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At much the same time (1926) the GWR's running department was requesting longer passenger trains to cope with increased loadings; the coal strike had highlighted the lack of reserve of the 'Castle' engines when forced to work with inferior fuel supplies; also Sir Felix learned of the demise of the 'Great Bear' (right), the GWR's only 4-6-2 Pacific ever, said to have been dismantled by order of CB Collett because of the many bridge restrictions in the West Country, which effectively reduced the engine's work to the Bristol to Paddington route only.
Thus the Locomotive Committee of the directors appealed to the Civil Engineer to relax the limitation on axle loading, but found that any new structures were allowed 22 tons of loading for 4-cylinder engines; furthermore there were just 4 bridges that were in need of strengthening and the Bridge Stress Committee were requested to put the work in hand as soon as possible, as well as asking for an extra half a ton leeway; this was subsequently granted.
It is also worth noting that the engine now has a sleeveless chimney fitted and the middle lamp iron has always been of different variety to the rest of the class since the brass bell was fitted, although the centre iron was rarely used in service. New front frames, indicated by the large support washer on the frame end, not yet seen.2. This would seem to be platform 9, which was designated as the north eastern end of the station and combined with platform 8 it formed a total length of 1,340 feet. The side-on view allows us a different aspect and the 'rods down' pose shows up the web in-fill on the drive wheels best picked out on the rear driver at the 5 o'clock position, an extension of the journal for the coupling rod, adding strength to that section.
Extended covers for inside valves added later .3. The 'one with the bell' the youngsters cried when King '6000' came into view, the only class member to be easily recognised by virtue of the famous brass bell. The central area of the leading bogie assembly has seen welding repairs carried out to strengthen the sectors which succumbed to the stresses of main line running with the heaviest of expresses for so many years, although such problems only surfaced in the early 1950's.
On rather a damp day the doyen of the class was ready to depart for London displaying a rather 'tatty' reporting number, which seemed to indicate a Weston-super-Mare working. New front frames, indicated by the large support washer on the frame end, now seen.2. It is interesting to note that the third axle has a 'deeper' road spring, which is just visible through the wheel spokes and replaced the original 19-leaf type to give a much 'softer' ride after crews made complaints of the engines 'bucking' along.
The modifications include: new front frames, indicated by the large support washer on the frame end; Extended covers for inside valves; Modified steam pipes; WB boiler; Cast-iron double chimney; Mechanical lubrication unit; Leading bogie welded repairs; Cab roof vents; BR new emblem; Raised step over the inside cylinders, below smokebox.6000 KING GEORGE V - 6001 KING EDWARD VII - 6002 KING WILLIAM IV - 6003 KING GEORGE IV - 6004 KING GEORGE III - 6005 KING GEORGE II - 6006 KING GEORGE I - 6007 KING WILLIAM III - 6008 KING JAMES II - 6009 KING CHARLES II - 6010 KING CHARLES I - 6011 KING JAMES I - 6012 KING EDWARD VI - 6013 KING HENRY VIII - 6014 KING HENRY VII - 6015 KING RICHARD III - 6016 KING EDWARD V - 6017 KING EDWARD IV - 6018 KING HENRY VI - 6019 KING HENRY V - 6020 KING HENRY IV - 6021 KING RICHARD II - 6022 KING EDWARD III - 6023 KING EDWARD II - 6024 KING EDWARD I - 6025 KING HENRY III - 6026 KI GWR KING CLASS by Derek Dean Maybe it now sounds simplistic, but the natural progression in steam locomotive lineage terms, following the most excellent 'Castle' class was a longer, larger beefed-up engine that was capable of hauling heavier trains at faster speeds.
That one single ideal was the main driving force for the CME of the GWR, Charles Benjamin Collett, who was naturally intent on pursuing the beliefs of his former governor, George Jackson Churchward, the brilliant engineer who initiated the succession of GWR 4-6-0 locomotives by designing the prototype No '40' named as 'North Star' and built as an Atlantic..other words the wheel configuration was 4-4-2.