GWR 2.8.0 on Whiteball bank.

Mike Jeffries

Cambridge, United Kingdom

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THIS PAINTING IS SOLD BUT YOU TOO CAN COMMISSION MIKE TO PAINT YOUR VERY OWN ORIGINAL OF YOUR FAVOURITE STEAM LOCOMOTIVE WHETHER BRITISH OR AMERICAN, A SOUND INVESTMENT FROM WHOM MANY REGARD AS BRITAIN’S LEADING TRANSPORT ARTIST. JUST E-MAIL mike@transportartist.co.uk

A print of this image is available at: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/churchward-2...

The Churchward 2.8.0 was designed primary for fast fitted freights, which sounds a bit of a mouthful but meant freight trains fitted with brakes on every vehicle in the train controlled by the loco driver from his cab via a system of one connected pipe thoughout the train. Most freight, or goods trains in British palance, were loose coupled and the only brakes were on the engine and a guards-van attached to the rear of the train so consequenly speeds had to be kept low bearing in mind the train’s limited stopping power.

Fitted freights ran at near express speeds on trains of perishables like fish, fruit and vegatables or any other of the thousands of commodities that needed quick delivery while loose coupled trains tended to carry less urgent goods and especially coal, iron ore, steel etc.

However on occasion, especially in the summer months, the humble 2.8.0 would be called upon to head a passenger train especially excursion trains that were not timetabled but still needed an engine from somewhere to haul them.

For instance an excursion from up North would arrive at Bristol where a change of engine was required so the poor old Shedmaster at Bristol engine sheds would be expected to provide a suitable engine to work the train forward to its destination. Most if not all of his passenger engines would be committed to proper booked turns so he would have to find something to haul this un-booked excursion which had been shoe-horned into his ordered timetable. Ordinary freight locomotives would be unsuitable on account of their small coupled wheels, some as small as 4ft 8in, which limited their speed but the Churchward 2.8.0s with 5ft 8in wheels were just about up to the task and still be worked back to base in time for its booked job.

So here we see such a summertime excursion train, probably a Bradford-Paignton or Birmingham-Kingswear climbing Whiteball bank westbound with a 2.8.0 No 4701 proudly at the head. As most fitted freights ran overnight these 2.8.0s were rarely seen out on the line in daylight and so this could be a rare sight indeed for the average railway fan and one to be savoured.

An oil painting like this on board or canvas 20″×30″ of your favourite railway subject, British, American or even French, would cost from £2500.

E-mail me on mike@transportartist.co.uk or ring 07884462140.

Please remember this image is my property and protected by copyright law.

Artwork Comments

  • Edward Denyer
  • Steve  Liptrot
  • tel5521
  • photogenique
  • AliceDoodles
  • jwburgess
  • Mike Jeffries
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