 ft. 0 in. respectively on rebuilding. "Venus" seems to have seen little service in its original state, and barely averaged 60 miles a month during its first 4 months of service. According to Whishaw, nonetheless, on one trip it managed with two passenger coached and two carriage trucks carrying stage coaches a total of around 25 tons to average 31 mph between Paddington and Maidenhead, with a maximum of 48 mph, which doesn't seem too bad. The locomotive, however, was said to have been particularly unsteady, and this may well have been due at least in part to the unusual design of the tender, which had a wheelbase of 8 ft. 6 in. with an overhang of 4 ft. 2 in. at the front but only 2 ft. 4 in. at the rear, making for a very unbalanced design. The tender wheel diameter was 3 ft. 0 in. The tender also had double brake blocks on the left hand wheels only. After rebuilding as a tank engine "Venus" is said to have worked for several years on the Tiverton Branch.
"Venus" as built in 1838
The very unusual tender delivered with Tayleur's "Venus"
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