Released just a few weeks ago, this new book from publishers Pen & Sword is probably best described as the encyclopedia of the Great Western Pannier Tank.
Written by David Maidment, the hardback book measures around 26cm x 24cm and is over 360 pages long. It has a published price of £40, but at the time of writing can be picked up on Amazon for around £26.
Part of the ‘Locomotive Portfolios’ series the book covers the various designs of the 0-6-0 saddle tanks from 1860 onwards for both the Great Western Railway and independent railway companies.
The book is split into 9 chapters and has many photographs, illustrations, drawings and information tables throughout about the steam locomotives
Chapter 1 covers the engineers: Sir Daniel Gooch, Joseph Armstrong, William Dean, George Jackson Churchward, Charles Benjamin Collet, and Frederick Hawksworth.
Chapter 2 looks at the early Great Western Saddle & Pannier Tanks
Chapter 3 is about Absorbed Saddle & Pannier Tanks
Chapters 4-9 cover the various classes 57xx,54xx,64xx,74xx,94xx,15xx,16xx and 1366 along with designs that were never built.
The chapters are then followed by the appendices. These look at the technical numbers of the classes, complete with drawings. Information can be found here such as the cylinder sizes, heating surface, grate area, wheel diameter, axle weight, and engine weights, tank capacity, boiler pressure, and tractive effort. There are also lists of all the locos produced in the class along with allocations, dates built and withdrawn. A real Top Trumps of information on all the different locomotives.
With over 400 photographs in a mixture of black and white and colour, this book is and joy to look at visually. The wealth of information provided in the text, tables, and technical drawings add to the completeness of the book.
While most of us know a little about the Great Western Pannier Tank, perhaps mainly from those in preservation, this book gives an opportunity to learn so much more about their long history and many design variations.
We would like to thank Pen & Sword for providing us with a copy of the book for review.