The 260 engines of the 2301 class, designed by William Dean, were built over a period of 16 years, on 12 lots. With such a large number of locomotives, built over a long period, and lasting in service for over sixty years, there are considerable variations between individual engines many of which are covered by including alternative components in the kit.
As is usual for Great Western engines the most obvious variation is in the boilers. The first twenty were built with domeless SO boilers with flush smokeboxes. The next 110 had S2 boilers fitted. The remainder were constructed with the S4 boiler included in the kit. From around the turn of the century rebuilding began with the B4 Belpaire boilers until by 1927 all were so fitted.
For a detailed history of this class, including details of boiler changes, Part Four of The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway published by the RCTS is essential reading. Great Western Engines - Vol 1 by J.H.Russell on pages 79 - 87 has some useful photographs. From this kit any of the class can be built from circa 1900 to withdrawal.
Footplate. The two different width footplates fitted to the class are included.
Coupling rods. Plain or fluted coupling rods were fitted. Photographic evidence suggests that many of those built with fluted rods subsequently acquired plain rods.
Cab. The cabsides of the first sixty engines had a large sweeping cutout whereas the later engines had the standard two arc opening. With the fitting of Belpaire fireboxes the cabs were raised to allow the spectacle windows to be refitted and there were two distinct cab roof profiles. Cab roofs were latterly of steel replacing the earlier canvas covered wood.
Smokebox. The early smokeboxes had a plain front with ringed door. Later snap head rivets were used and from c.1920 the smokeboxes had a pressed front with Churchward type door without the ring.
Firebox. Two different B4 firebox wrappers are provided with alternative positions of the washout plugs.
Steps. The front step and upper rear step were different on the first sixty engines.
Reversing rod. The first sixty had a straight rod whereas the remainder were fitted with a curved rod.
Chimney. Early built up parallel type. From 1919 a tapered cast iron type began to be fitted.
Top feed. From about 1913 onwards some forty of the class carried B4 boilers with top feed.
Balance weights. Changed from large type with visible rivets to a smaller plain design.
ATC. A large number of the class were fitted with ATC equipment most between June 1930 and August 1931.
Lamp brackets. Most have the front lamp brackets attached to the buffer beam but a few have the outer brackets fixed to the sandboxes
Many of the earlier engines appear to have come out with second-hand iron frame or double frame Armstrong tenders which were to be found on the class up to about 1912. Later engines were paired with standard Dean 2500 gallon tenders. In later years a significant number acquired larger Dean tenders of 3000 gallons capacity. At least one (2398) was paired with a diminutive Dean 2000 gallon tender.
Wheels. Driving wheels 5’ 2", 16 spoke, 3/16" diameter axle, (3), Slater's Ref.7862GW.
Motor/Gearbox. A Canon motor with a SDMP 40L/15 gearbox (available from Finney7) or an alternative such as an ABC VML2 gearbox.
Crankpins. Heavy duty crankpins are available from Finney7.
Inside Motion. A separate kit is available from Finney7 to construct the working inside motion.
To obtain a pdf copy of the instructions please click on the links below; the pdf will open in a new window. Unfortunately the A4 and A3 pages have to be in different files.