Bachmann 31-830 43XX 5321 GWR Green
OO Gauge 1:76 Scale 43xx 2-6-0 Mogul 5321 loco & tender in Great Western Green
The Great Western Railway (GWR) 4300 Class is a class of 2-6-0 (mogul) steam locomotives, designed by G.J. Churchward for mixed traffic duties. 342 were built from 1911–1932.
By the beginning of the 20th century, the GWR had realised that its ageing fleet of four-coupled tender engines of 2-4-0 and 4-4-0 arrangement could no longer provide the necessary operational requirements of the railway. H. Holcroft, a senior engineer under Churchward, the railway's Locomotive Superintendent, toured North America to research replacement designs. He was most impressed with their 2-6-0 'Mogul' locomotives. On his return to Swindon, he was instructed to design a similar locomotive utilising as many standard parts as possible. The outcome of his design was a tendered version of the Class 3150 2-6-2T, incorporating 5ft *in wheels, outside cylinders, and a 3500-gallon tender, designated to the Class 4300 locomotive. An initial order for twenty locomotives was placed, entering service in 1911, the engine quickly gained a reputation for excellent performance hauling both passenger and freight trains. The second batch of locomotives produced in 1913 had lengthened rear frames to accommodate s 'County' style cab. Other improvements during the build programme included cab side windows, and a screw reverser replacing the original lever type. Production ended in 1932 with 342 locomotives completed, carrying series numbering of 4300, 5300, 6300, and 9300. The original GWR locomotives were painted in a lined green livery, later to be repainted in an unlined green livery. BR livery was plain black, except for a few locomotives which received lined black. In 1956, plain green was applied, but this was soon revised the following year in favour of fully lined out GWR style livery. The last remaining Class 43xx was removed from service in 1964.
In 1906 Churchward fitted a more powerful Standard No. 4 boiler to his successful 3100 Class 2-6-2T to create the GWR 3150 Class. These showed themselves to be successful locomotives but their 65 long tons 0 cwt (145,600 lb or 66 t) weight and 2,000 imp gal (9,100 l; 2,400 US gal) water capacity meant that they tended to be restricted to suburban passenger traffic. Churchward was looking forward to the replacement of various of his predecessor’s 4-4-0 classes on secondary duties. In 1911 he, therefore, designed a tender version of the 3150 class which would be suitable for a wide range of intermediate duties.
The class was a total synthesis of standard parts, using the outside cylinders of the Saint, the wheels of ’31XX’ 2-6-2 tank, and the No. 4 boiler, in its superheated form. No prototype was required as the fundamental design had proved itself.
The locomotives quickly proved themselves to be so useful that they were produced more or less continuously in a series of batches (or lots) over a twelve-year period (1911–1923), sometimes incorporating detailed differences. Two further lots were built in 1925 and 1932 by Churchward's successor, Charles Collett.