GWR 103 President

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

GWR 103 President and GWR 104 Alliance
GWR de Glehn compound locomotive 104 Alliance (Howden, Boys' Book of Locomotives, 1907).jpg
104, Alliance
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
DesignerG.J. Churchward
BuilderSociété Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques Works Numbers 5601 and 5602
Build date1905
 • Whyte4-4-2
 • UIC2′B1 n4v
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Leading dia.3 ft 2 in (965 mm)[1]
Driver dia.6 ft 8 12 in (2,045 mm)[1]
Trailing dia.4 ft 8 38 in (1,432 mm)[1]
Fuel typeCoal
CylindersFour – compound:[2]
  • two HP outside
  • two LP inside
High-pressure cylinder14 316 in × 25 316 in (360 mm × 640 mm)[1]
Low-pressure cylinder23 58 in × 25 316 in (600 mm × 640 mm)[1]
Valve gearWalschaerts'
OperatorsGreat Western Railway
Numbers103 and 104
Official namePresident Alliance

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.[3] As with no. 102, these were built by Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques.[4] They had two low-pressure cylinders fitted between the frames, and two high-pressure cylinders outside. The low-pressure cylinders drove the front driving wheels while the high-pressure cylinders drove the rear driving wheels.[2] 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,[5] President herself being similarly reboilered in February 1910 and receiving a superheated boiler in January 1914.[6] In 1926, the three locomotives were based at Oxford shed.[7] 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.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e le Fleming 1960, p. H5
  2. ^ a b le Fleming 1960, pp. H4, H5
  3. ^ Haresnape & Swain 1993, p. 22
  4. ^ Freezer, Cyril (October 1971). "La France". Railway Modeller. Vol. 22 no. 252. Seaton, Devon: Peco Publications and Publicity Ltd. p. 334.
  5. ^ Rogers 1975, p. 133
  6. ^ Nock 1975, p. 75
  7. ^ "Trains in the vale". Pendon Museum. Archived from the original on 26 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-12.
  8. ^ 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 Allan. 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.
  • le Fleming, H.M. (November 1960). White, D.E., ed. The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway, part eight: Modern Passenger Classes (2nd ed.). RCTS.