Nigel Burkin takes a look at this old favourite of the Bachmann Branchline range.
Introduced in 1930, a total of 120 GWR Class 2251 locomotives were built at Swindon over an 18-year period with the last locomotive being completed in 1948. Designed by Charles Collett, the locomotives replaced ageing locomotives such as the Dean Goods, being utilised throughout the GWR network.
Numbered 2200-2299 and 3200-3219, they are documented as being the last design of tender 0-6-0 to be built in the UK. Collett Goods locomotives are medium-weight goods engines, which did see use on local passenger duties from time to time. They led fairly uneventful lives, being used to a variety of freight traffics, particularly over the more lightly laid lines of the GWR and BR Western Region.
The locomotives were modern compared to the earlier designs they replaced. The design included a standard tapered boiler design shared with the 94xx ‘Pannier Tanks’ (Bachmann model reviewed previously in RMM). A 15t axle load made them ideal for some of the GWR’s lightly laid branch lines, yet the more up-to-date design saw an increase in power together with an increase in weight, making them capable of holding their own on the main line.
As records show, there is always a compromise between weight and increased power in any locomotive design and the Collett Goods, while lighter than some locomotives, was still restricted on some routes. There was some variation in the design too: 1940-built locomotives numbered 2211-30 are documented as not having cab side windows.
Withdrawals commenced in 1958 and were complete in 1965. One of the last surviving locomotives, No. 3205, was secured for preservation and is now fully operational on the South Devon Railway. No. 3205 was built at Swindon in 1946 and remained in traffic until 1965. It is currently painted GWR green after a period in unlined BR green. More details regarding the South Devon Railway may be found at www.southdevonrailway.co.uk/locomotives/3205.
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