The GWR Stars, Castles & Kings: Omnibus Edition Containing Parts 1 & 2 - O. S. [Oswald Stevens] NockDavid & Charles, 1981, Hardback.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper with a little creasing to the foot of the upper panel.
2nd impression. [First Edition: 1980] Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Diagrams; Tables;
From the cover: “This book combines in one volume the story, originally published in two separate parts, of some of the best-known and best-loved locomotives ever to run on rails.
Even before he succeeded William Dean as Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Superintendent of the Great Western Railway, Churchward had prepared a plan for the complete standardisation of the locomotive stock. All the proposed new standard engines had two cylinders mounted outside the frames, but in the first years of the twentieth century the remarkable performances of the De Glehn four-cylinder compound engines in France were attracting so much attention that the GWR purchased some French Atlantics for trial purposes. The outcome was the development not of a new range of Great Western compounds but of the ever-famous four-cylinder simple Stars, which many years later were destined to become the forerunners of the even better known Castles and Kings.
Mr Nock tells, in a wealth of detail, of the factors that led to the establishment of the broad principles, and to the superb detail of the original design. He draws upon many official and unofficial sources in describing how it was developed, and his story is embellished with records of dynamometer car test runs and logs recorded by expert observers of locomotive performance. The introduction of superheating, top feed, double chimneys and many features that came to play an important ancillary part in the success of these engines is fully described. Later chapters trace the equally fascinating story of how this ‘family’ of locomotives was developed and modernised after the second world war to meet the gradually changing conditions of railway working, to the time when the last remaining Castle in regular service made its last run, in 1965. Yet this was not quite the end for several of the examples preserved are in working order, lovingly restored to run on occasional BR special trains. The book is lavishly illustrated with photographs depicting the main stages of development.”