John Speller's Web Pages John Wright Locomotives (SDR)

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Broad Gauge - SDR

John Wright Locomotives
After the abolition of the Atmospheric Railway the GWR supplied locomotives to the South Devon Railway until 1851, when an agreement was made with a contractor, Evans, Geach & Co., to supply the locomotives. The SDR workshops at Newton Abbot were nonetheless under control of the Evans, Geach & Co.'s Locomotive Superintendent, which was initially Sir Daniel Gooch's brother William Frederick Gooch. Gooch departed to become Works Manager at Swindon in 1857 and John Wright took over as Locomotive Superintendent. From 1866 the South Devon dispensed with the contractors and became responsible for its own locomotives. John Wright had trained on the GWR at Swindon under Gooch, and by 1853 was in charge of the South Wales Railway's Locomotive Repair Shops at Swansea. He is now mostly remembered for his apprentices, especially George Jackson Churchward who began his railway career under Wright at Newton. Wright was also responsible for supplying locomotives to the Cornwall Railway and later to the West Cornwall Railway too. The extent to which the South Devon Railway built their own locomotives at Newton Works is debatable, but it seems that quite a bit of rebuilding work was undertaken and some locomotives were completely assembled there from parts supplied by outside contractors.
SDR 0-4-0STs Nos. 2175 "Raven," built 1873, and 2179 "Jay," built 1875. "Raven" is shown running on the broad gauge, "Jay" as converted to narrow gauge in 1892
0-6-0ST "Taurus," built at Newton Abbot with parts mostly obtained from the Avonside Engine Co. in 1869. The canvas cab was to provide protection from the wind while working the Brixham branch. Photograph by W. M. Spriggs
No. 2130 "Lance," built by the Avonside Engine Co. in 1875, the penultimate engine built for the SDR. Photographed by the Rev. A. H. Malan at Newton Abbot with shedmaster Thomas Tunstall standing in front of the engine
Ex-Carmarthen & Cardigan Railway 4-4-0ST "Heron" as rebuilt as a saddle tank by John Wright at Newton. The two diamonds denote a branch train -- either Moretonhampstead or Kingswear
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