'City of Truro' Steam locomotive

Made:
1903 in Swindon Works
designer:
William Dean
railway company:
Great Western Railway
maker:
George Jackson Churchward
'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive) 'City of Truro' Steam locomotive (steam locomotive)

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Science Museum Group Collection
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Steam locomotive, Great Western Railway, 4-4-0 No 3717 "City of Truro", designed by George Jackson Churchward (after William Dean), built at Swindon in 1903.

The Great Western Railway (GWR) 37xx City class comprised 20 express passenger locomotives featuring the names of locations within the British Empire and British cities served by the company. The class prototype, a rebuild of one of William Dean's double-framed Atbara class locomotives, No 3405 Mauritius, emerged from Swindon Works in September 1902. Rebuilding was overseen by George Churchward, who succeeded Dean as locomotive superintendent.

Churchward’s work combined American and European best practice and would influence a move towards more powerful, efficient, and standardised steam locomotives on Britain’s railways. The City class was an important stepping stone in this process; while retaining Dean’s double-framed chassis, No 3405 was equipped with a prototype tapered-section boiler combined with a box-like Belpaire firebox. Tapered-section boilers provided additional space for steam collection at the hottest part and reduced weight where it was cooler. The firebox design, introduced in 1864 by Belgian engineer Alfred Belpaire, maximised the heating surface area and improved water circulation. This combination formed the Swindon Standard No. 4 boiler, which would feature on several GWR classes.

Ten new locomotives were built in 1903 – including No 3440 City of Truro – while another nine Atbara class locomotives were rebuilt from 1907. The class was associated with the GWR’s prestigious Ocean Mails specials over the challenging route to and from Plymouth, running in competition with the London & South Western Railway. Invited to attend a special run hauled by No 3440 over the route on 9th May 1904, journalist Charles Rous-Marten claimed the locomotive achieved 102.3mph while descending Wellington Bank in Somerset. Though considered the first occasion a steam locomotive was independently timed at 100mph, the accuracy of Rous-Marten’s evidence has since been debated.

City of Truro was fitted with a superheater in 1911, renumbered in the 37xx series as No 3717 in 1912 and received further modifications in 1915. Withdrawn in 1931, the locomotive was gifted to the London & North Eastern Railway for display at its York museum. It was returned to steam by British Railways in 1957 before static display at Swindon. It was subsequently overhauled for the GWR’s 150th anniversary in 1985, and most recently for the centenary of its high-speed run in 2004.

Details

Category:
Locomotives and Rolling Stock
Object Number:
1978-7025
type:
steam locomotive
credit:
British Rail, Historical Relics

Parts

'City of Truro' Steam locomotive worksplate

'City of Truro' Steam locomotive worksplate

Worksplate, brass, oval, black background, Great Western Railway, No. 2000, Swindon Works, April 1903, from 4-4-0 No 3440 "City of Truro", reverse marked ‘R’, 449mm x 21mm x 223mm.


City of Truro was the eighth of a batch of ten A49 locomotives built in Swindon in 1903. It is now one of only two surviving Great Western Railway (GWR) double-framed 4-4-0 locomotives. Often referred to as ‘Churchward’s locomotive’ No. 3440 was built in 1903 and Churchward took over the role of Chief Mechanical Engineer from William Dean in 1902, thus both men have been credited here as designer.

City of Truro is best known and celebrated as the first British steam locomotive to have exceeded 100mph. On 9th May 1904 it pulled the Oceans Mail train from Plymouth to London Paddington; during its descent of Wellington Bank in Somerset the locomotive achieved a maximum speed slightly in excess of 102mph. Although the exact figure has been widely debated, it is generally agreed that City of Truro was indeed the first steam locomotive to achieve 100mph.

After City of Truro was withdrawn from service in March 1931, it was displayed in the old Railway Museum in York. Then, in 1957 it was restored to working order at Swindon works and pulled special trains as well as regular services on the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton line. City of Truro was once again withdrawn in 1961 and was subsequently exhibited at the Museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon, which opened in 1962.

In 1984, City of Truro was again restored to working order, this time by the Severn Valley Railway (SVR). It worked services for the SVR as well as working main line excursions. The locomotive returned to York in 1986, from where it hauled the Scarborough Spa Express. City of Truro’s most recent restoration work was carried out in 2004, marking the centenary of the locomotive’s record breaking run. City of Truro no longer operates on the main line.

Measurements:
overall: 223 mm x 449 mm x 21 mm,
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy)
Object Number:
1978-7025/5
type:
locomotive worksplate
'City of Truro' Steam locomotive worksplate

'City of Truro' Steam locomotive worksplate

Worksplate, brass, oval, black background, Great Western Railway, No. 2000, Swindon Works, April 1903, from 4-4-0 No 3440 "City of Truro", reverse marked ‘LEFT’ and ‘NATIONAL RAILWAY MUSEUM’, 449mm x 21mm x 223mm.


City of Truro was the eighth of a batch of ten A49 locomotives built in Swindon in 1903. It is now one of only two surviving Great Western Railway (GWR) double-framed 4-4-0 locomotives. Often referred to as ‘Churchward’s locomotive’ No. 3440 was built in 1903 and Churchward took over the role of Chief Mechanical Engineer from William Dean in 1902, thus both men have been credited here as designer.

City of Truro is best known and celebrated as the first British steam locomotive to have exceeded 100mph. On 9th May 1904 it pulled the Oceans Mail train from Plymouth to London Paddington; during its descent of Wellington Bank in Somerset the locomotive achieved a maximum speed slightly in excess of 102mph. Although the exact figure has been widely debated, it is generally agreed that City of Truro was indeed the first steam locomotive to achieve 100mph.

After City of Truro was withdrawn from service in March 1931, it was displayed in the old Railway Museum in York. Then, in 1957 it was restored to working order at Swindon works and pulled special trains as well as regular services on the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton line. City of Truro was once again withdrawn in 1961 and was subsequently exhibited at the Museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon, which opened in 1962.

In 1984, City of Truro was again restored to working order, this time by the Severn Valley Railway (SVR). It worked services for the SVR as well as working main line excursions. The locomotive returned to York in 1986, from where it hauled the Scarborough Spa Express. City of Truro’s most recent restoration work was carried out in 2004, marking the centenary of the locomotive’s record breaking run. City of Truro no longer operates on the main line.

Measurements:
overall: 223 mm x 449 mm x 21 mm,
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy)
Object Number:
1978-7025/6
type:
locomotive worksplate