Written by: TrainSim-James
Victory Works’ distinctive GWR Large Prairies are available now, and offer a wide variety of period English Riviera operations!
The Prairies lived for mixed-traffic duties, and those who populated the footplate had plenty of power readily waiting to be put to good use. In all, there lived 4 main variants of the Large Prairies, the 5100, 5101, 6100 and 8100 classes, and all are now yours to drive!
Originally classified as the 3100s, and designed by Churchwward, the 5100 Class is among the oldest in the GWR fleet. The 5100s were built in 1903 to fulfil a gap in the rural mixed-traffic market, and would be the spark of many derivatives in decades to come. The change from 3100 to 5100 came from a bout of modifications to the fleet in the 1920s, bringing them up to standard and near matching newer batch of Large Prairies. Despite 40 locomotives being built, no one of the 5100s have survived beyond the steam era.
In 1929, a much more substantial batch of Large Prairies began production. The 5101 Class was Collett’s improvement upon Churchward’s previous design, although little was actually changed visually. The new fleet would grow to be 140 locomotives strong, providing passenger and freight workings with the reinforcements they required. As time went on, the 5101s would become synonymous piloting and banking heavy trains, particularly at Severn Tunnel Junction. Only 10 locomotives would dodge the cutters’ torch; 8 were preserved, one is used for spares, and the other converted into a 4300 Class.
The next batch of Large Prairies would come into existence in 1931 as the 6100 Class. Swindon Works quickly produced this 70-strong fleet of locomotives to take charge of commuter services out of London Paddington and along the Thames Valley. The main difference between the 6100s and previous designs was an increase in boiler pressure to 225 psi – positively affecting tractive effort which is ideal for frequently stopping passenger movements. As the years passed, such services were soon taken over by diesel power, and so the 6100s were pushed to secondary duties – only one was preserved.
The final Large Prairies were nothing new, literally. In the late 1930s, 10 of the 5100 Class were chosen to be rebuilt with smaller wheels and a higher boiler pressure to join the 6100 fleet’s duties. The rebuilt locomotives were reclassified as the 8100 Class, and could offer a supposed improved acceleration over other locomotives. As the refreshed batch of 8100s completed their transformation, they were slotted into service with ease, and too worked until the end of steam with no examples around today.
And now, after a history spanning some 60 years, the Great Western Railway’s Large Prairies have arrived for Train Simulator in stunning fashion. Partner Programme developer Victory Works present the GWR Large Prairies, which includes the 5100, 5101, 6100 and 8100 classes in GWR Green and British Railways Black liveries, complete with selectable era-appropriate logos, optional parts and fittings.
- Custom sound sets inside and out
- Realistic cab with multiple views, including dual “head out” and fully modelled firebox and coal
- Dynamic steam and smoke colour and quantity
- Realistic boiler water gauges effected by gradient, acceleration and speed and with blow down test
- Opening windows (with rain effects), doors, weather panels and roof hatch
- Dynamic lamp setting
- Cab light effects including firebox glow and water gauge lamp
- Four Career scenarios for the Riviera Line in the Fifties Route
- 75 Quick Drive consists with appropriate stock
Advanced Mode Features
- Realistic wheel slip physics and effects
- Simulated steam chest
- Realistic train pipe and reservoir vacuum braking
- Cylinder cock management
- Boiler management with priming possible
- Realistic injector control
- Realistic “by the shovel” stoking with synchronised sound
- Communication with the guard in the brake van for handbrake usage (when used with compatible GWR Toad brake van – included with this DLC)
- Second valve regulator effects
- Atmospheric AI effects
- Ex-GWR 8t Cattle Van
- GWR Fruit A Van
- BR(W) Gunpowder Van, Diagram 1/260
- BR(W) “Herring” hopper, P22
- BR(W) Iron Mink, V6
- BR(W) Tunnel Inspection Van
- GWR & BR(W) 20 ton Toad Brake Van
All the advanced features packed into the Large Prairies has earned this add-on a spot among the Pro Range. What is the Pro Range? Find out by clicking here.
The GWR Large Prairies are available now, head to the Store for more details! ■