The London & North Western Railway G2a Class locomotive is ready for traffic. These locomotives are better known as Super Ds and two versions have been despatched from Barwell to Bachmann dealers today (31-475 and 31-476).
The building of the first London & North Western 0-8-0 locomotive commenced in 1892 to Webb's design and a total of 509 locomotives went on to be built with modifications under the leadership of Whale, Bowen-Cooke and Beames. Further modifications were carried out under Hughes and Stanier. Initially conceived as a three cylinder compound they were followed by four cylinder versions after which Whale set about converting them to two cylinder simple engines. Whilst some locomotives retained the original boiler, others were fitted with the G Class boiler. Beginning in 1912 a superheated boiler was introduced.
The last development of the 0-8-0s was the introduction of the G2 Class in 1921 to the design of Charles J. Bowen-Cooke, though the order was placed under the tenure of Captain H.P.M. Beames, who succeeded Bowen-Cooke as Chief Mechanical Engineer.
The G2s were introduced between November 1921 and October 1922 and were a development of the earlier G1 Class. During their careers the locomotives received a Belpaire firebox to replace the round top design they received initially.
The locomotives worked all over the former London & North Western sections of the LMS and later British Railways. They were particularly useful pulling heavy freight trains on steeply graded routes including Shap and routes in Central and South Wales. Indeed the Class could be found from Abergavenny to Carlisle and just about everywhere else in between.
The first locomotives were withdrawn in 1947, with 478 locomotives passing into British Railways ownership the following year. With the introduction of diesels after 1955, major withdrawals commenced. The last of the class was withdrawn in 1964. One locomotive number 49395 was preserved and forms part of the National Collection. It has recently undergone a major overhaul at Pete Waterman's Crewe works.
Three models are being produced. Those despatched today are No. 49395 in BR black with early crest and tender cab (31-475) and No. 9449 in LMS black without tender back cab (31-476). The third version No. 49361 in BR black with late crest (31-477DC) with DCC ON BOARD will be despatched later. The recommended retail price will be £90.25 (DCC ON BOARD version £102.85).
To see an image of the Bachmann Super D model in a higher resolution, click here (1280 pixels wide)