GWR 103 President

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GWR 103 President
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer G.J. Churchward
Builder Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques
Build date 1905
 • Whyte 4-4-2
 • UIC 2′B1 n4v
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Fuel type Coal
Cylinders Four – compound: two HP inside, two LP outside
High-pressure cylinder (?)
Operators Great Western Railway
Numbers 103
Official name President

President, number 103, and Alliance, number 104 were locomotives of the Great Western Railway. George Jackson Churchward, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Western Railway, was given authority to purchase three French de Glehn-du Bousquet four-cylinder compound locomotives, in order to evaluate the benefits of compounding. The first locomotive, no.102 La France, was delivered in 1903. Two further locomotives, nos. 103 and 104, were purchased in 1905. These were similar to the Paris-Orleans Railway's 3001 class, and slightly larger than 102.[1] As with no. 102, these were built by Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques.[2] They had two high-pressure cylinders fitted between the frames, and two low-pressure cylinders outside. The high-pressure cylinders drove the front driving wheels while the low-pressure cylinders drove the rear driving wheels. An external steam pipe was mounted just in front of the dome, looking rather similar in appearance to a top feed. In 1907 No. 104 was fitted with an unsuperheated Swindon No. 1 boiler,[3] President herself being similarly reboilered in February 1910 and receiving a superheated boiler in January 1914.[4] In 1926, the three locomotives were based at Oxford shed.[5] In practice, they did not provide any significant improvement in either performance or economy compared to No 171 Albion, Churchward's prototype 4-6-0, which was converted to a 4-4-2 specifically for comparison with the French locomotives.[6]


  1. ^ Haresnape 1993, p. 22
  2. ^ Freezer, Cyril (October 1971). "La France". Railway Modeller. Vol. 22 no. 252. Seaton, Devon: Peco Publications and Publicity Ltd. p. 334. 
  3. ^ Rogers 1975, p. 133
  4. ^ Nock 1975, p. 75
  5. ^ "Trains in the vale". Pendon Museum. Archived from the original on 26 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  6. ^ Foster, Richard (Nov 2007). "Churchward: The man and his machines". Steam Railway. Peterborough: EMAP Ltd (342): 66–72. 


  • Nock, O.S. (1975). The Pre-grouping Scene, No.1: The Great Western. Surrey: Ian Allen. ISBN 0-7110-0586-9. 
  • Rogers, H.C.B. (1975). G.J. Churchward: a Locomotive Biography. London: George Allen & Unwin. ISBN 0-04-385061-8. 
  • Haresnape, Brian; Swain, Alec (1993) [1976]. Churchward Locomotives. Surrey: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0697-0.