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Charles Collett was left with no choice, but to decrease the drive wheel sizes from 6 ft 8.5 in, down to 6 ft 6 in, knowing that the decision meant new wheels had to be made, also new crankshafts and their relevant tools developed.
The outstanding memory has to be my visits to Birmingham Snow Hill station, with that wonderful overall roof; anticipation grows for the arrival of a London express sweeping into platforms 5/6 at full tilt hauled by a magnificent 'King' class locomotive, all brass and green paintwork sparkling in the late evening sun.
Ed writes - 'The first shot was taken at Swindon and the second at Paddington.
Bill Peto's definitive 'Great Western Railway Locomotives Vol 1 King 4-6-0s' tells us that upon arrival at Roath Docks, the loco had to be separated at the quayside into two sections - boiler and chassis - before being loaded on to the SS Chicago City, which took it across the Atlantic to Baltimore Docks.
It is also worth noting that the hard work put in by the early engines (from July 1927) was really starting to bite around this date and November 1955 saw 15 (50%) of the Kings out of service for a variety of reasons. Mechanical lubrication unit [now in first position].7. The picture angle highlights the varying alignment of the 3 wheel splashers, which was different again on the nearside of the engine. Raised step over the inside cylinders, below smokebox, was fitted 1956.(Above) Ex-GWR 'King' class 4-6-0 No 6000 'King George V' almost ready for a return to service at Swindon Works yard in September 1955.
It is also worth noting that the engine now has a sleeveless chimney fitted and the middle lamp iron has always been of different variety to the rest of the class since the brass bell was fitted, although the centre iron was rarely used in service. New front frames, indicated by the large support washer on the frame end, not yet seen.2. This would seem to be platform 9, which was designated as the north eastern end of the station and combined with platform 8 it formed a total length of 1,340 feet. The side-on view allows us a different aspect and the 'rods down' pose shows up the web in-fill on the drive wheels best picked out on the rear driver at the 5 o'clock position, an extension of the journal for the coupling rod, adding strength to that section.