GWR Charles Tayleur locomotives

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The first 19 locomotives ordered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for the Great Western Railway included six 2-2-2 Charles Tayleur locomotives. They were built by Charles Tayleur at his Vulcan Foundry but were unsuccessful and rapidly supplemented by the Star Class locomotives ordered by Daniel Gooch once he had been appointed as the Locomotive Engineer.

14-inch locomotives[edit]

GWR Vulcan, Æolus and Bacchus
Specifications
Power type Steam
Designer Charles Tayleur
Builder Vulcan Foundry
Serial number 51–53
Build date 1837
Total produced 3
Rebuild date 1843
Number rebuilt 2 (Vulcan and Æolus)
Configuration 2-2-2
2-2-2T (after rebuild)
Gauge 7 ft (2,134 mm)
Leading wheel
diameter
4 ft 6 in (1.372 m)
3 ft 0 in (0.91 m) (Æolus after rebuild)
Driver diameter 8 ft 0 in (2.438 m)
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) (Æolus after rebuild)
Trailing wheel
diameter
4 ft 6 in (1.372 m)
3 ft 0 in (0.91 m) (Æolus after rebuild)
Wheelbase 13 ft 1 in (3.99 m)
Cylinder size 14 in × 16 in (356 mm × 406 mm)

15 in × 18 in (380 mm × 460 mm) (Æolus after rebuild)
Career
Railroad(s) Great Western Railway
Number in class 3
Withdrawn 1842-1868
Disposition Unknown, probably scrapped
  • Vulcan (Tayleur 51; 1837–1868)
This locomotive was the first to run on the Great Western Railway when it was tested on 28 December 1837 from its shed at West Drayton. It was withdrawn in 1843 but was rebuilt as a 2-2-2T tank locomotive and returned to service in 1846, running in this form until 1868. It survived for two more years at Reading as a stationary boiler. Although named after the workshops where it was built, Vulcan is also the Roman god of fire.
  • Æolus (Tayleur 52; 1837–1867)
This locomotive worked the first train on the Great Western Railway when it opened on 4 June 1838. In 1843 it was fitted with more conventional 6-foot-0-inch (1.83 m) driving and 3-foot-0-inch (0.91 m) carrying wheels with 15-by-18-inch (380 mm × 460 mm) cylinders; at some time it was converted to a 2-2-2T tank locomotive. The name Æolus is quite common in Greek mythology, shared by at least three mythic characters.
  • Bacchus (Tayleur 53; 1837–1842)
This locomotive was named after Bacchus, the Roman god of the harvest and was later carried by a Pyracmon Class goods locomotive.

12-inch locomotives[edit]

GWR Apollo, Neptune and Venus
Specifications
Power type Steam
Designer Charles Tayleur
Builder Vulcan Foundry
Serial number 62–64
Build date 1838
Total produced 3
Configuration 2-2-2
2-2-2T (after rebuild)
Gauge 7 ft (2,134 mm)
Leading wheel
diameter
4 ft 6 in (1.372 m)
3 ft 0 in (0.914 m) (Venus after rebuild)
Driver diameter 8 ft 0 in (2.438 m)
6 ft 0 in (1.829 m) (Venus after rebuild)
Trailing wheel
diameter
4 ft 6 in (1.372 m)
3 ft 0 in (0.914 m) (Venus after rebuild)
Wheelbase 13 ft 1 in (3.99 m)
Cylinder size 12 in × 16 in (305 mm × 406 mm)
15 in × 18 in (381 mm × 457 mm) (Venus after rebuild)
Career
Railroad(s) Great Western Railway
Number in class 3
Withdrawn 1840-1870
Disposition Unknown, probably scrapped
  • Apollo (Tayleur 62; 1838–1867)
This locomotive was rebuilt in 1839 with new cylinders 15 by 18 inches (380 mm × 460 mm) and was altered to become a 2-2-2T before it ceased work in 1867. It was named after the important Greek god, Apollo.
  • Neptune (Tayleur 63; 1838–1840)
Neptune is the Roman god of the sea. The name was later carried by one of the Ariadne Class standard goods locomotives.
  • Venus (Tayleur 64; 1838–1870)
This locomotive was withdrawn in 1843 but was rebuilt and returned to service in 1846. It now had 6-foot-0-inch (1.829 m) driving and 3-foot-0-inch (0.914 m) carrying wheels, with 15-by-18-inch (381 mm × 457 mm) cylinders; at some time it was also converted to run as a 2-2-2T tank locomotive. The name, which represents the Roman goddess of love, was also carried by a Fire Fly Class locomotive from 1841.

References[edit]

  • Reed, P. J. T. (February 1953). White, D. E., ed. The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway, Part 2: Broad Gauge. Kenilworth: RCTS. pp. B9–B10. ISBN 0-901115-32-0. 
  • Waters, Laurence (1999). The Great Western Broad Gauge. Hersham: Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 0-7110-2634-3.