Bachmann Europe Plc has released its first Gauge 3 (1/22.5 scale) Brassworks locomotive depicting the Great Western Railway 45xx Class prairie tank. The model runs on 2.5" gauge track.
175 45xx and 4575 Class 2-6-2T locomotives were built between 1906 and 1929 by the Great Western Railway. The first 20 locomotives were built at Stafford Road, Wolverhampton being the last locomotives to be built there with later construction taking place at Swindon. After the first 75 locomotives had been built (4500 - 4574), the water tank design was altered from flat top to sloping increasing water capacity by some 3,000 gallons. The Brassworks model depicts the locomotive in its earlier form as from No. 4555 onwards (built 1924), a larger coal bunker was provided, again increasing capacity and the water tanks had a sloping front edge.
Intended for branch line passenger and freight use they saw service mainly in the West of England and in Central and South Wales. The first withdrawal took place in 1950 and the last in December 1964 due to the introduction of diesel multiple units and widespread branch line closures. 14 locomotives have been preserved for use on Heritage Railways for which they are ideal motive power.
The 45xx Class locomotive (BW1160) is available from Bachmann Brassworks dealers in factory painted green livery with a recommended retail price of £1459.75. Further details are available from Bachmann dealers.