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A Third Awakening for the GW ‘Castle’

© Stuart Smith

From the October 2020 Newsletter


The 4073 Class (a 4-6-0 Steam locomotive) was first awarded the ‘Castle’ naming when built between 1923 and 1950. These locomotives, designed by Charles Collett, worked the express passenger services for the Great Western Railway until withdrawal in December 1965.   Clun Castle (7029) had the honour of working the last regular steam hauled service from London Paddington on 27th November 1965.


Now, fast forward around thirty-five years, and First Great Western were about to replace their ageing and unreliable fleet of Class 47’s, with Class 57/6’s on the Night Riviera ‘Sleeper’ service. Following successful trials with 57601, four locomotives were accepted into traffic, having had major overhaul work carried out at Brush, Loughborough.


Class 57 /6

Former Number

Name / Notes

57 601

47 825

Now with West Coast Railways

57 602

47 337

Restormal Castle

67 603

47 349

Tintagel Castle

57 604

47 209

Pendennis Castle

57 605

47 206

Totnes Castle

So, move on to today, and the third series of ‘Castle’ names is now being brought into use on the Class 255 ‘2+4’ short-formed HST sets. These trains work predominantly in the South-West, working between Penzance and Plymouth or Exeter St David’s. However, a few sets also work through from Taunton to Cardiff Central, via Bristol TM

Number

Name


Number

Name

43 004

Caerphilly Castle


43 188

Newport Castle

43 041

St Catherine's Castle


43 189

Launceston Castle

43 042

Tregenna Castle


43 192

Trematon Castle

43 092

Cromwell's Castle


43 194

Okehampton Castle

43 094

St Mawes Castle


Names allocated but not yet applied

Cardiff Castle

43 097

Castle Drago


Powerderham Castle

43 098

Walton Castle


Berry Pomeroy Castle

43 122

Dunster Castle


Castle-an-Dinas

43 153

Chûn Castle


St Micheal's Mount

43 154

Compton Castle




43 155

Rougemont Castle


43 093

Old Oak Common Depot

43 158

Kingswear Castle


43 187

The Welshman

43 170

Chepstow Castle


43 198

Driver Brian Cooper /

Driver Stan Martin

43 186

Taunton Castle


In addition, Great Western also operate the following power cars, (some of which are still awaiting overhaul) although these are also yet to be allocated ‘Castle’ names:

43005, 43009, 43010, 43016, 43022, 43027, 43029, 43040, 43088, 43156, 43160, 43162, 43171, 43172