Great Western Saints and Sinners
The average Great Western enthusiast of past days knew well that there could be no such things as sinners anywhere on the Great Western system. In the extensive literature which has poured out over the years there is no hint of any such imperfection. Where the history of this railway was never actually brilliant it was bland - no ripple sullied the effortless tenor of the Great Western way of life. But there are facts which show that this was not altogether true. For although, on the whole, the Great Western in the twentieth century did better for its shareholders than did most other British railways, it could not achieve perfection in everything. And as a hint to this, the title of this book includes the word which is the common antithesis to 'saints'. This is not a history of the Great Western Railway, however, nor even a factual history of its locomotives. It is a study of Great Western steam, attempting to reach a balanced evaluation of all the principal locomotives, from the company's beginning. But it is especially concerned with the Saint class, and it is doubtful if the GWR produced anything better than these. They were grand 'goers' and they set a fashion that spread to other companies even a generation later, and indeed later still the BR's Standard Class 5 was in many essentials the same machine.
Hardback with dust jacket, 14x22cm, over 200 pages, black & white photographs
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Updated: 29 December 2023