Written by: TrainSim-James
The Great Western Railway built some of the most iconic locomotives, the pinnacle of which is undoubtedly the 4073 Castle Class. Introduced to the world in 1923, the Castle Class proved its place from working hard during the early days of GWR to keeping the region running throughout World War II. This icon during Britain’s most memorable days saw many changes which made locomotives stand out even more, and now they can stand out in Train simulator as the GWR era Castles are available now to registered members of TS Rewards!
In the early 1920s the newly appointed Chief Mechanical Engineer of the GWR, C. B. Collett, set out to revolutionize the network with a new locomotive which would supplement and replace the Star Class. The answer of course was in the predecessor with the new loco essentially constructed as a Star Class with an enlarged boiler, the result was a locomotive housing a tractive effort of 31,625 lb providing a top speed in excess of 100 mph, all while looking the part as a main line express locomotive.
When the locomotives were first built many of them did not receive new tenders, the design staying the same as what Churchward built for his locomotives before Collett’s reign. This gave the Castles a very unique look as the Churchward 3500 Gallon tenders were noticeably smaller than what would be added in the future. These tenders would serve the early GWR Castles well, surviving long enough to feature multiple of GWR’s classic crests and coat of arms.
When the Second World War loomed over Britain, the railways became an even more vital means of transport to the nation. Be it hauling munitions in the dark of night or racing families away from the capital, there is no arguing the importance of the railways was paramount. To aid in the effort locomotives throughout the UK saw specific changes during WWII, the Castle Classes had their usual green dulled down and windows plated over to reduce glare from the firebox at night. There were not the resources to maintain these locomotives and many were heavily weathered by the end of the war.
The latest iteration of epic TS Rewards content features the early GWR Castles as they were built in 1923 with Churchward’s 3500 Gallon tender, complete with either the Coat of Arms or the Garter Crest brandished on the side. Also featured is the GWR Castle as seen during the Second World War with plated over cabside windows, weathered livery without lining and the classic GWR Roundel on the Collett 4000 Gallon tender. Quick Drive consists are included for each variant of the Castle.
Do not forget to sign up with TS Rewards if you have not already to make sure you don’t miss out on our epic free content!
We have released an update for the Early and Wartime GWR Castle Class Pack to correct the numbering and nameplate issues on the 3500 Gallon Tender Castles, this update should download automatically from Steam if you have the TS Rewards pack.